CHAPTER 23.20: FOREST MANAGEMENT

Section

23.20.010    Purpose and intent

23.20.020    Forest inventory

23.20.030    Sustained yield

23.20.040    Annual allowable cut

23.20.050    Natural resource management units

23.20.060    Natural resource management plan

23.20.070    Buffers

23.20.080    Timber sale nominations

23.20.090    Five-year timber harvest schedule

23.20.100    Contents of five-year timber harvest schedule

23.20.110    Periodic timber harvest implementation schedule

23.20.120    Multiple sales within the same sale unit

23.20.130    Methods and authorization for the sale, lease or permitting of forest products

23.20.140    General contract provisions for timber, salvage or non-timber forest product sales, leases, or permits

23.20.150    Fair market value determination

23.20.160    Plan of operations

23.20.165    Timber salvage on borough land

23.20.170    Non-commercial personal use of forest products

23.20.180    Real property asset management board review

23.20.190    Conformance with local, state, and federal law

23.20.200    Borough reference policy

23.20.010 PURPOSE AND INTENT.

(A)    Short- and long-term management of the borough-owned forest resources shall be based on the principles of multiple-use and sustained yield to promote a healthy forest, provide forest products, create economic opportunities, and enhance multiple-use opportunities. At a minimum, this shall be accomplished through consideration of:

(1)    silvicultural characteristics of tree species;

(2)    physical, economic, social, and environmental factors affecting the area; and

(3)    timber and non-timber current and future resources and uses.

(B)    Prudent forest management techniques are necessary to enhance and maintain the health of forests and forest resources on borough-owned land.

(C)    In addition to timber, borough forests also provide non-timber forest uses including such things as fish and wildlife habitat and viewing, outdoor recreation opportunities, natural view sheds, and protection of soil, water, and air quality.

(D)    The borough recognizes that non-timber forest products such as sap, mushrooms, bark, conks, and other forest products meet social and economic needs and will be considered in management processes.

(E)    Borough management of its forest resources shall incorporate the best available data from applicable disciplines and use appropriate management techniques and regulatory measures.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.020 FOREST INVENTORY.

(A)    The borough shall maintain an inventory of all commercial timber or forest product uses that may include:

(1)    an inventory of commercial forest land including an analysis of existing forest management units that is statistically defensible and field verified to produce a gross timber volume and an average volume per acre by timber type;

(2)    an evaluation of the forest health to include age and quality of the wood for various markets and uses; and

(3)    an evaluation of markets for borough-owned forest resources.

(Ord. 16-100, § 22, 2016: Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.030 SUSTAINED YIELD.

(A)    All commercial borough-owned forest land will be managed on a sustained yield basis to provide forest timber based on the rotation period for the dominant timber type.

(B)    The standard rotation period to be used is:

(1)    white spruce – 100 years;

(2)    paper birch – 80 years;

(3)    cottonwood – 75 years; and

(4)    aspen – 60 years.

(C)    The standard rotation rate for any species not listed in subsection (B) of this section shall meet or exceed accepted scientific standards for that timber type.

(D)    The standard rotation rate for each species in subsection (B) of this section may be adjusted through the forest management plan process under MSB 23.20.060 based on but not limited to location, slope, growth potential, and condition of trees.

(Ord. 16-100, § 23, 2016; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.040 ANNUAL ALLOWABLE CUT.

(A)    The allowable cut on borough land is the amount of volume, not acreage, of commercial forest land that may be harvested periodically.

(B)    Annual allowable cut equals the total volume of commercial forest land in all borough natural resource management units classified as “forest management lands” or “resource management lands” and has a primary or secondary land use designation for forest management divided by the rotation period of the dominant timber stand type established in MSB 23.20.020.

(C)    The total commercial forest land by volume in all borough forest management units will be determined by the forest inventory in MSB 23.20.020.

(D)    An annual allowable cut on available borough commercial forest land within all natural resource management units shall be managed on a decadal (ten-year) basis. Harvest volumes in an individual forest management unit may be above or below the annual allowable cut to allow for efficient management, silvicultural needs, and responsiveness to market fluctuations.

(E)    Timber harvest volumes sold, leased, or permitted and harvested under personal use of timber resources (MSB 23.20.170) shall not count against annual allowable cut limitations established in this section. Timber harvest volumes sold, leased, or permitted and harvested within the Chijuk Creek Natural Resource Management Unit, which will terminate by July 1, 2019, shall not count against annual allowable cut limitations established in this section.

