The Nipissing Forest is located in the Ministry of Natural Resources' (MNR) Northeast Region and wholly within MNR’s North Bay District. For forest management purposes, MNR has issued a sustainable forest licence (SFL) to Nipissing Forest Resources Management Inc. Under the licence, the corporation is responsible for, among other things, the preparation of the forest management plan (FMP) in accordance with the provisions of the FMPM (2004).
The Nipissing Forest is centred around the City of North Bay and encompasses more than half of MNR’s North Bay District. To the north lies the Temagami Crown Forest Management Unit, while the Sudbury, Ottawa Valley, Algonquin Park and French-Severn Forests are located to the west, east and south of the Nipissing forest respectively.
The Nipissing Forest extends over an area of 11, 932 square kilometres. Private land comprises 23 percent of the total area of the Nipissing Forest and is concentrated in the southern and central-western part of the area. Private land in the Nipissing Forest contributes minimally to the overall wood supply in the management unit. The forest in the eastern part of the management unit was cleared in the past for agricultural purposes; this has resulted in many hectares of marginal agricultural land which could make a significant contribution to the district’s future wood supply with proper management. The Nipissing Forest also includes part or all of 18 regulated provincial parks; in addition, the Nipissing Forest includes part or all of 21 conservation reserves.
Forty–eight percent of the Nipissing Forest (549, 320 hectares) is comprised of Crown production forest available for timber production. The balance consists of other land types such as water, non-forested land, patent, federal, Crown parks and non-productive Crown forest.
The Nipissing Forest lies within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region of Canada (Rowe 1972). . The southern section of the forest is dominated by Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest tree species - yellow birch, red oak, black cherry, basswood, black ash (mid-tolerant hardwoods), maple, American beech (tolerant hardwoods), hemlock, and white and red pine. The mid-tolerant and tolerant hardwoods become less common to the north, and are replaced by Boreal Forest tree species - white birch, trembling aspen, large tooth aspen, balsam poplar (intolerant hardwoods), and spruce and balsam fir. White and red pine are concentrated in some sections of the northern portion of the forest, mostly along the highway 805 corridor in the north west corner of the forest, and the McConnell Lakes Area in the northeast corner.
Two First Nations, Dokis and Nipissing, are located in the western and central parts of the forest respectively. Two other aboriginal communities, Mattawa-North Bay Algonquins and the Antoine First Nation are located in the Mattawa area. The Temagami First Nation is located north of the Nipissing Forest, but makes use of the Nipissing Forest for traditional activities. The provincial government has no land use jurisdiction on Indian Reserves but timber extraction is an important activity on these lands and many band members are involved in timber management on adjacent Crown lands.
A number of mills receive wood fibre from the Nipissing Forest, but not all of them are entirely dependant on the unit for their timber supplies. Tembec, Columbia Forest Products, Goulard Lumber and Pre-cut Hardwood all operate mills which are physically located within the unit.
The Nipissing FMP will be in effect for the 10-year period between April 1, 2009 (or when implementation of the plan is approved) and March 31, 2019, consisting of two 5-year planning phases for forest operations. The first phase is from April 1, 2009 (or when implementation of the plan is approved) to March 31, 2014 and the second from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019.