Small & Community Forests

(© Morten Bo Johansson)© Morten Bo Johansson

To help Small and Community forests attain FSC certification, The Canadian regional forest management standards include requirements that are specific to Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests operations. These requirements are designed to create modified requirements for Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests that take into account the size and intensity of these operations.

Why develop the indicators?

In 2019, FSC Canada launched its new Forest Management Standard which will replace the regional forest management standards. The new standard does not have requirements for small-scale, low intensity, and community forests. Developing these requirements will help ensure that these forests can continue to be FSC certified under the new rules as well as provide better access to FSC certification.

The new standard will include scale, intensity and risk indicators that will apply to:

  • Community forests
  • Low intensity forests
  • Small-scale forests.

How will the requirements be developed?

FSC Canada initiated the development process in 2013 to explore possible requirements for small scale, low intensity and community forests. A first draft of scale, intensity and risk indicators were developed based on the first draft of the forest management standard which was released for a 60 days public consultation period in 2016. However, during the revision of the forest management standard a number of changes took place from draft to draft which made it difficult to adapt scale, intensity and risk indicators in a cohesive manner and thus the work was postponed to once the final forest management standard was complete.

Who will develop the requirements?

Standards Development GroupFSC Canada assembled an eight person Standards Development Group, to support the development of a National Forest Management Standard with common indicators. The Standards Development Group was assembled with representation across chambers (Aboriginal Peoples, Social, Environmental and Economic), with an equal number of people in each chamber and consideration for regional representation, gender balance and diversity of experience. A full list of participants is located in Annex 1 of the National Forest Management Standard)

When will the revision take place?

With the new Forest Management Standard released on June 3, 2019, FSC Canada has already reignited the process to develop scale, intensity and risk indicators.

A second draft of these indicators should be available at the beginning of 2020 for 60-day pubic consultation period. The aim is to have scale, intensity and risk indicators integrated into the Forest Management Standard in early 2021.

How to get involved

Regional meetings will be organized during fall 2019 to get additional feedback. More information will be posted on the FSC Canada website soon.

Development Process

Draft 1: Public Consultation: August 2 to September 5, 2016

As part of the national Forest Management Standard revision process, FSC Canada developed indicators for small-scale, low intensity, and community forests.

These indicators were not finalized but this draft served to open the door to stakeholders and Aboriginal communities to provide input to ensure all indicators are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.


Regional webinars were held in August 2016 for reviewers to ask further questions about the draft indicators and to tell FSC Canada what aspects of them may need further consideration given their regional contexts.

  • Western Canada (formerly BC Small Operators Standard)
    August 16, 2016, 8:00 am – 10:00 am PDT
  • Ontario/Quebec (formerly GLSL SLIMF indicators)
    August 18, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EDT
  • Quebec (in French)
    August 23, 2016, 11:00 am- 1:00 pm EDT
  • Maritimes (formerly Maritimes SLIMF standard)
    August 25, 2016, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ADT

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000205