[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highland by L.L. No. 1-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this permit system shall be to ensure repairs, where necessary on account of damage incurred by timber harvesting and logging to any Town roads and compliance with the Timber Harvesting Guideline. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized to immediately revoke the permits of any commercial logger who shall not comply with these requirements until such compliance is secured and failure to comply shall require the permanent ceasing of all activity by said logger within the Town of Highland. Commercial loggers who shall fail to comply with these requirements shall also be ineligible for any future logging permits within the Town of Highland.
Any person proposing to engage in commercial logging or forestry operations within the Town of Highland shall first obtain a permit from the Town Code Enforcement Officer for each project. A permit may be amended in writing to cover additional locations. Such permit shall be good for a 12 months' duration but may be extended for not to exceed two additional six-month periods provided the operation continues to comply with all requirements contained herein. The permit application shall be made on an official "Application for Logging Permit" form and shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount to be determined by resolution of the Town Board. The work "shall" is intended throughout this chapter as being mandatory.
The application shall require the following: 1) names, addresses, signatures and telephone numbers of the property owner(s) and logger; 2) the dates which timber harvesting will take place; 3) a location map showing where the logging will take place, the site of any landing and the proposed access to the public highway system; and 4) proof of $500,000 liability insurance shall also be required. Any required permit from the Highway Superintendent under the Highway Law is in addition to these requirements. For the purpose of this § 115-2, the term "logging" is defined as the process, work, or business of cutting down trees and transporting the logs to saw mills.
No clear-cutting of more than five acres shall be done without obtaining a special use permit from the Town of Highland Planning Board. For the purpose of this section the term "clear-cutting" is defined as the removal from more than five acres of a forested tract of substantially all trees, for other than agricultural or approved wildlife management purposes.
Plans for roads constructed to provide access to county, state or Town highways shall be subject to review, modification and all permit requirements under the Town of Highland Highway Law through the Town of Highland Highway Superintendent.
During the period of operation the operator shall comply with the New York State Timber Harvesting Guidelines promulgated by the Department of Environmental Conservation, New York Society of American Foresters and SUNY and no operations shall take place without a permit from the Town or while one is revoked. The property owner and logger shall both be furnished with a copy of said guidelines and acknowledge receipt of same as part of the logging permit. Generally, selective harvests shall be limited to trees of fourteen-inch caliper or above measured at one foot off the ground.
Nothing herein shall be deemed applicable to the clearing of any land by farmers and/or homeowners for purposes of growing agricultural crops or pasturing in an agricultural district.
Timber harvesting operations shall be restricted along the perimeter property lines of the property being logged as specified in the New York State Timber Harvesting Guidelines.
The penalty for failure to comply with this chapter shall be up to $250 for each violation. Any fine imposed shall be independent of and in addition to the obligation to make repairs to road damage caused by a logging operation.
The Town Board may direct the Code Enforcement Officer to waive any provisions of this chapter where the requirements would be unreasonably burdensome or uneconomical for small wood lot owners engaged in timber harvesting. Such waivers may be extended to individual landowners or to classes of owners or loggers, provided the aforementioned Timber Harvesting Guidelines are followed to the maximum extent practical under the circumstances. For the purpose of this section the term "small wood lot owners" is defined as where engaged in timber harvesting under 100 acres.