Do I need a local permit to cut trees?

Local approvals for tree-cutting depends on where you intend to cut:

  • Shoreland Protection District: If you plan to cut trees in the shoreland protection district, defined here, you should be aware of the following restrictions:
    1. 50-foot Waterfront Buffer:
      • 235-19 F (1)(b): Within this area, dead, diseased, unsafe, noxious, or fallen trees or saplings may be removed, provided that dead and living trees that provide dens and nesting places for wildlife are encouraged to be preserved.
      • 235-19 F (1)(c): The existing natural shoreline, vegetation, and soil shall not be disturbed except in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.
      • 235-19 F (1)(d): No stumps can be removed, although they can be ground down.

The city has no other restrictions on tree-cutting within the Shoreland Protection District. However, the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), has their own restrictions on tree-cutting within 250-feet of waterbodies. Please contact them to ensure you meet all state requirements as well.

  • Wetlands Conservation & Water Quality Overlay District: The Wetlands Conservation & Water Quality Overlay District, defined here, includes wetlands, waterbodies, vernal pools, and their established buffers. The following regulations apply to this overlay district:
    • If your proposed cutting is not a logging operation, then you must receive a conditional use permit from the Planning Board, as outlined by City Ordinance 235-17 H (1): The removal of vegetation, the recontouring or grading of the land, construction of structures, or the placement of impervious surfaces requires a conditional use permit.
    • You do NOT need a permit if you are conducting a logging operation that complies with the following:
      • 235-17 F (1)(a): Utilize best management practices as described in Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations in NH; and
      • 235-17 F (1)(b): Comply with all applicable state laws including obtaining and filing an intent-to-cut form according to RSA 79:10, and filing a complete Notification of Forest Management Activities Having Minimum Wetlands Impact according to RSA 482-A:3, or obtaining a State Wetlands Board permit according to RSA 482-A.

 Please note that there are exemptions to this overlay district – if you are unsure about whether your property falls into these exemptions, please call the conservation technician at 603-527-1264. 

Show All Answers

1. Does my project proposal need to go before the Conservation Commission?
2. Do I need a local permit to cut trees?
3. What is the difference between pervious and impervious surfaces?
4. What is green space and how do I calculate the square footage of green space on my property?
5. What is the difference between a Conservation Easement, Conservation Open Space, and Current Use?