Step 6: Submitting the Cutting Notice
MFL and FCL Harvesting
The sixth step of the harvesting process is submitting the cutting notice to the DNR forester. The cutting notice must be submitted to the DNR forester at least 30 days prior to beginning a timber harvest.
The Managed Forest Law (MFL) and Forest Crop Law (FCL) require that only the landowner has the ultimate responsibility for submitting the cutting notice.
DNR forester review
After the trees have been "marked" and the cutting notice has been filled out completely, the cutting notice must then be submitted to the local DNR forester. The cutting notice must be submitted to the DNR forester at least 30 days prior to beginning a timber harvest.
Once submitted, the DNR forester will determine if DNR approval is required.
Cutting notices that do not require DNR approval
A cutting notice does not require DNR approval if the cutting notice is submitted by someone on the cutting notice registration list and if the proposed cutting is under the terms of the landowner's management plan. Individuals can be on the cutting notice registration list if they are a cooperating forester, a forester accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), Wisconsin Consulting Foresters (WCF) or the Association of Consulting Foresters (ACF) or a person with five years of full-time experience in forest management. Individuals on this list are not guaranteed by the department in any way.
For a list of cooperating foresters, see the Forestry Assistance Locator. Cooperating foresters are private foresters who sign a Cooperating Forester Agreement to comply with DNR standards for responsible forestry.
Even if the conditions above are met, however, the landowner can indicate on the cutting notice that they are requesting DNR review and approval of the cutting notice.
Cutting notices that do require DNR approval
A cutting notice not submitted by someone on the cutting registration list requires DNR review and approval.
A cutting notice with proposed cutting that is not under the terms of the landowner’s management plan requires DNR review and approval as well.
County cutting notice
A notice of intent to cut must also be completed and filed with the county clerk before any timber is harvested. The notice of intent to cut is known as the "county cutting notice" and is a separate requirement from the MFL and FCL cutting notice. The county cutting notice is required for harvesting on all private lands even if the lands are not enrolled in the MFL or FCL programs. For more information, read the county cutting notice statute .
There can be consequences to landowners for the items listed below. The consequence can include non-compliance assessments, citations or withdrawal from the MFL or FCL program with a withdrawal tax assessed to the landowner. The DNR forester's main goal is to keep landowners in compliance with the MFL and FCL programs and to avoid these situations. For additional information, please contact the DNR forester.
- Failure to complete a required harvest or other required practice on MFL or FCL lands.
- Failure to submit the cutting notice.