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

FEATURED PROFESSIONAL: Vincent Corrao, Northwest Management, Inc.

Management, Silviculture & Marketing Forest Products

The year is coming to a close and the hype about the super cycle did showed some improvement in the log market but we did not see the all-time highs many expected. The market is projected to continue improving during the next 3 to 5 years as it follows the housing market which continues to improve. As the market strengthens and will eventually hit some very favorable prices in the years to come, it will be important for landowners to begin planning their harvest strategies and to implement silvicultural practices that will improve and/or maintain the health and vigor of their forest. In the past when prices hit all-time highs you can expect strong prices for all logs.  Small sawlogs such as chip n saw and tonwood provide special opportunities to apply silvicultural practices in an economic efficient manner. High log prices provide opportunities for landowners to conduct thinnings and selective harvest to improve species composition, forest health and spacing of desired trees. Increase prices also provide income for reinvestment into the resource such as site preparation, vegetation management, tree planting and pre-commercial thinning on non-merchantable overstocked stands.

Many landowners have Forest Management Plans or Stewardship Plans and now would be a good time to review those goals and objectives to determine the operational needs that would be implemented to meet those goals. Most management plans have inventories which identify tree species, average diameter, average tree height and volumes per acre. These metrics should be evaluated to determine what you would like the forest to look like into the future and to maintain your goals and objectives of forest health, wildlife habitat, access and regeneration efforts in keeping the land fully productive for future growth.

If access is an issue you may want to evaluate road building cost as well as any culverts and road maintenance that may be needed. Different types of harvest require logging contractors with equipment that can meet the objectives while utilizing all the products produced during harvest. Planning your harvest early provides an opportunity to contact and schedule logging contractors that can best meet your needs particularly in thinning and selective harvest. Identifying harvest stands on your property requires preparing the sale area which may entail marking harvest boundaries, marking individual trees, road layout and needs to provide sufficient time to advertise and market your products during key periods when demand is up. The excitement about a super cycle did not materialize in the short term but in the next 3 to 5 years the expectation is that log prices will continue to increase and reached very favorable prices and to capitalize on the market, implement the planning and preparation now so that you can take advantage of the cyclic nature of the log market.

Vincent Corrao is the president of Northwest Management, Inc.

Forestry Scholarship Association, by Eric Hoberg, FSA Spokesperson

University of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation Supporters Form Organization to Serve Students

by : Eric Hoberg, Spokesperson, Forestry Scholarship Association

In early February, 2012, a group of College of Forestry (CFC) alumni, faculty, and supporters recognized a need for an organization of supporters of CFC students and student groups.  “It has become evident over the past several years that a large number of individuals, organizations, businesses and industry professionals have a vested interest in the many student organizations within the College of Forestry and Conservation, and that these groups did not have a clear way to directly support the students and the student organizations they are a part of,” says Dr. Beth Dodson, CFC Forestry Program Director.  “These supporters give generously in the form of time, mentorship, equipment, and other non-monetary items.”  To better coordinate and focus those efforts and resources, the Forestry Scholarship Association (FSA) was formed.

The Forestry Scholarship Association is an organization dedicated to serving and supporting the students and student organizations of the CFC at the University of Montana.  The goals of the FSA focus on benefitting students and their future, helping them gain valuable experiential lessons outside the classroom while succeeding in their formal studies.  “We want future natural resource managers to be prepared to meet the challenges which await them,” saysAlex Williams, FSA founding member and current FSA Board Chair.  The FSA has a broad base of membership consisting of School of Forestry and CFC alumni, faculty, current students, community members, and other supporters.  It is not an alumni association.  The FSA is working actively with students, faculty, and administration of the CFC and the University of Montana to identify current and potential needs and ensure that those needs are met.

Since its formation, the FSA has been busy.  Much of the 2012 spring semester was spent assisting the Foresters’ Ballwith development of a strategic plan that charts a course for the future of the historic event.  That plan was approved by University of Montana President Royce Engstrom, ensuring the continuation of an iconic event in natural resource management.  Momentum has continued to build, as the FSA hosted a homecoming BBQ, the leadership class L-280“Followership to Leadership”, and the chainsaw course S-212 “Wildland Fire Chainsaws” for CFC students.  “To me, the FSA is a way to give back to the student groups that were such a positive and integral component of my college education,” says Williams.

