All forest land qualifying under the provisions of section 5713.22 of the Revised Code shall be managed according to a forest management plan approved by the chief. In order to be eligible under the provisions of section 5713.23 of the Revised Code, the owner shall follow the provisions of the forest management plan. At a minimum of every five years, the owner shall certify to the chief that specified practices have been completed according to the schedule in the approved management plan. The chief may cause an examination of the forest land to determine compliance with the forest management plan. Failure by the owner to comply with the provisions of the forest management plan shall constitute a violation of section 5713.26 of the Revised Code. If after notification of violation from the chief, and a failure to correct the violation within a one hundred and eighty day period of time, the chief shall deem such failure cause to void the owner's declaration of intent in accordance with section 5713.26 of the Revised Code and the land shall be withdrawn from tax reduction.
(A) The forest management plan shall contain the following information:
(1) Identification of the owner(s) of the tract, lot or parcel with address(es);
(2) Acres of eligible forest land and total acreage in the tract, lot or parcel;
(3) County and township of eligible forest land or municipal incorporation;
(4) A map which shall include the following:
(a) Boundaries indicated on a photocopy of an aerial photo, property plat or topographic map;
(b) Stands of forest management area within the eligible tract, lot or parcel delineated as to number and acreage;
(c) Physical features such as roads, streams, major buildings, and power lines;
(d) Property boundaries, section lines, survey numbers, and township lines;
(e) North arrow;
(5) A listing of the stands or forest management areas that comprise all of the forest land to be committed pursuant to the forest management plan. The listing shall include the following information for each stand or forest management area:
(a) A narrative listing of the merchantable forest products to be continually produced from the eligible tract, lot or parcel as a result of the implementation of the forest management plan;
(b) A stand or forest management area number;
(c) Forest type or species composition;
(d) Diameter class or classes;
(e) Site index or site class and soil type;
(f) Estimated acreage to the nearest whole acre;
(g) Basal area or stocking level;
(6) The owner's general forest land management objectives;
(7) The property's potential for: (a) timber production, (b) wildlife habitat, (c) soil and water conservation concerns, and (d) recreation and aesthetic considerations;
(8) The management plan shall include provisions incorporating best management practices to prevent nonpoint source pollution, erosion and minimize sedimentation of waterways in all commercial and non-commercial cuttings and all forest activities that directly or indirectly impact the forest productivity. All cultural and management activities shall be executed according to accepted specifications that minimize nonpoint source pollution. Any activity deviating from the best management practices shall first be approved by the division.
(9) A work schedule for each five of the next ten years which shall contain all commercial and non-commercial cuttings and practices, road construction and other treatments needed for continued certification.
(B) The following are land management requirements and prohibitions:
(1) The approved management plan shall prescribe non-commercial cuttings necessary to attain the production of the selected merchantable forest products specified in paragraph (A)(5)(a) of this rule. Non-commercial cuttings scheduled for an eligible tract, lot or parcel must be completed during the year in which they are scheduled.
(2) The owner shall submit a silvicultural operation and management plan otherwise known as a timber harvest notice of intent and timber harvest plan according to the procedure outlined in rule 1501:15-5-15 of the Administrative Code relating to agricultural pollution abatement before any commercial or non-commercial cuttings are implemented. A copy of the Ohio timber harvest planning program, timber harvest notice of intent and timber harvest plan shall also be provided to the division prior to initiation of the practice.
(3) Grazing in certified forest lands by domestic animals is prohibited.
(4) The owner shall take necessary precautions to protect the forest land from wildfires including adherence to all practices proposed by the division of forestry to prevent wildfires.
(5) The owner shall use cutting prescriptions provided they are consistent with the approved forest management plan and designed to assure the continuing production of merchantable forest products identified in the approved forest management plan. If commercial cuttings are identified in the plan, the landowner shall have a maximum of three years from the year the cutting is specified in the plan to complete the cutting.
(6) The owner of certified forest land so certified after the effective date of this rule shall use a master logger to perform any commercial cuttings. If, in the sole discretion of the chief of the division of forestry, the landowner has made reasonable attempts to obtain the services of a master logger but was unable to retain the services of a master logger the requirements of this paragraph may be waived if such a waiver is obtained prior to the commercial cutting.
(C) Management plan approval process:
(1) The forest management plan will be submitted to the local division representative who shall check the plan for compliance with the provisions of this rule.
(2) The forest management plan will be approved or disapproved by the local division representative. If disapproved, the reasons for such disapproval shall be supplied to the owner in writing.
(3) The owner may appeal in writing, within thirty days of its receipt, the decision of the local division representative to the district coordinator of the division. The district coordinator shall supply their decision to the owner in writing.
(4) The owner may appeal in writing, within thirty days of its recipt, the decision of the district coordinator to the chief. The chief shall supply their decision to the owner in writing.
(D) Forest management plan amendments:
An approved forest management plan may be extended or amended by the owner with advance notice to the division by filing a written request with the division indicating the nature and substance of the change. The division will determine the acceptability of the proposed change and shall inform the owner, in writing, of its determination within thirty days of receipt of the request. If the request for change is not approved by the district coordinator of the division, the owner may appeal, within thirty days of its receipt, the decision of the district coordinator by filing a written appeal to the chief. When a request for change is approved, the chief shall inform the owner of the necessary administrative and technical procedures to follow.