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Timber Harvesting

Reforestation Requirements

  • Remove all logging machinery debris to proper disposal site (tires, chains, chokers, cable, filters, oil cans and miscellaneous discarded parts).
  • Limit water quality impacts of prescribed fire by constructing cross-ditches in fire-lines; not placing slash in drainage channels; and maintaining the streamside management zone. Avoid intense fires unless needed to meet silvicultural goals.
  • Prescribed burning and/or herbicide application is the preferred means for site preparation, especially on slopes greater than 40 percent.
  • FPA requires reforestation of harvested areas to re-establish protective vegetation or restock forest tree species within five years after harvesting reduces the stocking below the levels in the table below.

  • Chemical application eliminates the problems of compaction and soil disturbance caused by machines. Seedlings may be hand planted and herbicides sprayed to control competing vegetation and help young trees get established.

    Site preparation techniques - mechanical, prescribed burning, and chemical - are designed to get the new forest off to a vigorous start. When combined with healthy tree seedlings, either planted or naturally seeded, the result is the next generation forest.

    On steep slopes, prescribed burning can be used to prepare a New Forest. By carefully monitoring moisture conditions, a fire can be set that consumes only part of the material, leaving the soil humus and large logs undisturbed. A helitorch lights spot fires designed to burn quickly. Afterwards, the site is either planted or allowed to seed-in naturally.



    Reforestation Requirements
    Idaho Forest Practices Act


    Minimum stocking after harvest; Acceptable Trees
    Average Size Class
    DBH - Inches
    Average Number
    Trees Per Acre
    Average Spacing
    in Feet

    2.9 and smaller 170 16 x 16
    3.0 and greater 110 20 x 20
    5.0 and greater 60 27 x 27
    8.0 and greater 35 35 x 35
    11.0 and greater 20 47 x 47


    Supplemental reforestation may be required three growing seasons after harvest, If the Department of Lands determines that stocking levels do not meet the above standards. Reforestation must be completed before the end of the fifth growing season after harvest.

    Some lands are exempted from reforestation requirements: (1) noncommercial forest lands; (2) lands being converted to non-forest use; (3) a forest practice that will result in 10 acres or less below minimum stocking levels.

    Prescribed Fire

    Using fire for forestry purposes requires a valid Forest Practices Notification. Scattered or piled slash should be cured and free of dirt or stumps to minimize air pollution. All burning for forestry purposes should be planned and prescribed to be within air quality guidelines.


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