Town of McCandless, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
In order to preserve forests and the environmental and economic benefits they provide, it is the policy of the Town of McCandless 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 Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09 are intended to further this policy by: (1) promoting good forest stewardship; (2) protecting the rights of adjoining property owners; (3) minimizing the potential for adverse environmental impacts; and (4) 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 article to prescribe specific practices.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
Sections under this article shall apply to all timber harvesting within the Town where a lot or lots to be harvested equals or exceeds one acre and the value of the trees, logs or other timber products exceeds $200 and a permit shall be obtained.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
As used in Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09, the following terms shall have the meanings given them in this section:
FELLING
The act of cutting a standing tree so that it falls to the ground.
FORESTRY
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, water, related air, and climate. It includes, but is not limited to, the planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting, and selling of trees for commercial purposes.
LANDING
A place where logs, pulpwood, or firewood are assembled for transportation to processing facilities.
LANDOWNER
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 on 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. This definition shall include Federal, State and County governments, school districts and authorities.
LITTER
Discarded items not naturally occurring on the site such as tires, oil cans, equipment parts, and other rubbish.
LOP
To cut tops and slash into smaller pieces to allow the material to settle close to the ground.
OPERATOR
An individual, partnership, company, firm, association, or corporation engaged in timber harvesting, including the agents, subcontractors, and employees thereof.
PRECOMMERCIAL 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.
SKIDDING
Dragging trees on the ground from the stump to the landing by any means.
SLASH
Woody debris left in the woods after logging, including logs, chunks, bark, branches, uprooted stumps, and broken or uprooted trees or shrubs.
STAND
Any area of forest vegetation whose site conditions, past history and current species composition are sufficiently uniform to be managed as a unit.
STREAM
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 and the preparation of the site, exclusive of tree marking, for such harvesting.
TOP
The upper portion of a felled tree that is unmerchantable because of small size, taper, or defect.
WETLAND
Areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, or 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.
WOODLAND, MATURE
An area of plant material covering one acre or more and consisting of 30% or more canopy trees having a sixteen-inch or greater caliper, or any grove consisting of eight or more trees having an eighteen-inch or greater caliper. The caliper is measured 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
(a) 
Notification of commencement or completion. For all timber harvesting operations under the jurisdiction of these regulations, the landowner shall notify the Town enforcement officer with the required information at least 20 business days before operation commences and within five business days after the operation is complete. Notification shall be in writing and shall specify the land on which the harvesting will occur, the expected size of the harvest area, and, as applicable, the anticipated starting or completion date of the operation. A permit shall be obtained from the Town prior to commencement of timber harvesting. The cost of the permit, including review and inspection fees, shall be set by resolution.
(b) 
Logging plan. Every landowner on whose land timber harvesting is to occur and every operator proposing to log a plot shall be jointly and severably responsible for preparing a written logging plan in the form specified by this article. No timber harvesting shall occur until the plan has been prepared and approved by the Town. The provisions of the plan shall be followed throughout the operation. The plan shall be available at the harvest site at all times during the operation and shall be provided to the Town Land Use Administrator upon request.
(c) 
Responsibility for compliance. The landowner and the operator shall be jointly and severally responsible for complying with the terms of the logging plan.
(d) 
Permit validity. A permit shall be valid for six months from the date it is issued.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
(a) 
Minimum requirements. As a minimum, the logging plan shall include the following:
(1) 
Design, construction, maintenance, and retirement of the access system, including haul roads, skid roads, skid trails, and landings; retirement shall include replanting and regrading of the access system so that it is replaced to its original condition;
(2) 
An estimate of the location and total number of mature trees on the plot and the total number and location of trees to be cut.
(3) 
Design, construction, and maintenance of water control measures and structures such as culverts, broad-based dips, filter strips, and water bars;
(4) 
Design, construction, and maintenance of stream and wetland crossings;
(5) 
If forest activities occur on, or may affect landslide prone soils as identified on the logging plan map, a soils engineer registered to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must certify that the forestry activities will not impact the landslide prone soils or, if the soils will be impacted, the steps necessary to mitigate or prevent impaction must be specified.
(b) 
Map. Each logging plan shall include a site map containing the following information:
(1) 
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;
(2) 
Significant topographic features related to potential environmental problems;
(3) 
Floodways and floodplains as defined by the National Flood Insurance Study maps;
(4) 
All landslide prone soils and slopes exceeding 25%.
