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a series of videos to help understand and complete the Cutting Notice and Report.
Contact information
Use the Forestry Assistance Locator to find Cooperating Foresters or DNR Service Foresters for your county
View the current Directory of Foresters [PDF].

MFL and FCL harvesting step #2: Assessing the harvest areaWater quality

Small river flowing through a Wisconsin forest
A small river flowing through a Wisconsin forest.

Before the cutting notice can be filled out, determine whether any water resources exist on or near the area that will be harvested. This information is used to determine which best management practices (BMPs) for water quality will need to be implemented so that water quality can be protected while the trees are being cut.

Inventory the property

The person completing the cutting notice and setting up the timber harvest will need to inventory the property and/or use aerial photography (or other online mapping resources) to determine the answers to the following questions BEFORE the cutting notice is filled out.

  • Are there lakes, streams, wetlands, dry washes, seeps, etc. on the property? 
  • Will any roads need to be built or reconstructed?
  • Will any waterways or wetlands need to be crossed by equipment?
  • Will any drainage structures be needed such as culverts, drainage ditches, broad-based dips, etc.?
  • Will any permits be needed? 
  • Are there any existing erosion or water quality issues on site, such as steep slopes?
  • Will riparian management zones or wetland filter strips be needed?

If water resources are not present

Even if water resources are not present within the area that will be harvested, road construction, water drainage, soils, slope, etc. can mean that the timber harvesting activities could have impacts on water resources outside of the harvest area within the larger watershed. Care should be taken to consider how the timber harvest area relates to the surrounding landscape.

Additional resources



Last revised: Thursday July 27 2017