Forest Operations Notification (FON)

In Maine, if you are going to have a timber harvest on your property and the harvested wood will be delivered to a mill or offered for sale, you are required in most cases to file a Forest Operations Notification (FON) with the Maine Forest Service.

Important FON Information

  1. People who are exempt from filing a FON include:
    • The landowner is harvesting wood for personal use.
    • Precommercial silvicultural activities (no forest products produced).
    • Harvesting up to 2 acres in a 12 month period and harvesting is performed by the landowner.
    • Removal of single trees or small groups of trees from residential yards, roadsides, and similar urban or suburban settings where the tree removal occurs on an area two acres in size or less, and is conducted for the purposes of hazard tree removal, right of way and driveway clearance, and lot clearance for the construction of residential dwelling units. This exemption applies only to land on which a person resides, or for lot clearing operations for a landowner who possesses a building permit, or where such lot clearance does not exceed the necessary construction footprint.

  2. A landowner is responsible for filing a FON and their signature is required.  A designated agent can act for the landowner in some circumstances and must also sign the FON.  The FON must be filed with MFS prior to the start of the harvest.  A FON is valid for up to 2 years.

  3. The FON is not a permit to harvest timber.  All parties involved must comply with all federal, state and local laws pertaining to the operation, including permitting, if applicable.

  4. If your FON is incomplete it will be returned to you for correction(s) and your operation will not be considered properly notified. Harvests that begin before a notification is complete are subject to a penalty.

  5. The FON number must be posted at the harvest site until the harvest is completed.

  6. The FON for a Category 3 clearcut (greater than 75 acres) must be submitted to Maine Forest Service along with a harvest plan, 60 days prior to the harvest.  FONs for all Category 3 clearcuts require prior MFS approval.

  7. For timber harvesting that converts forest land to a non-forestry use, the change of use must be completed within 2 years.

  8. Location Map Requirements:
    1. ALL LOCATION MAPS must clearly show the location of your proposed activity and include:
      • Notification Number—the number in red on bottom-right of the notification form.
      • Landowner’s name
      • North arrow and key to symbols used
      • Operation location in relation to the nearest named all weather road
      • Enough information so the operation can be located on the ground
      • All water crossings in the harvest area

    2. If your operation is in the service area of the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC):
      you must submit a current LUPC Land Use Guidance Map. ALL LOCATION MAPS must include a key to symbols (please DO NOT use colors or pencils) and must clearly show locations of:
      • The entire length of proposed truck and haul roads
      • Yarding and harvesting areas

    3. If your operation is in an organized town or municipality:
This is only a partial summary of the Chapter 26 rules. Please refer to the complete rule for details.

How much area is covered by a FON?

One FON is required for each township or municipality. If you have harvest operations planned in more than one township or municipality, you must file separate FONs. Harvest operations within a township or municipality do not have to be next to each other, and more than one harvester or contractor may work an operation.

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