[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 1]
In order to preserve forests and the environmental and economic benefits they provide, it is the policy of the Township of East Fallowfield to encourage the owners of forest land to continue to use their land for forestry purposes, including the long-term production of timber, recreation, wildlife, and amenity values. The timber harvesting regulations contained in this Part are intended to further this policy by (A) promoting good forest stewardship; (B) protecting the rights of adjoining property owners; (C) minimizing the potential for adverse environmental impacts; and (D) avoiding unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on the right to practice forestry. Because proper cutting practices vary depending on the site and on landowner objectives, it is not the intent of this ordinance to prescribe specific practices.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 2]
This Part applies to all timber harvesting within the Township where the value of the trees, logs, or other timber products removed (during any period of less than 14 consecutive months) exceeds $1,000. For the purpose of determining the value of the timber harvested, such value shall be determined in a commercially reasonable manner. Further, it shall be presumed that the value of any such timber product exceeds $1,000 if the timber is sold for more than $1,000 or is exchanged for something having a readily ascertainable value of more than $1,000. These provisions do not apply to the cutting of trees for the personal use of the landowner (on the parcel real property from which the timber was harvested) or for pre-commercial timber stand improvement.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 3]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings given them in this section.
- The act of cutting a standing tree so that it falls to the ground.
- Managing and using for human benefit forest lands and natural resources that occur on and in association with forest lands, including trees, other plants, animals, soil, and water. It includes, but is not limited to, the planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting, and selling of trees for commercial purposes.
- A place where logs, pulpwood, or firewood are assembled for transportation to processing facilities.
- An individual, partnership, company, firm, association, or corporation that is in actual control of forest land, whether such control is based on legal or equitable title, or any other interest entitling the holder to sell or otherwise dispose of any or all of the timber on such land in any manner, and any agents thereof acting on their behalf, such as forestry consultants, who set up and administer timber harvesting.
- Discarded items not naturally occurring on the site such as tires, oil cans, equipment parts, and other rubbish.
- To cut tops and slash from trees into smaller pieces to allow the material to settle close to the ground.
- An individual, partnership, company, firm, association, or corporation engaged in timber harvesting, including the agents, subcontractors, and employees thereof.
- PRE-COMMERCIAL TIMBER STAND IMPROVEMENT
- A forest practice, such as thinning or pruning, which results in better growth, structure, species composition, or health for the residual stand but which does not yield a net income to the landowner, usually because any trees cut are of poor quality, too small or otherwise of limited marketability or value.
- Dragging trees on the ground from the stump to the landing by any means.
- Woody debris left in the woods after logging, including logs, chunks, bark, branches, uprooted stumps, and broken or uprooted trees or shrubs.
- Any area of forest vegetation whose site conditions, past history, and current species composition are sufficiently uniform to be managed as a unit.
- Any natural or artificial channel of conveyance for surface water with an annual or intermittent flow within a defined bed and banks.
- TIMBER HARVESTING, TREE HARVESTING, OR LOGGING
- The process of cutting down trees and removing logs from the forest for the primary purpose of sale or commercial processing into wood products.
- The upper portion of a felled tree that is unmerchantable because of small size, taper, or defect.
- Areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support and that, under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions including swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 4; as amended by Ord. 2008-01, 2/26/2008, §§ 1, 2]
Notification of Commencement or Completion. For all timber harvesting operations, the landowner shall notify the Township Codes Enforcement Officer or other appropriate Township staff member or agent, at least 30 business days before the operation commences and within 15 business days before the operation is complete. No timber harvesting shall occur until after the required notice has been provided, and a permit authorizing the conducting of the timber harvesting operation has been issued by the Township. The notification to be submitted to the Township shall be in the form of written documentation, and shall specify the land on which the harvesting to occur, including the tax parcel number, mailing address, geographic location of the property, and the size and geographic location of the harvest area, a schedule of all work to be performed, the identity of the owner of the subject property, the identity of the individuals or entity conducting the harvesting operation, a schedule of all work to be performed, including dates on which it is anticipated that each stage of a logging plan is to be implemented, and the anticipated starting and completion date of the operation.
Logging Plan. Every landowner on whose land timber harvesting is to occur shall prepare a written logging plan in the form specified by this Part. This logging plan must be submitted to the Township at least 30 business days prior to commencement of the operation. The Township shall approve or disapprove the plan within 10 business days of receipt. No timber harvesting shall occur until the plan has been approved by the Township and the Township has received the escrow required by this Part. The provisions of the plan shall be followed throughout the operation. A copy of the approved plan shall be available at the harvest site at all times during the operation and a copy shall be provided to the Township codes enforcement officer, together with the notice identified in Subsection 1.
Responsibility for Compliance. The landowner and the operator shall be jointly and severally responsible for complying with the terms of the logging plan.
Escrow. At the time of filing an application for a timber harvesting permit, the operator shall submit to the Township $1,000, which fund will be held in an escrow account and utilized to pay for any costs incurred by the Township, including legal, administrative and/or engineering costs associated with insuring compliance with the terms of this Part, the Clean Streams Law, 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq., the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, 32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq., and the Storm Water Management Act, 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., and any other applicable federal, state or municipal laws or regulations. Any unused balance remaining from the escrowed funds shall be returned to the depositor within 30 days of the completion date of any harvesting operation, unless the Township (in the exercise of sound discretion by the Borough of Supervisors) anticipates additional payments must be made for legal, engineering, or other administrative services relating to the purposes of this Part.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 5]
Minimum Requirements. As a minimum, the logging plan shall include the following:
Design, construction, maintenance, and retirement of the access system, including haul roads, skid roads, skid trails, and landings.
