28.60.010    Purpose and intent

28.60.020    Applicability

28.60.030    Noise

28.60.040    Artificial lighting

28.60.050    Buffers

28.60.060    General public safety

28.60.070    Traffic safety plan [Repealed]

28.60.080    Timber transport permit [Repealed]

28.60.090    Traffic safety signs

28.60.100    Road maintenance


(A)    This chapter is to ensure that the Matanuska-Susitna Borough implements safeguards so that timber harvesting practices protect public health, safety, and welfare.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)


(A)    The Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act (FRPA) governs how timber harvesting, reforestation, and timber access occur on state, private, and municipal land. Forest management standards on federal land must also meet or exceed the standards established by the FRPA for state land.

(B)    All land within the borough is included under the requirements of Region II (southcentral) of the Act.

(C)    This chapter applies to all state, private, and municipal land subject to the FRPA for commercial operations larger than 40 acres in size, except:

(1)    if this chapter is in conflict with the conditions of a special use district established under MSB Title 17, the more restrictive conditions shall apply; or

(2)    if otherwise preempted by federal or state law.

(D)    Timber harvest operations where a FRPA Detailed Plan of Operations has been approved by the State Division of Forestry prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter are permitted to continue without a timber transport permit; provided, that an application for pre-existing status is submitted within two months from the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)

28.60.030 NOISE.

(A)    The following shall be followed in all cases except when there are no improvements, borough, state, or federal campgrounds, or other places where the public assembles or meets on a regular basis within one-half mile of the operations area.

(B)    Except as provided in subsection (A) of this section, no sound resulting from allowable activities shall exceed limits set forth in Table 1 when measured at the property boundary between the land being utilized and the adjacent land.

Table 1. Permitted Sound Levels

Adjacent Land Use Category

Time Period

Sound Level Limit (dBA)

Area with improvements

7 a.m. – 10 p.m.


10 p.m. – 7 a.m.


Commercial area

At all times


Industrial and timber harvest area

At all times


(C)    For any sound that is of short duration, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the levels established in Table 1 may be increased by:

(1)    five dBA for a total of 15 minutes in any one hour; or

(2)    ten dBA for a total of five minutes in any one hour; or

(3)    fifteen dBA for a total of one and one-half minutes in any one-hour period.

(D)    Noise-reduction measures must be taken by a person to mitigate or lessen noise impact to surrounding properties in order to meet or exceed the standards under subsections (A) and (B) of this section. Such measures may include, but are not to be limited to, restricting hours of operation to meet noise level requirements; erecting noise barriers (e.g., berms a minimum of 10 feet in height) between location of noise-producing equipment and adjacent properties; strategic location of noise-producing equipment (e.g., below grade in excavated pit area); or measures to utilize equipment with noise-reduction features.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)


(A)    The following shall be followed in all cases except when there are no improvements, public campgrounds, or other areas where the public assembles or meets on a regular basis within one-quarter mile of the operations area.

(B)    Exterior lighting fixtures of 150 total watts or more mounted more than 20 feet high shall be located and shielded to direct the light towards the ground to minimize light spilling from the timber harvest operations area or upward into the night sky.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)

28.60.050 BUFFERS.

(A)    Buffers are not required on private land. However, a person on private land is encouraged to screen timber harvesting activities from road traffic, public areas and other private property where possible and prudent, and to provide buffers to protect adjacent private or public property from damage.

(B)    The need for visual buffers on public land, beyond that required by the Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act, shall be considered and specifically addressed by the public land owner or manager and, if appropriate, included in the terms and conditions of a timber sale. Areas where buffers may be appropriate include but are not limited to:

(1)    outside rights-of-way on public roads;

(2)    along public trails;

(3)    adjacent to parking areas and trailheads; and

(4)    adjacent to private property.

(C)    It is preferred that screening should be accomplished, whenever possible, by leaving a vegetative buffer of native species.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)


(A)    To minimize the potential for injury to cross-country travelers (hikers, skiers, off-road vehicles, or other means), the person shall post the operations area with suitable weather-resistant signs and plastic flagging at:

(1)    all road and trail intersections where they leave or enter the operations area; and

(2)    along the perimeter of the operations area where signs or plastic flagging is clearly visible between marking points or areas unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)

28.60.070 Traffic Safety Plan. [Repealed by Ord. 21-092, § 6, 2021]

28.60.080 Timber Transport Permit. [Repealed by Ord. 21-092, § 7, 2021]


(A)    When conditions warrant, the director, as part of the timber transport permit, may require warning signs for traffic safety beyond that normally required by state law.

(B)    Signs posted by the person shall meet state and borough standards for traffic safety.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)


(A)    If borough-owned or managed roads utilized by the person are deemed not to be safe, are damaged, or are at risk to damage beyond that associated with regular road service area maintenance because of the additional surface traffic associated with the person’s activities, the borough may require that the person perform maintenance or construction work as necessary to meet or exceed the conditions of the road when forest harvest operations began. Any such provision may be part of the timber transport permit and may include dust control, grading, or plowing for safety.

(B)    The borough may require that a bond or other form of security be provided to ensure performance with this section.

(Ord. 06-223(SUB)(AM), § 2 (part), 2007)