Forest Practices & Tree Removal

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Class IV - General Forest Practices Application


A Class IV-General Forest Practices (logging) permit may be required to cut down trees on your property in association with clearing and development activities. A separate application and review fee is required for each parcel.

When is a Class IV-General Forest Practices Permit Required in URBAN areas?


When logging more than 5,000 board feet (approximately 1 ½ truckloads or 10 cords of wood) of merchantable timber on a parcel, regardless of the parcel size and regardless of whether the landowner is converting their property.

SEPA environmental review is also required when more than 5,000 board feet is harvested from a parcel over two acres in size or when harvested from contiguous parcels owned by the same owner and whose total acreage is over two acres.

When is a Class IV-General Forest Practices Permit Required in RURAL areas?


When logging more than 5,000 board feet of merchantable timber on a parcel equal to or greater than two acres in size or on contiguous parcels under the same ownership whose total acreage is equal to or greater than two acres requires a forest practices permit.

If the landowner is converting their property:
Class IV-General Forest Practices Permit + SEPA Environmental Review (Pierce Co.). A Class IV-General Forest Practices application must be associated with a “parent” permit application, such as a Site Development permit, Building permit, or Use permit associated with the proposed logging on parcels in the Rural areas of the county and outside Urban Growth Areas (UGA) and County Urban Growth Areas (CUGA).

If the landowner is not converting their property: Class II or Class III Forest Practices Permit (DNR)

Type A


Type A review is required when the proposed development/project has not, and is not currently, undergoing State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review.
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Type B


Type B review is required when the proposed development/project, including the proposed logging, is currently undergoing SEPA review, or has already had a SEPA determination issued.
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Conversion Option Harvest Plan (COHP)


A Conversion Option Harvest Plan - (COHP) is a timber harvest plan developed by the landowner indicating the limits of timber harvest, road construction and County-regulated critical areas. Compliance with an approved COHP releases the property from the otherwise mandatory six-year development moratorium, associated with a forest practices permit issued by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The COHP must first be submitted to Pierce County for review and approval before submitting an application to the DNR for a forest practices permit.

The COHP must comply with Pierce County Code Title 18E, Critical Areas and Title 17A, Site Development and Storm Drainage.

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Hazard, Dangerous, Diseased Tree Removal


This application may be required when the trees of concern are in a designated Open Space Area, Natural Buffer Area, a screening buffer or a Tree Conservation area. This application is not used when the trees are in a wetland, wetland buffer or stream buffer.

Questions relating to hazard, dangerous or diseased tree removal in wetlands, wetland buffers or stream buffers should be directed to (253) 798-3749 or in person at the Development Center.

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