Lands certified as eligible by the division for taxation in accordance with section 5713.23 of the Revised Code prior to November 7, 1994 shall remain certified as long as those lands comply with rule 1501:3-10-07 of the Administrative Code. No lands shall be certified as eligible by the division pursuant to section 5713.23 of the Revised Code after the effective date of these rules unless lands meet the minimum qualifications of forest land and comply with the requirements of these rules.
(A) The forest land to be certified shall consist of a minimum of ten contiguous acres and shall be: no less than one hundred and twenty feet wide; accessible for management and; meet the definition of forest land as specified in paragraph (L) of rule 1501:3-10-01 of the Administrative Code.
(B) The forest land to be certified shall have a forest management plan per rule 1501:3-10-04 of the Administrative Code.
(C) Forest plantations are eligible for certification one calendar year after planting.
(D) If buildings exist on the forest land, the areas that are in total occupancy by the buildings shall be excluded prior to determining classification. In the cases of a homesite, a minimum of one acre shall be deducted from the total acreage prior to classification. Acreage contained in streams, rivers, utility and railroad rights-of-way and roads shall be deducted from the forested acreage where these non-forested strips exceed, on average, one hundred twenty feet in width. Natural or man-made lakes and ponds shall be deducted where said structures exceed one acre in size. Non-forested strips, as described above, more than one hundred twenty feet in width, shall be considered a break of contiguous forest land and each area shall be considered for eligibility separately. If acreage deductions are made from forest land pursuant to this paragraph, the remaining acreage must be a minimum of ten acres.
(E) Property lines and boundary lines between forest land to be classified and forest land not to be considered for classification shall be visibly marked by the owner prior to examination. The markings shall be made by one of the following: blazing of trees with paint, or installation of fence, posts or stakes. Each mark shall be no farther than sixty-six feet apart. Posts or stakes used to meet the requirements of this paragraph must have a height of at least four and one half feet above the ground and be of a material that has a life-span of at least ten years when subject to the natural elements including but not limited to decay and photo-degradation.
(F) Lands from which a merchantable forest product has been cut or removed within three years prior to the time of application will be eligible for certification only if:(1) the cutting or removal was accomplished under a forest management program as prescribed in an approved forest management plan designed to provide for the continuing production of merchantable forest products, or (2) in the absence of a forest management plan, the removal resulted in an acceptable silvicultural practice as determined in the sole discretion of the division. The requirement of this paragraph is waived if the removal of the merchantable forest product was accomplished under a previous owner.
(G) Before forest land can be certified eligible under this rule, the owner must demonstrate the intent to engage in management by completing a prescribed silvicultural activity.
(H) The owner of certified forest land so certified after the effective date of this rule must attend a minimum of eight hours of owner training approved by the chief within five years of the certification date of the forest land. At least six hours of the training required under this paragraph shall be of a core curriculum provided by an entity approved by the chief. The chief shall publish a list of entities approved under this paragraph.