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Court approves logging ordinance

By Staff, 09/9/20 9:37 AM

PRESCOTT – A new ordinance concerning logging was passed by the Nevada County Quorum Court at its September meeting Tuesday evening.

There was little discussion as the court has been debating the issue for months. Ben Hale, deputy prosecuting attorney for the Eighth Judicial District North, pointed out the only changes made from the ordinance presented at the August meeting were the removal of a record keeping fee and the requirement of logging companies to provide the make, model and license numbers of all vehicles to be used to transport harvested timber or equipment from the tract in question.

The ordinance provides for a penalty for those who violate the new law. Violators can lose their right to cut timber in the county up to a year and be fined up to $500 and be given six months in jail.

The process for logging companies to obtain permits to cut timber in the county is simple. All they have to do is file an application with the Nevada County Clerk that includes: a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license; the name, legal address and phone number of the applicant and the name and legal address of the business entity on whose behalf they’re applying if it’s separate from them; the legal description or address where the timber will be cut; the names of any agents or subcontractors of the applicant that will be transporting cut timber or equipment used to harvest timber from the land in question; and the make, model and license number of all vehicles to be used to transport the harvested timber or equipment to harvestĀ  timber from the land in question.

The applicant will get a copy of the permit and one will be kept on file with the clerk’s office. The county judge will decide whether or not to approve the application within two days of its being filed. The permit will be good for 90 days from the day it’s issued.

A copy of the permit will be given to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, and the applicant can provide copies to those working with/for him/her on the tract of land in question.

Should the county judge have reason to believe a permit is being violated, or an agent or subcontractor has failed to: comply with the route prescribed in the permit; caused the portions of any roads to used to be restored to their condition prior to the issuance of the permit; or obtained necessary permits, the judge shall attempt to provide written and verbal notice to the address and phone number on file for the permit holder with a statement of what the judge believes the permit holder has failed to do.

This notice shall provide the date, time and location for a county road logging permit revocation hearing with a copy to be filed with the county clerk. The hearing shall be no less than 10 days or more than 20 business days from the date the notice is first attempted. Failure to appear shall automatically revoke the permit holder’s outstanding permits and keep them from using or benefitting from another logging permit for a year, unless the county judge orders otherwise.

If the county judge determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, the permit holder, his agent or subcontractor has inexcusably failed to follow the ordinance, the permit holder’s outstanding permits will be revoked and this permit holder not be allowed to cut timber in Nevada County for a year. Copies of the revocation will be forwarded to the NCSO by the county clerk.