Bill S4357-2013

Relating to selectively cutting timber

Relates to selectively cutting timber and exclusion of current best management practices from regulated activities.



  • Jun 20, 2014: COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Mar 26, 2014: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Mar 25, 2014: 1ST REPORT CAL.340




VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Environmental Conservation - Mar 25, 2014
Ayes (5): Grisanti, Little, Maziarz, O'Mara, Young
Ayes W/R (4): LaValle, Marcellino, O'Brien, Tkaczyk
Nays (4): Avella, Espaillat, Serrano, Latimer



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to selectively cutting timber

PURPOSE: This bill would enhance the ability of farmers and other landowners to selectively harvest timber within a regulated wetland without disturbing the environmental integrity of the wetland.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Subdivision 4 of section 24-0701 of the environmental conservation law is amended to allow the construction and use, without the requirement of a permit, of temporary skidder trails and machinery, using current best management practices as outlined by USDA Forest Service, when selectively harvesting timber within regulated wetlands.

JUSTIFICATION: Selective harvesting of timber and the operation of machinery for agricultural purposes (including forestry) have always been allowable activities in state regulated wetlands. This bill clarifies that specific logging equipment and other machinery may create and use temporary access trails in wetlands as long as current Best Management Practices as prescribed by the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service are followed. The addition would standardize the regulation, as Adirondack Park Agency wetland regulations already specify that "construction and using skid trails for removal of timber" is not a regulated activity within APA jurisdictional wetlands (Part 578 § 3(n)(4)(ii)(d)).

This change will not weaken the protection of wetlands in any way as state wetlands regulations Part 663.2(c)(2)(ii) prohibit any activities that alter water flow through a wetland. This change will allow for consistent application of the statute on a statewide basis.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.4361 COMMITTED TO ROLES; A.4781 Referred to Environmental Conservation 2011: S.4361 PASSED SENATE; A.4781 Referred to Environmental Conservation Committee 2009-10: S.7813 REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION COMMITTEE; A.11183 referred to Environmental Conservation Committee.



EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It is expected that this legislation will provide an economic benefit to the municipalities and citizens of the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4357 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 21, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- (at request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to selectively cutting timber THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 24-0701 of the environmental conservation law, as amended by chapter 697 of the laws of 1979, is amended to read as follows: 4. The activities of farmers and other landowners in grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvesting natural products of the wetlands, selectively cutting timber, draining land or wetlands for growing agricultural products and otherwise engag- ing in the use of wetlands or other land for growing agricultural products shall be excluded from regulated activities and shall not require a permit under subdivision one hereof, except that structures not required for enhancement or maintenance of the agricultural produc- tivity of the land and any filling activities shall not be excluded hereunder, and provided that the use of land designated as a freshwater wetland upon the freshwater wetlands map at the effective date thereof for uses other than those referred to in this subdivision shall be subject to the provisions of this article. WHEN SELECTIVELY CUTTING TIMBER, THE CONSTRUCTION AND USE OF TEMPORARY SKIDDER TRAILS AND MACHIN- ERY, USING CURRENT BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AS DEFINED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREST SERVICES, FOR THE REMOVAL OF SUCH TIMBER SHALL BE EXCLUDED FROM REGULATED ACTIVITIES AND SHALL NOT REQUIRE A PERMIT UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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