(5) 
Location of all earth disturbance activities such as roads, landings, and water control measures and structures;
(6) 
Location of all crossings of waters of the Commonwealth; and;
(7) 
The general location of the proposed operation to municipal, county, and state highways, including any accesses to, and weight limits of, those highways.
(c) 
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:
(1) 
Erosion and sedimentation control regulations contained in 25 Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 102, promulgated pursuant to the Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. §§ 691.1 et seq.);
(2) 
Stream crossing and wetlands protection regulations issued pursuant to the Stormwater Management Act (32 P.S. §§ 693.1 et seq.); and
(3) 
Stormwater management plans and regulations issued pursuant to the Stormwater Management Act (32 P.S. §§ 680.1 et seq.)
(d) 
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 Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 102, shall also satisfy the minimum requirements for the logging plan and associated map specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, provided that all information required by these paragraphs is included or attached.
The following requirements shall apply to all timber harvesting operations in the Town:
(a) 
Felling or skidding on or across any public thoroughfare is prohibited without the express written consent of the Town, Allegheny County or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, whichever is responsible for maintenance of the thoroughfare.
(b) 
No tops or slash shall be left within 25 feet of any public thoroughfare or private roadway providing access to adjoining residential property or within 25 feet of any property line.
(c) 
All tops and slash shall be lopped to a maximum height of four feet above the surface of the ground.
(d) 
Litter resulting from a timber harvesting operation shall be removed from the site before the operator vacates it.
(e) 
Care shall be exercised in harvesting operations so that 60% of mature woodlands or 50% of any woodlands in the harvested area shall remain after completion of logging. After issuance of a logging permit for an area delineated on the logging plan, another permit shall not be issued for that area or any overlapping area for 10 years from the date of issuance of the preceding permit.
(f) 
No tops or slash shall be left in a floodway or floodplain.
(g) 
A soils engineer registered to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall monitor all forest activities occurring on or affecting landslide prone soils or steep slopes.
(h) 
Any person, firm, corporation, operator or landowner engaged in logging shall take all possible steps to avoid carrying or depositing mud, dirt, debris, or any other foreign substance which might inadvertently or otherwise be carried on to or deposited on to any street or road. A final cleanup shall be accomplished no later than 5:00 p.m., prevailing time each workday. All sections of Article 509 of the Codified Ordinances of the Town of McCandless are applicable.
(i) 
Each tree to be removed shall be marked with paint or other distinctive means at two points so as to be visible on the stump after the tree is removed. The marked trees shall correspond to the trees designated on the map.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
The landowner and the operator shall be responsible for repairing any damage to Town roads caused by traffic associated with the timber harvesting operation to the extent the damage is in excess of that caused by normal traffic. Pursuant to 67 Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 189, the Town may require the landowner or operator to furnish a bond to guarantee the repair of such damages.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
(a) 
Town enforcement officer. The Land Use Administrator or his designate shall be the enforcement officer for Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09.
(b) 
Inspections. The Town enforcement officer or his designate may go upon the site of any timber harvesting operation before, during, or after active logging to: (1) Review the logging plan or any other required documents for compliance with Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09 and (2) Inspect the operation for compliance with the logging plan and other on-site requirements of these regulations.
(c) 
Violation notices; suspensions. Upon finding that a timber harvesting operation is in violation of any provision of Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09, the Town enforcement officer shall issue the operator and the landowner a written notice of violation describing each violation and specifying a date by which corrective action must be taken. The Town enforcement officer may order the immediate suspension of any operation upon finding that: (1) Corrective action has not been taken by the date specified in a notice of violation; (2) The operation is proceeding without a logging plan; or (3) The operation is causing an immediate environmental risk. Suspension orders shall be in writing, shall be issued to the operator and the landowner, and shall remain in effect until, as determined by the Town enforcement officer, the operation is brought into compliance with Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09 or other applicable statutes or regulations. The landowner or the operator may appeal an order or decision of an enforcement officer with 30 days of issuance to the governing body of the Town.
(d) 
Penalties. Any landowner or operator who (1) Violates any provision of Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09; (2) Refuses to allow the Town enforcement officer access to a harvest site pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section or who fails to comply with a notice of violation or suspension order issued under paragraph (c) of this section is guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, plus costs, for each separate offense. Each day of continued violation of any provision of Sections 1715.01 through 1715.09 shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. 1251, passed 7-23-2001]
A bond or surety of a type approved by the Town Solicitor in an amount agreed to by the Town Engineer to guarantee compliance with the logging plan shall be submitted prior to commencement of timber harvesting.