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Old 09-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
Pollen Eater
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Question Question on cutting saplings?

I use logs, sticks, twigs, roots, etc for Adirondack furniture. Normally most of my materials are salvaged from logging sites, or collected from the sides of roads when the town trims trees. I also harvest some stuff from private land owned by friends of mine.
I was recently chatting with a friend and he told me that it was actually legal to cut small trees, on state land so long as they were smaller than 3" in diameter. It so happens, that I use a great deal of small stuff like that, red willow, striped maple, birch, ash, all sapling size stuff. Does anyone know the facts on these laws/regulations? Or where might I find this out?

Anyplace I do harvest saplings, I always do so in a sustainable way, careful never to take what is not abundant. The rabbits certainly cut more saplings than I do Up to this point I have never harvested from state land.

I also am curious if it's legal to take roots from uprooted trees? Thanks for any info you have!
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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I believe cutting of any trees on state land is not permitted. Check with your local DEC office to be sure.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollen Eater View Post
I use logs, sticks, twigs, roots, etc for Adirondack furniture. Normally most of my materials are salvaged from logging sites, or collected from the sides of roads when the town trims trees. I also harvest some stuff from private land owned by friends of mine.
I was recently chatting with a friend and he told me that it was actually legal to cut small trees, on state land so long as they were smaller than 3" in diameter.
There is no such rule. You may use only dead and down wood for a campfire, but that is the extent of it. Picking of such things as fruit and berries in reasonable amounts for reasonable personal use is permitted. But you cannot remove anything for commercial purposes.

See the NYSDEC regulation:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4081.html

Part 190: Use Of State Lands - Page 1
190.8 General
g. No person shall deface, remove, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner whatsoever any tree, flower, shrub, fern, fungi or other plant organisms, moss or other plant, rock, soil, fossil or mineral or object of archaeological or paleontological interest found or growing on State land, except for personal consumption or under permit from the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to section 233 of the Education Law.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I was skeptical that my friend was misinformed. Perhaps he was thinking of state land outside of state parks.
I will stick to harvesting from my friends land. I probably would have anyway. I was just curious to have the facts straight.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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I think 3" diameter might be the line between getting in trouble and fined for destroying vegetation, and getting in deep trouble and getting a major fine for cutting down trees. Perhaps DSettahr knows.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #6
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I think 3" diameter might be the line between getting in trouble and fined for destroying vegetation, and getting in deep trouble and getting a major fine for cutting down trees. Perhaps DSettahr knows.
Ranger LaPierre likes to tell a story about the time he was alerted to a group of folks from New Jersey who were caught bagging fiddleheads to take home. They had several large bags full. Best estimate was around 3,000 heads. The judge told them they could have been fined as much as $100 for each of the 3,000 heads they cut. He let them off with something like a fine of $200 per person and told to go home, leaving the fiddleheads behind.

When with an authorized trail cutting crew with a ranger along with us, I have said to him that I could otherwise be fined big time for purposely killing so many of those tiny trees as small as a few inches tall. Yup, that is true.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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Yeah, like I said, I was skeptical that my friend who told me this was misinformed. I grew up in the ADKs, and make no mistake about it, I have the deepest appreciation and respect for the outdoors. Being the artsy type, creating rustic furniture has only been a natural response to my surroundings. I'm glad I am able to put to use wood that would otherwise being sent through a chipper, or used for firewood. I try to be thrifty. I am in the business of recycling. Many of my table-tops are made from salvaged barnwood, old doors, etc.. Also, the logs which I do take to the mill are taken from places where they were to be cut down anyway, like my sister's yard, and my Uncle' yard. Places where I have cut red willow twigs, they are so abundant, that they certainly produce more in a single year than what I take in a single year.

People often have the completely wrong idea about rustic furniture makers. At shows I have heard things said by yuppies like "that looks nice, but did ya leave any trees in the woods?". This is a ridiculous comment, considering that the clear cutting which is done to build their extravagant Adirondack camps(houses) certainly does more damage to the wilderness than the modest amount of harvesting that I do. Not to mention clearing for long driveways. This kind of clear cutting interrupts porcupine, coyote, deer (etc.) feeding trails, destroys bird feeding/nesting habitat and obviously kills a great deal of large and small plant life.

Handmade furniture (quality stuff) certainly is more environmentally friendly than mass produced stuff. Much smaller amount of fossils fuels are used in the making of handmade, which means less carbon emissions. The high quality handmade stuff will outlast anything you get at Wallmart, creating less demand for new furniture, and less need to cut more trees down. I could go on and on. Thanks again for the info guys!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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The 3 inch rule is for trail crews- basically, an authorized trail crew working for the DEC (be it ADK, SCA, ATIS, DEC or other) is allowed to cut trees up to 3 inches in diameter without having to ask permission in advance, and only if necessary for the trail work being performed. For anything above 3 inches in diameter, a DEC Forester must make a site visit and approve the tree to be cut (and fill out the paperwork!).

The general public cannot cut standing trees, alive or dead, of any diameter, for any purpose.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
The 3 inch rule is for trail crews- basically, an authorized trail crew working for the DEC (be it ADK, SCA, ATIS, DEC or other) is allowed to cut trees up to 3 inches in diameter without having to ask permission in advance, and only if necessary for the trail work being performed. For anything above 3 inches in diameter, a DEC Forester must make a site visit and approve the tree to be cut (and fill out the paperwork!).

The general public cannot cut standing trees, alive or dead, of any diameter, for any purpose.
I was correct - I knew you'd have a good answer!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
The 3 inch rule is for trail crews- basically, an authorized trail crew working for the DEC (be it ADK, SCA, ATIS, DEC or other) is allowed to cut trees up to 3 inches in diameter without having to ask permission in advance, and only if necessary for the trail work being performed. For anything above 3 inches in diameter, a DEC Forester must make a site visit and approve the tree to be cut (and fill out the paperwork!).

The general public cannot cut standing trees, alive or dead, of any diameter, for any purpose.

I guess that's where my friend skewed his info.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:52 PM   #11
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I was having a similar discussion this weekend. If a tree falls on your property from state land I know you can take it but if it's 10 feet in its off limits. Seems like a waste to have a nice maple rot in the woods but I realize the rules are important so people don't abuse the state land.

Regarding the saplings, you may be doing it contientiously but others may not.
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