Trees | Resort Municipality of Whistler


Tree hugging photo by Mike Crane/TW

Thousands of trees make up Whistler’s forests, shaping our resort community and providing many environmental, recreational, aesthetic, economic and health benefits. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has policies and processes in place to protect trees from unnecessary damage or removal.

Do you need an RMOW permit to fell a tree?

It depends. There are various regulations and site-specific conditions to determine the appropriate process for each tree or site. The official community plan identifies development permit areas that may require a development permit to cut down a tree, or you may require a tree felling permit under the Environmental Protection Ordinance.

Please contact the planning department by email or by phone 604-935-8170 to determine if you need an RMOW permit to fell or modify a tree on your property.

Are there penalties for removing or altering a qualifying tree?

Yes. The Environmental Protection Ordinance provides that felling a qualifying tree without the appropriate RMOW permit can result in a fine of $1,000 per day until the situation is resolved. In the event of non-compliance, Bylaw Services will handle the ticketing process.

Additional Rules

State or federal laws may require an evaluation, permit, or permitting process for the felling or alteration of certain trees. For example, the Monument Protection Act requires a permit to alter or remove a building culturally modified tree.

shore areas – Alteration or felling of trees within 100 feet of a waterway must follow British Columbia Coastal Protection Regulations (even where trees may not meet the criteria for requiring an RMOW permit).

Birds and bird nests – The Migratory Birds Convention Act and the BC Wildlife Act may affect tree removal or alteration as birds, eggs and nesting trees are protected by law. Section 34 of the BC Wildlife Act provides year-round protection for bird nests. If you wish to remove or alter nest trees, you must obtain permission from the Department of Environment’s Permit & Authorization Service Bureau and obtain written approval. You should also check with Environment Canada to determine if a state permit is required under the provisions of the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Christmas Tree Permits – Are you going into the woods to cut down your own Christmas tree? Remember to get your free permit. Christmas tree permits are available online through the Province of BC. You must have a valid permit to cut down a Christmas tree on Crown Land.


planning department

For tree felling permit inquiries, please contact the RMOW Environmental Coordinator.