The Forest Floor Recovery Index (FFRI) aims to assess ecosystem recovery using changes in forest floor properties during stand development following reclamation. Modeled predictions from the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector were used to generate recommendations for the tree biomass inputs required to build natural forest floors. This FFRI manual presents a simplified forest floor classification system, using photographs and descriptions to illustrate examples of 19 forest floor types, differentiated according to composition and dominant horizons. The manual provides users with guidance in data compilation, determination of an index of recovery through comparison of site data with reference data, and an assessment of the tree biomass inputs needed for natural forest floor development. This approach provides a useful tool for monitoring recovery of forest sites that have been disturbed and subsequently reclaimed following oil sands development activities.