Forestry in Newfoundland has a long history of both subsistence and industrial uses, with separate associated tenure systems and property and use rights. Though most forest users on the island are subsistence or recreational users, the public plays only a minimal role in forest decision-making, which continues to revolve around industry-based harvesting decisions with little regard for the multiple forest uses valued by the public. With the rapid decline of the industrial pulp and paper sector, which has coincided with policy shifts from productivist to multifunctional forest uses, Newfoundlanders face difficult decisions regarding how to manage their forests, and for whom. This essay provides a brief history of forestry in Newfoundland, including recent changes to policies and practices on the island regarding public participation and ecosystem management. It frames some of the problems and solutions of forest governance as common-pool resource issues and suggests ways to better integrate existing forest users with forest management.