Timber Harvesting Law

New On-line Forms

Notice of Intent to Cut now available on-line.

Wetlands Minimum Impact Forestry Notification and the Datacheck Tool: PDF

The N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services (NHDES) posted the new Wetlands Minimum Impact Forestry Notification form to their website in April 2012 and they no longer are accepting the old form. Here is the current form:PDF


To use the forestry notification, a DataCheck Receipt must be submitted with the forestry notification form, indicating the project was submitted to Natural Heritage for their review.


There are two ways to request a check by Natural Heritage:


  1. Use the DataCheck Tool. This is an interactive website using basic information about a project. If there are no Natural Heritage records in the vicinity, a letter to that effect is emailed at once to the user.
  2. Submit a request form to Natural Heritage by email or mail using a hard copy form (pdf version) (MS Word version)

Natural Heritage worked closely with the forestry community and NHDES to make the online DataCheck Tool and review process for minimum impact forestry activities user-friendly. There is no fee for Natural Heritage to review minimum impact forestry notifications.


Natural Heritage continues to make improvements to the website. As recently as this November they made these improvements:


  • You no longer have to draw a polygon around the work area. You only need to add points to the map showing the crossings. Mapping instructions are updated to reflect the changes.
  • Additional internet browsers have been added and include Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.


For additional information, access handouts from workshops held in November for foresters, landowners and loggers—Using the NH DataCheck Tool and the New Wetlands Minimum Impact Forestry Notification .


Article by Karen P. Bennett, Forest Resources Specialist

Return to www.nhwoods.org.

Posted December 10, 2012

Guide to New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Laws    

Includes information on laws on current use assessment, timber tax, wetlands, timber trespass, deceptive business practices, basal area, slash and land conversion. Landowners, loggers, foresters, municipal officials and others will find what they need when planning or reviewing a timber harvest.

Basal Area Law    

Summarizes the basal area law (RSA 227-J:9) which requires forested buffers be left along town and state roads, streams, and bodies of water following a timber harvest.

Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act    

Links to the NH DES webpage outlining current shoreland protection regulations for landowners, timber harvesters, developers, and others working near waterways and waterbodies in NH.

Deceptive Forestry Business Practices    

Summarizes the deceptive forestry business practices law (RSA 227-J:15) which requires a written contract, with mutually agreed upon prices and amounts, as well as a time-line for remuneration for all forest products subject to a "notice of intent to cut."

New Hampshire Timber Yield Tax Overview (RSA 79)    

Outlines the requirements of New Hampshire's timber tax law.

Slash Law    

Summarizes the slash law (RSA 227-J:10) which restricts where tree debris can be left after a timber harvest.

Timber Trespass    

Summarizes the timber trespass law (RSA 227-J:8) and the civil or a criminal penalties assessed.

The Timber Sale Contract    

Selling timber is a complicated matter that involves knowing about markets, tree values, future tree potential, laws, safety, liability, ground conditions, and a host of environmental factors. It may be a “once in a lifetime” event with long term consequences for yourself and your land. This fact sheet describes how timber is commonly sold, provides an overview of a well-written contract, reviews RSA 227-J:15 which requires a timber sale contract and includes a sample contract.

Timber Sale Guidelines    

Timber sale refers to any significant harvest of wood products involving an exchange of monies. Timber sales may involve sales of trees used to make lumber (sawtimber),fuelwood, whole tree chips, pulp, or any combination of these products. This fact sheet reviews what to consider before selling timber; who can help; how timber is commonly sold; and timber sale contracts.