New Hampshire Department of Forest and Lands

Big Island Pond, Nottingham

Timber Harvesting

photo of log pileTimber Harvest Inspections are conducted according to statute to protect "forest cover adjacent to certain surface waters of the state and along public highways" and to "…ensure future forest productivity…without undue infringement on the rights of private forest landowners."

The Director, Division of Forests and Lands is responsible for the enforcement of timber harvesting laws under RSA 227:G:3. This responsibility is carried out through the Division's Forest Protection Bureau.

If you require the assistance of a Forest Ranger for a law enforcement issue, you may fill out the Complaint Form and email it to or you can call (603) 271-2214.

photo of logging equipment photo of logging equipment in winter

Timber Harvesting Forms

Basal Area Variance Request – This form is for loggers, foresters or landowners who wish to request permission to harvest in excess of 50% of the Basal Area.

Notice of Intent to Cut - This form is for loggers, foresters and landowners who wish to harvest timber.  The State of New Hampshire has a real estate tax and by definition timber is considered to be real estate, therefore taxable.

Notification of Forest Management or Timber Harvest Activities Having Minimum Wetlands Impact – This form is for loggers, foresters and landowners who will be harvesting timber in areas which may impact wetland areas and is required for the installation of crossing devises.

Laws and Regulations

Basal Area Law – This FAQ sheet gives information and answers questions about RSA 227-J:9 reference Basal Area, including a map with the required setbacks.

Slash Law – This FAQ sheet gives information and answers questions about RSA 227-J:10 reference slash, including a map with the required setbacks.

Timber Trespass – This FAQ sheet gives information and answers questions about RSA 227-J:8 reference Timber Trespass.

Timber Tax Law – Ten percent of the value of every timber sale is returned to towns where cutting takes place. This FAQ sheet gives information and answers questions about RSA 227-J:5 and 79:10 reference Timber Tax.

Guide to New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Laws - This guide gives a general overview of the Timber Harvesting Laws and is a good reference material for loggers, foresters and landowners.

Best Management Practices (BMP's) for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations in New Hampshire – This reference manual is useful for loggers, foresters and landowners and should be used whenever laying out a timber harvest.

Harvesting Around Wetlands – This information sheet from UNH Cooperative Extension gives an overview of Riparian Habitats and includes suggestions for Forest Management around these areas.

Timber Harvesting Contract Remuneration

Deparment of Environmental Services, Consolidated List of Water Bodies (Fourth order Streams)

Information for Landowners

The following are useful documents developed by the University of New Hampshire – Cooperative Extension.

Timber Sale Guidelines – This information sheet is useful for any landowner planning to have timber harvested on their property. RSA 227-J:15 requires that all timber harvests which require an Intent to Cut must also have a written contract.

Timber Sale Agreement - This information sheet gives information for the Timber Sale Agreement as well as a sample Contract.

Selecting a Forester - This information sheet gives an overview of the services a Licensed Forester can provide for landowners.

Find a Licensed Forester – This link will bring you to the NH Board of Foresters.

Timber Harvesting and Silviculture - This information sheet gives a good overview of information to consider when managing your forest.

Other Resources

2010 Good Forestry in the Granite State – This document provides the educational tools needed to manage ecologically sensitive and unique features of forest land.

Forest Products Road Manual – This manual is a guide for both municipal officials and the forest products industry to improve understanding of the laws which govern public roadways.

Department of Revenue Administration, Average Stumpage Values

NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the NH Division of Forests and Lands | 172 Pembroke Road, Concord, NH 03301