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FEATURED PROFESSIONAL: Robert Barkley, IDL, Primer on Notification of Forest Practice & Certificate of Compliance

Featured Professional: Robert Barkley, Idaho Department of Lands

A Primer on the Notification of Forest Practice & Certificate of Compliance

If you have ever logged and sold wood to a mill in Idaho, you or your logging representative obtained a Notification of Forest Practice (Notification) and a Certificate of Compliance/Fire Hazard Agreement (Compliance).  Currently, both of these documents are contained in the same one-page form.  Even if you have submitted these documents, you may not have been aware of why they are required, other than the government said you had to have them. While most Idahoans know that these documents are required for harvesting trees, most are not aware that the Notification of Forest Practice is also required for non-cutting activities such as forest road construction, reforestation, chemical applications in the forest environment, management of slash resulting from forest improvement, and the use of prescribed fire!

These non-logging forestry activities are considered forest practices under the Idaho Forest Practices Act. So, what does this mean to you as a forest land owner? Bottom line, these activities you might perform on your forest require obtaining a Notification from Idaho Department of Lands. Planting trees, pre-commercial thinning, stand pruning, gopher poisoning, herbicide spraying of forest stands (both aerial and ground based), forest fertilization, road construction, and road reconstruction are all examples of activities requiring a Notification.

What is the difference between a Notification and a Compliance? The Notification is just that—a notice to the state that a forest practice is going to be conducted. The Compliance is assurance given to the state that hazard reduction or management will be performed after the logging operation. These are significant differences. The Notification covers the forest practices activities as defined in the Idaho Forest Practices Act while the Compliance is required by the Idaho Forestry Act/Fire Hazard Reduction Law.

The Contractor is the party that will be responsible for meeting the slash reduction requirements, while the Operator will be the party responsible for meeting the Forest Practices rule requirements. A point to be aware of is that the Contractor and the Operator may or may not be the landowner. If the landowner will not be acting as the party responsible for slash reduction or meeting the forest practices rules, they will not need to sign the documents.

Both these documents require providing the state information, including: addresses of the Contractor and the Operator, the location of the activity (usually in the form of a legal description defining the subdivision, section, township and range), an indication of the quantity of volume removed for a logging operation, and the specific forest practices that will be associated with the operation.

Getting these documents submitted is a simple matter. The Contractor, Operator, or landowner can initiate the forms by coming to the local Idaho Department of Lands Area or District office. However, both the Contractor and the Operator will be required to sign the documents. Now, the woods activity can begin!

Robert Barkley
Private Forestry Specialist
Ponderosa Area

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