Ashtabula River



 Unlike many neighboring states, Ohio does not currently have a permit program regulating timber harvests.  Voluntary implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) is the foundation of Ohio ’s Pollution Abatement Law.  Your continued help is needed to protect Ohio ’s streams and reduce the need for future regulations.

One of the ways you can help is by filing Timber Harvest Plans with your local Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD).  These plans are voluntary, but they do provide significant benefits to you as a logger:

             Under Ohio Law, Timber Harvest Plans can be used as   
            an affirmative defense in a civil case (if being followed).

Ø      The plans can serve as blueprints to help you remove logs in a logical way which can help you improve profitability.

Ø      Provides a positive environmental image for your company and the entire industry.

Ø      Opens the door to technical assistance from conservation professionals at the SWCD.

Ø      They are required to be filed when logging on State of Ohio property and lands owned by some Corporations.  


Timber Harvest Plans are based on the Best Management Practices found in the book, BMPs for Erosion Control for Logging Practices in Ohio .  This book is available from your local SWCD or online at  The new Timber Harvest Plan form (which replaces the former “Silvicultural Operation and Management Plan” form that you may have used in the past) even has handy page references to help you identify BMPs that are appropriate for your site.  Planning, selecting and implementing these BMPs helps to ensure compliance with Ohio’s Agricultural Pollution Abatement Law.  

Once completed, simply sign and send the Timber Harvest Plan to the SWCD in the county where logging is to occur.  The SWCD will review the plan (make suggestions or request changes if applicable) and approve the plan at its next Board Meeting. (Please note: SWCDs typically only meet every 30 days, so be sure and submit the plan prior to starting the timber harvest). It’s that easy.  Once approved, the SWCD will return an approved copy to you.  

If, for any reason, you are unable to complete the entire Timber Harvest Plan you should still consider filling out the “Notice of Intent” section of the form and return it to the local SWCD.  The NOI contains basic information such as contact numbers and harvest dates.  Unlike a complete Timber Harvest Plan, the NOI cannot be used as an affirmative defense, but it is a great tool to help build a solid working relationship with your SWCD.  

Need some help in developing your plan?  Have some questions?  No problem.  Simply call your local SWCD office.   Most SWCD offices are 
listed in the yellow pages of your local phone book under the County Government section.  You may also contact Martin Joyce, Ohio Department of Natural Resources- Division of Soil & Water Conservation at;

             (614) 265-6684 or .