(1) Reforestation - where required.
(a) Unless the harvest application indicates that the land will be converted to another use, or the lands are identified in WAC 222-34-050
as having a likelihood of conversion to urban uses, reforestation is required for forest lands harvested after January 1, 1975 in the following instances:
(i) Clearcutting; or
(ii) Partial cutting where 50 percent or more of the timber volume is removed within any 5-year period, unless the department determines that the live trees remaining will reasonably utilize the timber growing capacity of the soils.
(b) Reforestation is not required where:
(i) Individual dead, dying, down or windthrown trees are salvaged; or
(ii) A tree or trees not constituting a merchantable stand are removed from lands in actual use for other purposes; for example, removal of individual trees from lands used for farming or grazing; or
(iii) Trees are removed under a thinning program reasonably expected to maximize the long-term production of commercial timber; or
(iv) An average of 190 vigorous, undamaged, well-distributed seedlings per acre of a commercial tree species are established on the area harvested (up to 20 percent of the harvested area may contain fewer than 190 seedlings per acre, but no acre of the harvested area with timber growing capacity may contain less than 150 seedlings per acre); or
(v) A minimum of 100 vigorous, undamaged, well-distributed saplings or merchantable trees per acre of a commercial species or combinations thereof, remain on the area harvested.
(2) Reforestation standards.
A harvested area is reforested when that area contains an average of 190 or more vigorous, undamaged commercial species seedlings per acre that have survived on the site for at least 1 growing season. Up to 20 percent of the harvested area may contain fewer than 190 seedlings per acre, but no portion of the harvested area with timber growing capacity may contain less than 150 seedlings per acre. The department may determine that less than an average of 190 seedlings per acre is acceptable if fewer seedlings will reasonably utilize the timber growing capacity of the site.
(3) Competing vegetation.
Competing vegetation shall be controlled to the extent necessary to allow establishment, survival, and growth by commercial species.
(4) Artificial regeneration standards.
(a) Satisfactory reforestation - clearcuts.
Satisfactory reforestation of a clearcut harvest occurs if within 3 years of completion of harvest, or a period of from 1 to 10 years as determined by the department in the case of a natural regeneration plan, the site is restocked to at least the acceptable stocking levels described in subsection (2) of this section: Provided, That regeneration failures from causes beyond the applicant's control will not result in violation of this section, but supplemental planting or reforestation may be required except in riparian management zones (see WAC 222-34-030
The department may grant an extension of time for planting or seeding if suitable seedlings or seeds are unavailable, or if weather conditions or other circumstances beyond the forest land owner's control require delay in planting or seeding.
(i) Reforestation species.
Where the species proposed for reforestation after timber harvesting differs from the removed stand, the department may approve use of the proposed species where the reforestation plan reveals that the proposed species is preferable from any of the following standpoints:
(A) Site data indicates better potential production for the proposed species than the existing species.
(B) Control of forest insects or diseases.
(C) Greater economic return.
(ii) Seedling or seeding standards.
Except as approved by the department to qualify as acceptable reforestation, the seedlings or seeds must be from an appropriate seed source zone. The department shall establish seed zones and guidelines for their use.
(b) Satisfactory reforestation - partial cuts.
Where reforestation is required in connection with a partial cut, the harvest application shall include a plan for stocking improvement. The plan shall be approved unless the department determines that it will not reasonably utilize the timber growing capacity of the site.
(5) Natural regeneration standards.
A natural regeneration plan may be approved as acceptable reforestation if:
(a) A seed source of well formed trees of commercial tree species, capable of seed production is available.
(b) The owner of the seed source agrees in writing not to harvest the seed source for the time period specified in the plan, or until issuance of a satisfactory reforestation inspection report.
(c) The seed source must consist of:
(i) Seed blocks of sizes and locations shown on the plan and satisfactory to the department; or
(ii) An average of at least 8 individually marked, well-distributed, undamaged, vigorous, windfirm seed trees per acre of plantable area and no inadequately stocked area is more than 400 feet from the nearest seed tree; and
(iii) Competing vegetation shall be controlled to the extent necessary to allow establishment, survival, and growth by commercial species.
(6) Any alternate plan
for natural reforestation may be approved if it provides a practical method of achieving acceptable stocking levels as described in subsection (2) of this section within a period of 1 to 10 years.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040. 05-12-119, § 222-34-010, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05; 87-23-036 (Order 535), § 222-34-010, filed 11/16/87, effective 1/1/88; 86-21-040 (Resolution No. 86-2), § 222-34-010, filed 10/10/86, effective 12/1/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040 and 76.09.050. 82-16-077 (Resolution No. 82-1), § 222-34-010, filed 8/3/82, effective 10/1/82; Order 263, § 222-34-010, filed 6/16/76.]