Review of Forest Cutting Plans
We review forest harvesting projects when they coincide with Priority or Estimated Habitat. We review these to determine if they will result in harm to state-listed species or their habitats, termed a Take under the MESA. Forestry projects are exempt from the standard project filing requirements, provided they have an approved Forest Cutting Plan as required under the Forest Cutting Practices Act (M.G.L. c. 132 sec. 40-46) and its implementing regulations (304 CMR 11.00*).
Forest Cutting Plans are submitted to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for review and approval. If the forestry project is within Priority Habitat, DCR staff will forward the Forest Cutting Plan to us for review. Our staff will review the plan and determine whether the proposed activities will result in a Take of state-listed species.
If the project site is only in Priority Habitat, we have 10 business days to issue a determination to DCR.
If the project is within both Priority and Estimated Habitat, we have 15 business days to issue a determination.
We will send a letter to DCR indicating whether any modifications are necessary to avoid harming rare species or their habitats. DCR modifies the plan to incorporate our recommendations before final approval.
Streamlining the NHESP Review Process
We have developed management guidelines for the state-listed species which have the most frequent conflicts with forestry activities. These guidelines (called forestry Conservation Management Practices (CMPs)) provide guidance for developing and executing a Forest Cutting Plan that will reduce or eliminate harm to the state-listed species and their habitats.
Forest Cutting Plan Information Request Form
If your interested in forest management and would like to know what rare species are present on the subject property, submit a Forestry Information Request Form.
If you would like us to write a letter of potential impacts to rare species, please be sure to include the supporting documentation (see form for details) with the form and filing fee.