Department of Environmental Conservation

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Timber Sales on State Forests

Department forester using blue tree marking paint on a tree.
Trees are marked with paint
before being sold to
the highest bidder.

Pursuant to Section 9-0505 of the Environmental Conservation Law, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sells standing timber from State Forests. The timber is marked by DEC foresters and then sold to the highest responsible bidder through a public, competitive bidding process.

Green Certification

DEC's Division of Lands and Forests manages State Forests according to the sustainability standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) (link leaves DEC website) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) (link leaves DEC website) - two organizations internationally recognized for establishing forest management standards. DEC's Division of Lands and Forests undergoes annual surveillance audits to certify that the standards are being met.

Timber sale contracts include provisions requiring the buyer to abide by best management practices (BMPs) to protect environmental resources. These BMPs include the use of temporary bridges or culverts to protect streams, installation of erosion control devices during and at completion of the harvest, seasonal harvesting restrictions to avoid wet soil conditions, and equipment restrictions to protect sensitive areas, among others.

Logger Training Requirements

Any person who will perform any duties related to the felling, handling and removal of trees under timber sale contracts on State Forests will be required to be Trained Logger Certified® (TLC) through the New York Logger Training Program (link leaves DEC website). The New York Logger Training Program maintains this list of certified timber harvesters.

Truck drivers and loader operators are not required to be TLC if their only duties are the loading of forest products onto trucks and/or transportation of forest products from the harvest site.

Tree Growth

Current estimates based on forest inventory data and timber sale records indicate that DEC harvests less than half of the average annual growth each year. In other words, after accounting for natural death and harvest removals, the volume of wood on State Forests is still increasing.

Type of Timber Sales

Local sales have a winning bid amount less than $10,000, and are approved by the Regional Forester. Revenue sales have a winning bid of $10,000 or more, and require DEC approval. All sales valued at more than $500 (and those less than $500 which are thought to have substantial public interest) are publicly advertised and competitively bid.

Timber Sale Forms and Guidance

Generic Acknowledgment Form (PDF) - Many State timber sale contract documents require proper acknowledgment by a certified Notary Public. Documents that require proper acknowledgment include the contract itself, Certificate of Deposit for a performance bond, and extension requests. This generic acknowledgment form may be used when acknowledging documents related to a State timber sale.

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