As part of the implementation of the Foresters’ Ball strategic plan, the FSA is organizing and hosting two new events in conjunction with the Foresters’ Ball.  A Careers in Natural Resource Management Fair held 1-5 pm on Friday, March 22, will highlight career and education opportunities within the broad field of natural resources.  Community Forestry Day will run 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, March 23, and will provide an opportunity for families with school-age childrento engage in fun, experiential learning about the natural environment through hands-on activities.  Both events will be held in the Foresters’ Ball, this year to be built inside the East and West Auxiliary Gyms of the Adams Center on the University of Montana campus.

FSA President Cory Noordermeer is eager to continue developing opportunities to serve CFC students.  “As we move forward, we are excited about the positive impacts we can have on students and their education at the University of Montana,” he said.  For more information about the Forestry Scholarship Association, go towww.forestryscholarshipassociation.org.

facebook down .

FEATURED PROFESSIONAL: Len Young, Chief Fire Warden, Clearwater-Potlatch Fire Protective Association (C-PTPA)

Fire Outlook for the C-PTPA Local Area

The fire outlook for our local area could potentially be high this season.  The winter snow pack was below average approximately 43 % in the Clearwater Idaho area through Southern Idaho and 87 % in the Idaho Panhandle area.  The annual spring precipitation is a little below normal.  The recent flash floods around this region still has not made a difference to catch up to normal annual precipitation levels.  This season’s spring burning recorded some very active fire behavior in May and June (see ERC Chart for local weather station in Northern Idaho) that gave many agencies and private consulting firms some holding problems and increased cost to patrol and mop up units.  The Association suppressed a 43 acre fire in mid-June on a lower valley bottom south aspect slope.  This size of fire or the number of ignitions in June is not the norm for this area.

This area is currently experiencing lightning activity almost weekly and with the extreme high temperatures that we are experiencing the probability of fire ignitions is very high.  Fire season is very hard to predict due to number of factors for our area.  It will all depend on the weather and how well our fire prevention program is working to minimize unwanted human caused fires for our area.

The start of this year’s fire season is off to a bad one nationally with the recent fatalities from the Prescott, Arizona area.  The loss of 19 fire fighters is very tragic and one that each agency needs to keep in mind to always put fire fighter safety first while engaging in fire suppression activities.

Have a safe fire season!

Len H Young was recently named the Chief Fire Warden for Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association (C-PTPA). He has a Bachelor Degree in Forest Resource Management from the University of Idaho and previously worked for the Idaho Department of Lands.

domain list

Finding Solutions

By Jonathan Oppenheimer and Alex Irby

For too long, conflict and controversy have been the catchwords that have defined public forests of the Clearwater Basin. But that’s starting to change.

Leading the charge to change that dynamic is a diverse set of individuals who were convened by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo in 2008. The Clearwater Basin Collaborative (CBC) is made up of 21 members who represent the interests of Clearwater and Idaho Counties, conservation, the Nez Perce Tribe, timber, motorized recreation, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, outfitters, rural economic development, wildlife, and the public at-large.

The CBC works collaboratively to enhance and protect the ecological and economic health of the forests, rivers and communities by working across a diversity of interests. The CBC provides recommendations concerning the use and management of lands within the Clearwater Basin. With two-thirds of the entire basin under the management of the U.S. Forest Service, much of the efforts have appropriately focused on management activities in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

One of the significant accomplishments of the CBC has been the successful implementation of the Selway-Middle Fork Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration project. Since 2010, the project has attracted over $10 million in direct federal investments, along with over $3.5 million in matching funds from partner organizations. The project has created or sustained over 126 full and part-time jobs and has resulted in over 47,149 acres that have been managed to reduce fire risk, restore native vegetation, improve watershed condition, and deliver logs to local mills.  More than 11 million board feet of timber is currently expected off the Selway-Middle Fork project, with more to come.