(F)    Land that is classified as “forest management lands” or “resource management lands” and that has a primary or secondary land use designation for forest management and that will undergo a conversion of use from forest management to another primary use within five years of a timber harvest shall not be considered as commercial forest land acreage for determining annual allowable cut. Land that is converted to another use shall be reclassified to the most appropriate use prior to the conversion of use.

(Ord. 16-100, § 23, 2016; Ord. 13-019, § 2, 2013; Ord. 10-084, § 4, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.050 NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT UNITS.

(A)    Land classified as forest management lands shall be placed into natural resource management units and be subject to a natural resource management unit plan.

(B)    Unclassified land and land classified for another purpose may also be placed in natural resource management units in order to facilitate overall management of all land and resources within the natural resource management unit.

(Ord. 10-084, § 5, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.060 NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN.

(A)    The borough shall maintain a natural resource management plan for natural resource management units which shall include a forest management plan that provides for the planning and management of land and resources within and among the natural resource management units.

(B)    A natural resource management plan may cover more than one natural resource management unit and, conversely, more than one natural resource management plan may be adopted to cover the various natural resource management units.

(C)    Natural resource management plans shall be consistent with borough-adopted land use and management plans.

(D)    The plans shall contain, at a minimum, the following elements:

(1)    an analysis and determination of commercial forest land and potential timber harvests, access, and market demand;

(2)    commercial timber harvests for forest products that include such things as firewood (cordwood), fence posts (posts), house logs and saw logs (logs), or wood fiber (chips);

(3)    permits, leases, and sales for the harvest of non-timber forest products;

(4)    forest management guidelines for non-extractive uses shall address:

(a)    important areas for fish and wildlife habitat;

(b)    local business enterprises;

(c)    scenic quality;

(d)    substantial areas important to tourism and recreation;

(e)    environmentally sensitive areas;

(f)    water quality; and

(g)    soils;

(5)    personal use of forest products for such things are firewood (cordwood), house logs, saw logs, and fence posts.

(E)    Natural resource management plans shall be reviewed at a minimum on a decadal basis. Requirements of the natural resource management plan may be waived by the borough manager if a proposed action is found consistent with the goals of the natural resource management plan.

(Ord. 16-100, § 24, 2016; Ord. 10-084, § 6, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.070 BUFFERS.

(A)    In addition to the buffers on public land required by the Forest Resources and Practices Act, there shall be an additional no-harvest buffer along all borough property boundaries of 100 feet between the boundary of the operations area and the immediately adjacent property boundary.

(B)    Adjustments to the requirements of subsection (A) of this section may be made, if during the public notice process leading to a sale, the specific terms and conditions of the adjustments are addressed. Examples of conditions where adjustments may be made include but are not limited to:

(1)    where an adjacent property owner does not object; or

(2)    adjacent to rights-of-way on public roads where other management goals and objectives, such as wildfire prevention and other public safety hazards, disease control, or wildlife habitat enhancement, are to be achieved; or

(3)    adjacent to trails where other management goals and objectives, such as wildfire prevention and other public safety hazards, disease control, or wildlife habitat enhancement, are to be achieved; or

(4)    parking areas and trailheads where other management goals and objectives, such as wildfire prevention and other public safety hazards, disease control, or wildlife habitat enhancement, are to be achieved.

(C)    Limited select harvest within the buffer may occur if:

(1)    the adjacent property owner does not object; or

(2)    the concerns of the property owner have been adequately addressed; or

(3)    the harvest is for a specific species of tree, size, and quality for a specific value-added product.

(D)    In the case of a conflict between the Forest Resources and Practices Act requirement for buffers and this chapter, the widest buffer width shall apply.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.080 TIMBER SALE NOMINATIONS.

(A)    Nominations for areas for timber sales may be submitted. The nomination must, at a minimum specify the areas and species of timber being nominated.

(B)    Nominations shall not guarantee that the areas nominated will be included in a sale schedule.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.090 FIVE-YEAR TIMBER HARVEST SCHEDULE.

(A)    Only land that is classified as “forest management lands” or “resource management lands” and has been determined to be commercial forest land and has a primary or secondary land use designation for forest management may be included in the five-year timber harvest schedule.

(B)    Land that is not classified as “forest management land” may be utilized for commercial sales, salvage sales, personal use, or for non-forest products. This land does not have to be located within a natural resource management unit and does not need to be subject to an adopted natural resource asset management plan; however, firewood and personal use harvests shall be included in the five-year timber harvest schedule.

(C)    At least every three years, the director shall prepare a five-year schedule of timber harvests planned on forest land owned by the borough.

(D)    The amount proposed for timber harvest per year must be within the requirements of MSB 23.20.040.

