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Current use tax rates in New Hampshire remain attractive for timberland owners. The New Hampshire State Current Use Board determines current use rates, and the Board has initiated rulemaking proceedings for new rates.

Proposed new current use tax rates are:
Forestland with documented stewardship:
White Pine- $84.77/acre
Hardwood - $38.14/acre
Other - $26.96/acre
Forestland without documented stewardship:
White Pine - $141.28
Hardwood - $63.56
Other - $44.93
Because these rates reflect timber stumpage values and market activity averaged from the past five years, we see a two-to-seven percent increase. The NHTOA is not opposing the proposed rates. Our expectation is that once the soft 2016/2017 pulp and biomass stumpage values are calculated into this five-year average, next year we will begin to see these rates reflect the current downward market trend for low-grade timber (pulpwood and biomass chips).
Public forums on the proposed new rates and other rule changes are scheduled for the first and second week of November. These forums provide the public an opportunity to give feedback and comments on the proposed tax assessment rates, and this year the public will be asked to provide comments on a number of proposed rule changes, including:


1. How should the rules define "structures". In recent years there has been confusion over what qualifies as a structure and would make a property ineligible for current use assessment (e.g. portable paddock shelter for livestock, water lines for watering troughs, fences, etc.), and


2. Should the rule's consideration of parcels less than 10 acres in size, where the annual agricultural revenue is greater than $2,500, consider more value-added products (e.g. livestock products)?

At the forums, officials from the Department of Revenue Administration will also provide an overview of the Current Use assessment law, an explanation of how the agricultural soil potential index (used to calculate Current Use assessment rates on some agricultural lands) works, and how local assessing officials can consider the impacts of the 2016 drought when calculating the Current Use assessment rates for agricultural lands.
Here is the forum schedule, with locations:
Nov. 3, 6:00 p.m., North Country Resource Center, Lancaster, N.H. (this is the Department of Resources and Economic Development and UNH Cooperative Extension office north of Lancaster village and fairgrounds).

Nov. 7, 6:00 p.m., Town Hall, Wakefield, N.H.

Nov. 10, 10:00 a.m., the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration office, Concord, N.H.
The NHTOA urges it members to attend a forum to show support for the Current Use assessment program and provide input into the process.
"While the [Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, PLC] has a deep respect for the rights of private landowners, we also believe it is their responsibility to act in ways that do not harm the livelihoods of their neighbors," wrote Dana Doran, PLC's executive director, in an editorial published last December. "The designation of a national monument on the [Elliotsville Plantation Inc., EPI] land through executive order will only serve to further divide communities already split over the issue and discourage investment in future markets in the region."
But despite the efforts of PLC and other logging organizations to negotiate a compromise that would allow some management within EPI land, that property was designated a national monument by Pres. Obama in August, named the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The designation effectively removes 87,500 acres of Maine timberland from active management. 
"Supporters of a national monument designation may be under the illusion that the parcel EPI wishes to donate to the federal government, as well as the surrounding land, is a pristine wilderness of old growth trees and undisturbed land. In fact, the land and most of the region have been working forests for generations," wrote Doran. "The beauty people see there today is a result of responsible forest management and logging. Loggers are critical to this responsible management. Preserving Maine's forests as 'working forests' is the best way to ensure their protection and health for future generations."
To read the full editorial, click here.
To read the NY Times' coverage of the new national monument, click here.

The full schedule of Professional Logger Program (PLP) classes for fall is now posted on the website, and registration for each class is available online. 
See the full class list here; click on the title of any class to reach the web page for that specific class, including general information, registration and payment, location, and directions. 

On a perfect late-summer day, members of the NHTOA and dozens of friends fired their shotguns at soaring clay birds, enjoyed each other's company, had a great outdoor picnic, and in the process raised nearly $7,000 to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (ChaD). The Log-A-Load Fun Shoot event, held at the Green Mountain Shooting Preserve in Effingham, N.H., on Saturday, August 27, 2016, was part of the national Log-a-Load for Kids program in which loggers and wood-supplying businesses raise money to support children's hospitals to provide medical care to kids in need.

This year's Fun Shoot was the second annual hosted by the NHTOA, and attendance reflected the enthusiasm for the event. A total 93 people, including families, participated this year, more than double the attendance at last year's first annual Fun Shoot.

"People who own timberland and who are in the forest products industry are outdoors-oriented by definition," said Jasen Stock, NHTOA executive director. "Shooting sports is a natural for them, and support for our sporting clays trap-shooting event is growing tremendously. The fact that the Fun Shoot benefits CHaD, one of the best children's hospitals in New England, also encourages great participation."

Shooters took aim at 50 sporting clays at 10 shooting stands at the Green Mountain facility. Trophies were awarded to the top five finishers for men and women. Sponsors supporting the Fun Shoot included: Wagner Forest Management Ltd., New England Mat, Farm Credit East, J.M. Champeau, Madison Lumber Mill, Manac Trailers, Pleasant River Lumber, QDMA First N.H. Chapter, Zambon Brothers Logging, Bear Country Powersports, Peters Logging, Engie - Pinetree Power, Tucker Mountain Maple, Chadwick Baross, Pine Tree Lumber, White Mountain Lumber, Eversource, Nortrax, Cersosimo Lumber, Cousineau, Freightliner, and G.H. Berlin Windward.

"This event has become established on the industry's calendar," said Ray Barthilaume of Wagner Forest Management Ltd., chairman of the New Hampshire Log-a-Load Committee. "It brings together industry and landowner members in an activity that many of us love to do anyway, so doing it to benefit CHaD was just icing on the cake."

ABOVE: Rachel Eames, a member of the QDMA First N.H. Chapter team, was the high-point scorer among women participants in the Fun Shoot.