Before companies can plan their harvesting, they must know where the harvestable forest is. Much of the land in a company's Forest Management Agreement area (FMA) will not be eligible or suitable for timber harvest in the plan. Examples of these non-harvestable areas include:
- First Nations reserves and Métis Settlements
- Areas leased from the Government of Alberta (e.g., grazing reserves, oil and gas dispositions)
- Private land
- Parks and protected areas
- Areas containing sensitive wildlife habitat
- Lakes, rivers and wet areas (bogs, swamps, and fens)
- Non-treed land (barren rock, prairie, or shrubland)
- Stands that are deemed unproductive for harvesting (trees that are considered non-merchantable due to size, or species content- such as larch, treed muskeg, and some black spruce stands)
- Stands on slopes that are deemed too steep for harvesting operations
These areas are removed and the result is what is called the net landbase. The net landbase is the area on which the companies focus their forest management activities.
The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Forest Management Plan net landbase is expected to be completed in 2019.