(E)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 7, 2010]

(F)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 7, 2010]

(G)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 7, 2010]

(H)    Pursuant to MSB 23.20.170, the director shall ensure that local resident timber needs for personal use are made available for personal use firewood before and during any other timber harvest activities.

(I)    To the extent possible, the five-year timber harvest schedule process should be coordinated with the Alaska State Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry’s five-year timber sale process.

(J)    The five-year schedule shall be subject to public review and comment as provided by MSB 23.05.025.

(K)    The assembly shall approve the five-year timber harvest schedule.

(Ord. 16-100, § 25, 2016; Ord. 10-084, § 7, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.100 CONTENTS OF FIVE-YEAR TIMBER HARVEST SCHEDULE.

(A)    Timber harvests should be offered in a range of volumes, timber types, products and duration to accommodate different sectors of forest products.

(B)    Proposed harvest offerings shall consider:

(1)    location and access;

(2)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010]

(3)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010]

(4)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010]

(5)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010]

(6)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010]

(7)    personal and community needs;

(8)    markets;

(9)    volumes;

(10)    limits of the annual allowable cut;

(11)    other forest uses; and

(12)    public comments.

(C)    For each proposed harvest, at least the following information shall be included in order to provide the public, communities, and the forest product industry with a basis on which to comment on the proposed harvest(s):

(1)    acreage of the total area and operable area;

(2)    timber species, volume, and size category (sapling, pole timber, saw timber);

(3)    current land/resource uses;

(4)    existing infrastructure, including road and trail access;

(5)    existing land use plans;

(6)    development patterns and surrounding land use;

(7)    zoning, or other land use restrictions;

(8)    public health, safety, welfare concerns;

(9)    public water bodies, including buffers;

(10)    soils and terrain;

(11)    cost/revenue analysis of the proposed harvest;

(12)    estimated minimum price based on current market value as determined by MSB 23.20.150;

(13)    contract or permit performance standard; and

(14)    type(s) of harvest: personal use firewood, specialty, sawlog, utility.

(Ord. 10-084, § 8, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.110 PERIODIC TIMBER HARVEST IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE.

(A)    For those areas covered under an approved five-year timber harvest schedule, the director shall prepare a schedule to implement approved timber harvests.

(B)    The schedule may not propose more timber harvest volume than that allowed under MSB 23.20.040.

(C)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 9, 2010]

(D)    Pursuant to MSB 23.20.070, the director shall ensure that local resident timber needs for personal use are made available for personal use firewood before and during any other timber harvest activities.

(Ord. 16-100, § 26, 2016; Ord. 10-084, § 9, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.120 MULTIPLE SALES WITHIN THE SAME SALE UNIT.

(A)    Multiple types of timber harvests for different forest products within the same site or cutting area are encouraged (i.e., a select cut sale for a specific value-added product followed by, or in conjunction with, another select cut sale for a different value-added product or a sale for wood fiber products).

(B)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 10, 2010]

(Ord. 10-084, § 10, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.130 METHODS AND AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SALE, LEASE OR PERMITTING OF FOREST PRODUCTS.

(A)    Commercial or non-timber forest product sales, except as provided in subsection (D) of this section, shall first be offered by competitive bid. Any proposed competitive timber or non-timber product sale that does not receive a competitive bid or that the bid is not accepted shall be made available to the next available qualified bidder. If no acceptable bids are received or accepted, the timber or non-timber products sale may be made available through an over-the-counter sale for a period of time not to exceed two years under the same terms and conditions as the competitive sale offering.

(B)    Forest resource harvests in excess of 64,000 cubic feet or 500 cords of wood per transaction shall be approved by the assembly prior to contract execution.

(C)    Forest resource harvests for under 64,000 cubic feet or 500 cords of wood per transaction may be approved by the manager.

(D)    Firewood sales, timber sales, salvage sales, and non-timber product sales, leases, or permits for less than five years in duration and for less than 12,800 cubic feet of timber or 100 cords of firewood for timber, firewood and salvage sales, or $25,000 for non-timber-product sales, may, after public notice pursuant to MSB 23.05.025, be offered over the counter by the manager without competitive bid.

(E)    [Repealed by Ord. 10-084, § 11, 2010]

(Ord. 10-084, § 11, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.140 GENERAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS FOR TIMBER, SALVAGE OR NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCT SALES, LEASES, OR PERMITS.

(A)    All sale contracts shall include the following:

(1)    contract performance conditions and requirements;

(2)    liability, vehicle, and workers compensation and employers’ liability insurance, if applicable;

(3)    performance period;

(4)    performance bond if required;

(5)    reforestation or scarification bond;

(6)    plan of operations requirements; and

(7)    timber harvesting permit (MSB 28.60) requirements, if applicable.

