Who gets to cut wood, and where, along the Tłı̨chǫ Highway?

Each year, hundreds of residents grab permits to cut timber along specific sections of Northwest Territories highways. Now, there’s a new highway.

The Tłı̨chǫ Highway opened in November last year. On Tuesday, the Tłı̨chǫ and NWT governments announced the rules that govern who gets to cut timber along the highway and where.

The two governments said these rules are an interim approach “until a long-term forest management plan is developed.”


Anywhere on the highway – also known as Highway 9 – a permit specific to that highway is required to cut wood. No commercial woodcutting is allowed “other than trade permitted under the Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-government Agreement,” the governments stated in Tuesday’s news release.

If you’re Indigenous

Between kilometres 0 and 75, any Indigenous person with a Highway 9 woodcutting permit can harvest wood. Avoid cabins by 500m and avoid active traplines and traditional trails.

If you’re not Indigenous

Starting from the turn-off onto Highway 9 from Highway 3, here’s how the rules change:

Kilometres 0-5
Open to any NWT resident with a Highway 9 woodcutting permit.

Kilometres 5-8
No permits available.


Kilometres 8-12
Open to any NWT resident with a Highway 9 woodcutting permit specific to these kilometres. Only 40 free permits for this region will be available to non-Indigenous harvesters, each one valid for two months (with an option to renew for another two), and with a maximum of five cords of wood per permit. No cutting within 250m of marked trails.

Beyond kilometre 12
No permits available.


Beyond kilometre 75

After kilometre 75 you reach Tłı̨chǫ private lands, where “woodcutting is open only to Tłı̨chǫ citizens unless specific permission is granted by the Tłı̨chǫ Government,” the governments stated.

Visit ENR’s website to apply for a timber cutting permit or licence.