Functions of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry include protecting Ontario's biodiversity, promoting economic opportunities, conducting scientific research, administering regulation, and coordinating with independent agencies in the outdoor recreation and resource sector. In addition, the OMNRF issues hunting and fishing licenses and receives hunting activity and fishing harvest reports under the authority of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1997.
The OMNRF conducts research and uses its findings to sustainably manage Ontario's wildlife and fish populations and Crown forests. It leads the management and sustainable use of Ontario's natural resources while working with agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission, Ontario Moose-Bear Allocation Advisory Committee and Nawiinginokiima Forest Management Corporation. The OMNRF administers regulations under the authority of legislation such as the Beds of Navigable Waters Act, Endangered Species Act and Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act.
The OMNRF develops and publishes annual plans that include its Accessibility Plan, required under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to prevent, identify and remove barriers to accessing natural resources in Ontario, and its Results-Based Plan, which outlines the ministry's goals for the coming fiscal year. The most current versions of the OMNRF's plans and reports are downloadable in PDF format free of charge on Ontario.ca.