NHTOA News

For additional news check out the NHTOA Facebook page

Andy Fast at the UNH Cooperative Extension has put together a new fact sheet regarding federal taxes on timber income and expenses for the 2017 tax year. (Note: the fact sheet does not include changes made by the new tax law, which covers the 2018 tax year.) 
The fact sheet can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:
 

The rescheduled North Country hearing on proposed new rules for wetlands issued by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) will be held on Thursday, March 15. The rescheduled hearing, which will be held at the North Country Resource Center at 629B Main Street in Lancaster, will begin at 5:30 p.m. 

As reported in previous editions of the Forest Fax, the draft proposal is a major disappointment, and if adopted would severely impact any forestry project with a wetland or stream crossing. The proposal is a complicated, overly burdensome, and, in places, impenetrable document. The NHTOA's full comment on the proposal can be read here. 

The NHTOA urges members to attend Thursday's hearing and let DES know the draft proposal needs to be scrapped and a new proposal drafted from scratch.

The previous hearing on the draft proposal, held in Keene on March 5, was well covered by the local newspaper, the Keene Sentinel, and the report can be read here. 

Written comments on the draft proposal are due April 20 and should be addressed to: Attention: Mary Ann Tilton, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03302. Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here is a link to more information on the rulemaking process:

 
If you have any questions please contact Jasen Stock at the NHTOA. 
This year's Blackfly Breakfast, the 20th annual, will be held on Tuesday, April 17, in Henniker, and this year there will be an afternoon seminar in addition to the usual morning program.

Join your fellow foresters and loggers for the market roundup, other updates, and a commemoration of the upcoming 80th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938. Author Steve Long will describe a time before chainsaws and skidders when New England's equivalent to Hurricane Katrina hit our forests; he will also describe the results of the storm that we see etched on the land today.
 
Stay for the optional afternoon workshop (space limited) to learn about the new Dirt to Trees to Wildlife mapper. DTW is an online tool and you will set up a free ArcGis account and develop a report for a tract of your choice.
 
More information about the 20th Annual Blackfly Breakfast can be found online.
 
NOTE: UNH Cooperative Extension has a new online registration system. It requires you to set up a one-time user name and password account. To register for the Blackfly Breakfast, click here. Mail-in registration will also be accepted -- print the brochure for the mail-in sheet. Credit cards are only accepted online. 
 
The annual Mud Season Breakfast will be held in the North Country on April 27 -- details from UNH Cooperative Extension still to come.
After a four-year consideration and review, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has finally issued a draft proposal to change the rules regarding wetlands. The NHTOA has been an active participant in a stakeholder group working on the proposed rules, and has made several important recommendations to ensure that the eventual proposal would protect wetlands as well as be fair to the forest products industry.
 
The draft proposal issued on Jan. 31 by DES is a major disappointment. It is a complicated, overly burdensome, and, in places, impenetrable document. It appears that not a single recommendation made by the NHTOA or its members has been included in the draft. 
 
Throughout the process, the NHTOA and its members consistently commented that new rules should: 
  • Be easy to understand - Any landowner, or land manager should be able to read them and know what approvals their project will require.
  • Recognize the unique nature of forest management -- The rules should recognize the uniqueness (e.g. ephemeral impacts, habitat enhancement, etc.) of forest management projects and that forest management is a desirable land use.
  • Be outcome-based - Focus on resource protection, not numeric details for crossing widths and structure dimensions.
None of these common-sense recommendations, which the NHTOA originally made to then-administrator of the DES Collis Adams in 2014, made it into the draft proposal. To read the 2014 comments, click here.  
 
Instead, the proposed rules will impose a number of additional requirements and restrictions on landowners and land managers, including:
  • Requiring a forestry impact plan prepared by a licensed forester for wetland crossings,
  • Reducing stream crossing width from 8' to 5',
  • Requiring "Category 3" crossings (formerly Major Permits) when a Natural Heritage element is present or the project is a "special resource area" (e.g. forested wetland greater than 10 acres where over half is very poorly drained soils).
To see the full text of the NHTOA’s Feb. 20, 2018, comments, click here.