2021 DNR Timber Sale Relief Passed by the Legislature

 

The Timber Sale Relief provision for spruce/balsam permits has been enacted.  That means you’ll be able to get a two-year interest/penalty free extension OR a refund of down payment/security on un-opened permits that meet the following conditions:

  • The permit was issued before July 1, 2020

  • The permit where at least 30% of the volume is spruce/balsam (including any combination of the two)

  • If the sale has been started, you may get relief on any unstarted cutting blocks

  • Permits that expired between January 1st and June 30th of 2021 are eligible for relief

  • Written requests must be submitted to the DNR by August 31, 2021.

DNR will be sending detailed information to all affected permit holders.

 

We thank all who worked on securing this relief on spruce/balsam permits, including Rep. Rob Ecklund, Sen. Justin Eichorn, DNR staff who worked on the language, and the several TPA members who wrote letters and/or made calls to legislators.  Your work was invaluable.

 

The complete bill language is below.

 

 

 

Sec. 128. TIMBER PERMITS; CANCELLATION AND EXTENSION.

 

Subdivision 1. 

Eligibility. 

(a) For the purposes of this section, an "eligible permit" is a
timber permit issued before July 1, 2020.

(b) In order to be eligible under this section, a permit holder must not be delinquent or
have an active willful trespass with the state.

(c) In order to be eligible under subdivisions 2, 4, and 5, a permit holder must submit
the written request to the commissioner of natural resources by August 31, 2021.
Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 90, permits
that expired between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, are eligible if they meet the
requirements of this section.

 

Subd. 2. 

Extensions. 

Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 90, upon written request to the commissioner of natural resources by the
holder of an eligible permit with more than 30 percent of the total permit volume in any
combination of spruce or balsam fir, the commissioner may grant an extension of the permit
for two years without penalty or interest.

 

Subd. 3. 

Unused balsam fir. 

Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 90, the commissioner of natural resources may cancel any provision in a
timber sale that requires the security payment for or removal of all or part of the balsam fir
when the permit contains more than 50 cords of balsam fir. The commissioner may require
the permit holder to fell or pile the balsam fir to meet management objectives.

 

Subd. 4. 

Refunds. 

(a) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 90, upon written request to the commissioner of natural resources by the
holder of an eligible permit that is inactive and intact with more than 30 percent of the total
permit volume in any combination of spruce or balsam fir, the commissioner may cancel
the permit and refund the sale security, advance payments, or bid guarantee as applicable
for the permit to the permit holder.

(b) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 90,
upon written request to the commissioner of natural resources by the holder of an eligible
active permit with more than 30 percent of the total permit volume in any combination of
spruce or balsam fir and a previously existing cutting block agreement, the commissioner
may cancel any intact cutting block designated in the permit that was not bonded or bonded
before July 1, 2020, and refund security, as applicable, for the cutting block to the permit
holder. Any partially harvested cutting block is ineligible to be canceled under this paragraph.
The remaining provisions of the permit remain in effect.

 

Subd. 5. 

Good Neighbor Authority. 

Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 90, the commissioner of natural resources, in consultation with
the United States Forest Service, may negotiate and provide holders of eligible permits with
more than 30 percent of the total permit volume in any combination of spruce or balsam fir
a method to voluntarily return intact cutting blocks designated in Good Neighbor Authority
permits. Upon written request by the eligible permit holder, the commissioner may cancel
any intact cutting block designated in the permit that was not bonded or bonded before July
1, 2020, and refund applicable security for the cutting block to the permit holder. Any
partially harvested cutting block is ineligible to be canceled under this subdivision. The
remaining provisions of the permit remain in effect.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE. 

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

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