(Ord. 16-100, § 27, 2016; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.150 FAIR MARKET VALUE DETERMINATION.

(A)    The borough shall determine the fair market value of timber resources based on one or more of the following:

(1)    appraisal by an approved independent third-party forestry professional utilizing standard timber appraisal techniques, following appraisal instructions provided by the borough;

(2)    an analysis of state, borough, or other public timber sales, with similar timber types, within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough during the preceding three-year period; or

(3)    an analysis of other competitive timber sales with similar timber types and comparable attributes.

(B)    The fair market value of borough timber resources shall not be determined by using only a cost approach analysis.

(C)    The borough shall reserve the right to withhold a timber sale if the fair market value is determined to be less than the reasonable foreseen cost associated with preparing and administering the sale.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.160 PLAN OF OPERATIONS.

(A)    A plan of operations shall be completed by the operator and approved by the director prior to the execution of the sale contract. At a minimum the detailed plan of operations shall include the following:

(1)    a copy of the State of Alaska, Division of Forestry, Detailed Plan of Operations as required by 11 AAC 95.220; and

(2)    evidence of compliance with MSB 28.60, Forest Harvest.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.165 TIMBER SALVAGE ON BOROUGH LAND.

(A)    All timber with a commercial value or that can be used for personal use that exists on borough land where the timber will be removed because of a conversion of land use to another public non-forest use shall be either:

(1)    sold by the borough prior to conversion of use; or

(2)    made available under MSB 23.20.170.

(B)    In order to be considered as a conversion of land use and subject to a salvage sale or permit, the project must be approved prior to timber salvage operations commencing.

(C)    The decision on whether the timber salvage operations should be considered as a sale or permit shall be made by the community development director based on such factors as location, size of the area, and time to harvest the timber.

(D)    Timber removed because of conversion to land use, unless within a natural resource management unit and on commercial forest land, does not apply to annual allowable cut or sustained yield requirements under MSB 23.20.030 and 23.20.040.

(E)    The provisions of this section do not apply to land being sold, exchanged or otherwise being conveyed to a third party unless explicitly stated otherwise in the sale contract, exchange or conveyance documents.

(F)    The provisions of this section may apply to land that is going to be sold, exchanged or otherwise being conveyed to a third party if a covenant or other restriction is going to be explicitly stated in the sale, exchange or conveyance documents limiting the land use to a specific use, such as for agricultural rights only.

(Ord. 16-100, § 28, 2016; Ord. 10-084, § 12, 2010)

23.20.170 NON-COMMERCIAL PERSONAL USE OF FOREST PRODUCTS.

(A)     Firewood, salvage, timber, and other non-commercial forest products may be sold through the use of non-competitive permits, or use allowed by permit for free from areas designated by the manager.

(B)    Firewood, salvage, timber, and other non-commercial timber resource areas shall be identified and marked on the ground.

(C)    The manager may designate additional non-commercial personal use areas outside of natural resource management units in remote locations upon request by local property owners.

(D)    Quantities for personal use timber resources shall be limited to:

(1)    ten cords per year for firewood per household; and

(2)    six hundred lineal feet for saw or house logs per household.

(E)    The borough shall inventory and designate multiple areas for personal use annually and shall publish the available areas to local residents.

(Ord. 16-100, § 29, 2016; Ord. 14-001, § 2, 2014: Ord. 12-159, § 2, 2012: Ord. 10-084, § 13, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.180 REAL PROPERTY ASSET MANAGEMENT BOARD REVIEW.

(A)    The board shall review asset management plans for natural resource management units, including forest management, sustained yield, and harvest goals and levels, five-year timber harvest and timber harvest implementation schedules of sales and leases, and permits and make recommendations to the director, manager, and assembly for:

(1)    adherence to borough code;

(2)    forest plan recommendations and requirements; and

(3)    to ensure public and forest land needs are being met.

(Ord. 10-084, § 14, 2010; Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.190 CONFORMANCE WITH LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL LAW.

(A)    Failure to comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations for any authorization issued under the authority of this chapter shall be terms for contract, permit or lease revocation, termination, or other action as deemed appropriate.

(Ord. 07-065(AM), § 3 (part), 2007)

23.20.200 BOROUGH PREFERENCE POLICY.

(A)    It is the policy of the borough to give preference to local residents, loggers, workers, businesses, contractors or producers to the extent consistent with law and interest of the public.

(B)    To the extent consistent with law and the interest of the public, preference shall be given to local residents pursuant to MSB 23.20.170, Non-commercial personal use of forest products.

(Ord. 10-084, § 15, 2010)