Design, construction, and maintenance of water control measures and structures such as culverts, broad-based dips, filter strips, and water bars.
Design construction, maintenance of stream and wetland crossings.
The general location of the proposed operation in relation to municipal roads and state highways, including any accesses to those highways.
Map. Each logging plan shall include a site map containing the following information:
Site location and boundaries, including both the boundaries of the property on which the timber harvest will take place and the boundaries of the proposed harvest area within that property.
Significant topographic features related to potential environmental problems.
Location of all earth disturbance activities such as roads, landings, and water control measures and structures.
Location of all crossings of waters of the Commonwealth.
The general location of the proposed operation to municipal roads and state highways, including any accesses to those highways.
Compliance with State Law. The logging plan shall address and comply with the requirements of all applicable state laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the following:
Erosion and sedimentation control regulations contained in 25 Pa. Code, Chapter 102, promulgated pursuant to the Clean Streams Law, 35 P.S. §§ 691.1 et seq.
Stream crossing and wetlands protection regulations contained in 25 Pa. Code, Chapter 105, promulgated pursuant to the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, 32 P.S. §§ 693.1 et seq.
Stormwater management plans and regulations issued pursuant to the Storm Water Management Act, 32 P.S. §§ 680.1 et seq.
Relationship of State Laws, Regulations, and Permits to the Logging Plan. Any permits required by state laws and regulations shall be attached to and become part of the logging plan. An erosion and sedimentation pollution control plan that satisfies the requirements of 25 Pa. Code, Chapter 102, shall also satisfy the minimum requirements for the logging plan and associated map specified in Subsection 3A and B of this section, provided that all information required by these paragraphs is included or attached.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 6]
The following requirements shall apply to all timber harvesting operations in the Township:
Felling or skidding on or across any public thoroughfare is prohibited without the express written consent of the Township or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, whichever is responsible for maintenance of the thoroughfare.
No tops or slash shall be left within 25 feet of any public thoroughfare or private roadway providing access to adjoining residential property.
All tops and slash between 25 and 50 feet from a public roadway or private roadway providing access to adjoining residential property or within 50 feet of adjoining residential property shall be lopped to a maximum height of four feet above the surface of the ground.
No tops or slash shall be left on or across the boundary of any property adjoining the operation without the consent of the owner thereof.
Litter resulting from a timber harvesting operation shall be removed from the site before it is vacated by the operator.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 7]
The landowner and the operator shall be responsible for repairing any damage to Township and state roads caused by traffic associated with the timber harvesting operation to the extent the damage is in excess of that caused by normal traffic, as determined by the government entity which owns the roadway or is responsible for the maintenance of the road. Pursuant to 67 Pa. Code, Chapter 189, the Township may require the landowner or operator to furnish a bond to guarantee the repair of such damages.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 8]
This Part establishes regulations for the conducting of timber harvesting activities, and does not establish areas in which this activity is permitted. No modification of the Fast Fallowfield Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27] is effectuated through the adoption of this Part.
[Ord. 97-04, 9/10/1997, § 9]
Township Enforcement Officer. The Township Codes Enforcement Officer shall be the enforcement officer for this Part, but proceedings may also be instituted by the Township Solicitor.
Inspections. The Township enforcement officer may go upon the site of any timber harvesting operation before, during, or after active logging to (A) review the logging plan or any other required documents for compliance with §§ 13-301 through 13-309 and (B) inspect the operation for compliance with the logging plan and other on-site requirements of these regulations.
Violation Notices; Enforcement. Upon finding that a timber harvesting operation is in violation of any provision of this Part, the Township Enforcement Officer shall issue to the operator and to the landowner a written notice of violation describing each violation and specifying a date by which corrective action must be taken. The Township Enforcement Officer may order the immediate suspension of any operation upon finding that (A) corrective action has not been taken by the date specified in a notice of violation; (B) the operation is proceeding without a logging plan; or (C) the operation is causing an immediate environmental risk. Enforcement notices shall be in writing, shall be issued to the operator and the landowner, and shall remain in effect until, as determined by the Township Enforcement Officer, the operation is brought into compliance with this Part or other applicable statutes or regulations. The landowner or the operator may appeal an order or decision of an enforcement officer within 30 days of issuance to the Administrative Appeals Board of the Township.
Penalties. Any landowner or operator who (A) violates any provision of this Part; (B) refuses to allow the Township Enforcement Officer access to a harvest site pursuant to Subsection 2 of this section or who fails to immediately comply with a notice of violation or suspension order issued under Subsection 3 of this section shall be deemed to have committed a Code violation and shall suffer a mandatory civil penalty of $500, plus all applicable court costs (if any), and attorneys' fees based on the actual rate billed to the Township for all time reasonably related to enforcement of this Part, and in default of payment shall suffer a civil judgment in like amount for each day on which any such failure to comply with the terms of this Part constitutes a separate violation.