Township of Canton, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 25-101 Short Title.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 1]
This Part shall be known as the Township of Canton "Timber Harvesting Ordinance."

§ 25-102 Purpose.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 2]
This Part recognizes the need within the Township of Canton to preserve forests and the environmental and economic benefits they provide, and it is the policy of the Township of Canton 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 promoting good forest stewardship, protecting the rights of adjoining property owners, minimizing the potential for adverse environmental impacts, and 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 Part to prescribe specific practices.

§ 25-103 Scope; Applicability.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 3]
This Part applies to all timber harvesting within the Township where the value of the trees, logs or other timber products removed exceeds an amount as set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. These provisions do not apply to the cutting of trees for the personal use of the landowner or for pre-commercial timber stand improvement.

§ 25-104 Definitions.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 4]
For the purposes of this Part, the following terms are defined as follows and shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
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 and water. It includes, but is not limited to, the planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting and selling of tress 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.
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 tress 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.
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, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions including swamps, marches, bogs and similar areas.

§ 25-105 Notification; Preparation of a Logging Plan.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 5]
1. 
Notification of Commencement or Completion. For all timber harvesting operations that are expected to exceed one acre, the landowner shall notify the Township Code Enforcement Officer at least 20 business days before the operation commences and within 10 business days before the operation is complete. No timber harvesting shall occur until the Board of Supervisors has approved a plan for the timber harvesting operations. Notification shall be in writing and shall specify the land on which harvesting will occur, the expected size of the harvest area, and, as applicable, the anticipated starting or completion date of the operation.
2. 
Logging Plan. Every operator who harvests timber shall prepare a written logging plan in the form specified by this Part. No timber harvesting shall occur until the operator has appeared before the Board of Supervisors to present his/her plan. The Board of Supervisors will then act upon this plan at a public Township meeting. 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. A copy of the plan shall be given to the Township.
3. 
Responsibility for Compliance. The operator shall be responsible for complying with the terms of the logging plan.

§ 25-106 Contents of the Logging Plan.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 6]
1. 
Minimum Requirements. As a minimum, the logging plan shall include the following:
A. 
Design, construction, maintenance and retirement of the access system, including haul roads, skid roads, skid trails and landings.
B. 
Design, construction and maintenance of water control measures and structures such as culverts, broad-based dips, filter strips and water bars.
C. 
Design, construction and maintenance of stream and wetland crossings.
D. 
The general location of the proposed operation in relation to municipal and state highways, including any accesses to those highways.
E. 
An erosion and sediment control plan that is in compliance with current state laws and regulations.
F. 
Each plan shall be accompanied by a fee as set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
2. 
Map. Each logging plan shall include a site map containing the following information:
A. 
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.
B. 
Significant topographic features related to potential environmental problems.
C. 
Location of all earth disturbance activities such as roads, landings and water control measures and structures.
D. 
Location of all crossings of waters of the commonwealth.
E. 
The general location of the proposed operation to municipal and state highways, including any accesses to those highways.
3. 
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:
A. 
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.).
B. 
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.).
C. 
Stormwater management plans and regulations issued pursuant to the Stormwater Management Act (32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq.).
4. 
Relationship to 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 Subsections 1 and 2 of this section, provided that all information required by these subsections is included or attached.

§ 25-107 Forest Practices.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 7]
1. 
The following requirements shall apply to all timber harvesting operations in the Township:
A. 
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.
B. 
No tops or slash shall be left within 25 feet of any public thoroughfare or private roadway providing access to adjoining residential property.
C. 
All tops and slash between 25 feet 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.
D. 
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.
E. 
Litter resulting from a timber harvesting operation shall be removed from the site before it is vacated by the operator.
F. 
The operator and/or landowner shall not be permitted to run their trucks during that period of day when the local school buses are transporting children between school and their homes.
G. 
The operator shall be required to employ the services of a certified forester to provide guidance to the timber harvesting operation.
H. 
Timber harvesting operations shall be by selection and clear cutting of timber shall be prohibited within the approved plan site.

§ 25-108 Responsibility for Road Maintenance and Repair; Road Bonding.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 8]
The landowner and the operator shall be responsible for repairing any damage to Township 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 Pa. Code, Chapter 189, the Township shall require the landowner or operator to furnish a bond to guarantee the repair of such damages.

§ 25-109 Enforcement.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 9]
1. 
Township Code Enforcement Officer. The Township Code Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for enforcing this Part.
2. 
Inspections. The Township Code Enforcement Officer may go upon the site of any timber harvesting operation before, during, or after active logging to review the logging plan or any other required documents for compliance with this Part and/or to inspect the operation for compliance with the logging plan and other on-site requirements of these regulations.
3. 
Violation Notices; Suspension. Upon finding that a timber harvesting operation is in violation of any provision of this Part, the Township Code Enforcement Officer shall issue the operator to the landowner a written notice of violation describing each violation and specifying a date by which corrective action must be taken. The Township Code 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.
C. 
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 Township Code 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 the Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of issuance to the Board of Supervisors.

§ 25-110 Penalties.

[Ord. 4-2005, 5/12/2005, § 10]
Any landowner or operator who violates any provision of this Part or refuses to allow the Township Code Enforcement Officer access to a harvest site pursuant to § 25-109, Subsection 2, or who fails to comply with a notice of violation or suspension order issued under § 25-109, Subsection 3, is guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300, plus costs, for each separate offense. Each day of continued violation of any provision of this Part shall constitute a separate offense.