In addition, the CBC is providing comments and collaborative input on 17 different Forest Service management projects across the Basin. Field trips occur regularly during the summer and fall to evaluate the projects on the ground.
Yet the work of the CBC expands beyond the forest boundary, by working to support each others’ goals, the group has promoted efforts around the Basin to:

  • Keep the Dworshak State Park open for business,
  • Attract the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program to Pierce,
  • Develop a 242-mile North-South ATV Route between Avery and Elk City,
  • Promote wildlife habitat restoration,
  • Ensure support for counties, and
  • Advocate for education and job-training opportunities

Finally, as part of an effort to settle long-standing disputes over land management, the CBC is considering recommendations regarding new Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and a National Recreation Area designation for some special places like the Mallard-Larkins, Kelly Creek, and Meadow Creek.

The full CBC meets monthly, usually the 4th Wednesday of the month at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Clearwater Region Office at 3316 16th St. in Lewiston. Regular meetings of the Landscape Health and Function, Rural Economies, Land Allocation and Recreation Subcommittees occur between the full CBC meetings. All meetings are open to the public and input is encouraged.

Jonathan Oppenheimer is Co-Chair of the CBC’s Rural Economies Subcommittee and the Monitoring Advisory Committee. Alex Irby is Co-Chair of the CBC.

The Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports natural resource and community development projects within a 5-county area of north-central Idaho.


Anchor Forests

By: Northwest Management, Inc.

For many decades the forest management on public lands debate has been like a pendulum swinging the focus from commercial uses to environmental values, but tools like the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, Tribal Forest Protection Act, and the Wildland Fire Leadership Conference seek landscape level, multi-ownership solutions that protect ecological diversity and processes while also providing for active management that supports the economic stability of resource-dependent communities.

Similarly, in 2012 the Intertribal Timber Council, backed by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwestern Region, kicked off the Anchor Forest Pilot Project to explore not only the barriers to science-based forest management, but also the tools that can be leveraged to break down those barriers and find new paths forward.  While an Anchor Forest may look different in different landscapes, Steve Andringa, Yakama Nation Tribal Forestry Program Manager, defined it best as, “a relatively large multi-ownership area that will support sustainable long-term wood and biomass production levels backed by local infrastructure and technical expertise, and endorsed politically and publicly to achieve the desired land management objectives.”  The Anchor Forest concept has four main objectives:

  • A reasonable expectation for sustainable wood commodity production, local community benefits and ecosystem services;
  • Production levels sufficient to support economically viable manufacturing, processing, and work force infrastructure within the forestry sector to maintain the ability to address declining forest ecosystem health;
  • Long-term management plans supported by inventory systems, professional staff, and geographic information systems; and
  • Institutional and operational capacity for implementation.

Regardless of the ownership or designation, forests across the nation are facing threats from wildland fire, fragmentation, climate change, and mortality from insect and disease infestations.  In addition, infrastructure for management, harvesting, transportation, and processing of forest products is rapidly deteriorating.  The loss of processing infrastructure, operational capacity, and local expertise undermines sustainable forest management efforts on both public and private lands.

The Anchor Forest Assessment Project, led by an oversight committee convened by the Intertribal Timber Council, contracted with Northwest Management, Inc. to evaluate the potential for an Anchor Forest to serve as the vehicle for retaining “working forests” in three study areas; South Central Washington, North Central Washington, and Northeast Washington. Each study area was selected given their current ownership patterns, organizational culture, forest condition, and infrastructural capacity.  The lessons learned from this project will help inform decisions regarding the potential value of Anchor Forests for maintaining and restoring healthy landscapes in eastern Washington and throughout other regions of the country.

The Anchor Forest concept has a simple premise. Balanced social/cultural, economic and ecologic forest management will sustain ecosystem services and  the desired forestland values while reducing the threats of catastrophic wildfire.  Anchor Forests are intended to provide a foundation to foster the development of a common vision through collaboration and cooperation across ownership boundaries and among varying interests.

For more information on the Anchor Forest Pilot Project, visit www.anchorforest.org.