Overview

You can get a temporary non-commercial timber permit to cut trees on provincial Crown land within Alberta's Green Area. The Green Area has designated Forest Areas where firewood, Christmas tree and other timber cutting is permitted.

Figure 1. Alberta’s Green Area and White Area

 

The most commonly issued non-commercial timber permit, known as a TM66, is used for harvesting a variety of forest products, including:

  • Christmas trees
  • firewood
  • posts and rails
  • transplants

The other type of permit used for personal timber access on Crown land is called a Local Timber Permit (LTP).

Both permits grant the holder the legal authority to harvest trees in designated areas.

The Alberta government also issues permits and licences for commercial use of the province's timber resources. For information, see Forest tenure.

Eligibility

To get a personal timber permit, you must be:

  • over the age of 18
  • a resident of Alberta
  • in good standing with the Crown relating to timber, grazing and land use

You can also buy a permit on someone else's behalf. However, they must be present and in possession of the permit when you are harvesting the trees associated with that permit.

Types of permits

TM66 Permit – Forest Product Tag
Description TM66 permits are for small-scale personal use only (no resale) for purposes such as Christmas trees, firewood or transplants.
Details The TM66 entitles individuals to remove one of the following: OR
  • 20 trees less than 2.5 metres in height for transplanting
OR
  • Up to 5 cubic metres of roundwood timber (usually used for firewood). The number of trees cut depends on tree species and size and is approximately:
    • 5 to 7 large coniferous trees (generally trees with needles), or
    • 4 to 6 deciduous trees (generally trees with leaves), or
    • 5m3 = approximately 1.5 cords
Trees and timber are to be cut from designated Crown Provincial Land only. The area-specific TM66 permit must be with you at all times while cutting and/or transporting. In one 30-day period, a person can hold up to 3 permits: one for firewood, one for Christmas trees, and one for transplants.
Where to use This permit can be used only in designated areas on Crown land, within Alberta’s Green Area.

Before buying a TM66 permit, you must choose the Forest Area where you will be using your permit. Find Forest Area maps and conditions at Tree cutting permits maps.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are harvesting in the correct location. You must not harvest in a restricted area where trees may be growing for commercial or research purposes.

If you have questions about where you can cut in a particular Forest Area, please contact your local Forest Area Office.
Cost $5.00 (plus GST)
Valid For 30 days from the date of purchase
Local Timber Permit (LTP)
Description The Local Timber Permit (LTP) is also for personal use only (no resale). However, it is used for purposes requiring larger amounts of timber such as log buildings, fences, and home heating.
Details This non-commercial permit entitles individuals to remove up to 50 cubic metres of timber for personal, non-commercial use (no resale). The number of trees cut depends on tree species and size. It is approximately:
  • 50 to 70 large coniferous trees (generally trees with needles), OR
  • 40 to 60 large deciduous trees (generally trees with leaves)

Figure 1: 50m3 timber

Where to use This permit can be used only in designated areas on Crown land, within Alberta’s Green Area.

The issuing Forest Area Office will let the permit holder know where they can use the LTP.
Cost $21.00 (includes GST)
Additional Costs A minimum security deposit of $1,000 is required in case of any site degradation. The deposit is refundable if no incidence of degradation occurs.

The holder must also pre-pay timber dues and the reforestation levy on harvested volume as stipulated in the Timber Management Regulation.

After harvesting is completed, the LTP must be returned to the issuing Forest Area Office for the return of any prepaid timber dues, reforestation charges or deposits, if the application is made within one year.
Valid For Expires annually on April 30

The closest Green Area to Edmonton is in the Rocky Mountain and Edson forest areas.

Rules for tree cutting

Access to tree cutting areas

You may need a 4-wheel drive vehicle, depending on the location and type of roads that are in your specific permit area. Talk to your local Forest Area Office for information regarding the area you wish to travel to.

Some public land use zones (PLUZ) in Alberta do not permit off-highway vehicle (OHV) use within their boundaries. The local AF office can advise you whether your permit cutting area falls within one of these PLUZs.

All use of OHVs must follow Alberta's Traffic Safety Act and Off Highway Vehicles Regulation.

Transporting harvested wood

You must be able to produce your timber permit at all times when harvesting and transporting your timber products.

Transporting coniferous firewood or timber out of the province of Alberta requires an export permit from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

Types of firewood

The TM66 Permit entitles individuals to harvest green and/or dead trees, depending on the location and purpose.

Each Forest Area will have specific conditions on what types of timber can be harvested within its boundaries. Consult the map and conditions for the Forest Area you plan to harvest in. If you require further direction, check with your local AF office before heading out.

Using timber for firewood

If you are collecting deadfall for firewood on site, then you do not require a TM66 permit. However, if you plan to transport any timber within Alberta, you will require a TM66 permit.

Preventing mountain pine beetle spread

Do not transport mountain pine beetle infested pine trees for firewood.

You may unknowingly cut and transport mountain pine beetle infested trees to be used as firewood. After firewood is transported, mountain pine beetles can emerge from wood piles and infest nearby healthy pine trees.

Alberta has 6 million hectares of susceptible pine forest at risk of attack by mountain pine beetle. Aside from not transporting infested trees, help prevent the spread by learning more:

Mountain Pine Beetles – Overview

Identification of Mountain Pine Beetles (PDF, 630 KB) (factsheet)

Buy a permit

Local Timber Permit

You can apply for an LTP by visiting your local Forest Area Office.

TM66 Permits

You can buy a TM66 permit online or in person.

Online

To buy a TM66 permit online, you must use a valid credit card.

You can buy a permit online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To create an account and purchase a permit online, go to:

Buy a TM66 Permit online

In person

You can also buy a TM66 permit at your local Forest Area Office.

Offices are open from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).

Note: Not all AF offices sell TM66 permits. Due to COVID 19, please call ahead to see whether the Forest Area Office is open to the public at this time.

Contact

For questions about buying tree cutting permits:

Email: for-info@gov.ab.ca