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Forestry


Timber Sales – There are more than 150,000 acres of forested trust lands in Utah, or 860,000 acres when including pinyon pine and juniper. More than 35,000 acres of these forested trust lands have commercial value. The Trust Lands Administration offers several timber sales each year in which local sawmills purchase timber to make various timber products. The species most often purchased are Douglas fir, Engleman spruce, lodgepole pine, and aspen.

Small Forest Product Sales – Forest products in small quantities of firewood, poles, fence posts, and wildland seed are sold over the counter at all trust land offices.  A permit is required for the harvesting of any such products.  The FOREST PRODUCTS MAP shows which areas are open for small forest product sales.  It is the responsibility of the purchaser to determine whether or not the desired products are available in their area of interest.

To acquire a small forest product permit, please complete and submit the FOREST PRODUCTS PERMIT FORM to any trust lands office along with the required payment.

Small Forest Product Prices:
Firewood – $10.00 per cord / minimum of 2 cords
Cedar Poles – $1.00 to $4.50 each / minimum of $15
Fence Posts – $.50 each / minimum of $15
Wildland Seed – Price Depends on Area and Type

Christmas Trees – At this time we do not allow individuals to cut or collect Christmas trees on trust lands.  Please click here for the US Forest Service webpage for information about their Christmas tree permit process:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/fishlake/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fsm9_019956.

Contact Information
Forestry Program Manager:
Adam Robison – (435) 820-0067

 

Tabby Mountain Aspen Regeneration Project

SITLA has worked to protect the Tabby Mountain forest from catastrophic wildfire through a multi-phase aspen regeneration project. The project also improves wildlife habitat and protects the local watershed. Please watch the video below to see one phase of the project.

 

Benefits of Timber Sales

Timber sales improve long-term forest health by:

  • Reducing wildfire risk
  • Harvesting mature trees prone to disease
  • Promoting growth of young, disease-resistant trees
  • Reducing pine beetle devastation
  • Preserving and promoting the forest understory
  • Creating conditions that will allow the forest to renew itself

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why do you harvest timber? Is it better to leave the forest as it is? 

Timber harvesting is an important part of sustainable forest management. These methods mimic natural fire cycles to promote healthy forest regeneration. Timber harvesting is also important to protect the forest from the bark beetle, pine beetle, and other pathogens, which have ravaged forests throughout the western United States. Reducing fuel loading also helps protect against catastrophic wildfire.

While leaving trees in place may be more aesthetically pleasing for the short-term, long-term forest health will suffer from stagnant mature stands, beetle-kill, and intense wildfires, which can make forest regeneration difficult, if not impossible. These types of projects are necessary so that our children and grandchildren may enjoy the forest for generations to come.


How does a timber harvest affect forest health?

Forests throughout the western U.S. have been severely harmed by outbreaks of several beetle species, which have reached epidemic levels in many locations. In some infected stands, up to 90 percent of trees have been killed. Beetle-killed trees not only reduce the visual appeal of the forest, but greatly increase wildfire danger and intensity. In any area where a beetle epidemic is present it is imperative that mature, disease-prone trees be harvested while they are still healthy and producing good seed stock, offering the best potential for regrowth.


What does a forest look like when a harvest is finished?

All harvests are conducted according to a timber harvest plan, which is developed carefully using scientifically-proven silviculture techniques. Depending on species and age composition, and other factors, management prescriptions dictate how many trees will be removed. To obtain the proper conditions for regrowth, it is sometimes necessary to harvest a majority of trees in some areas, leaving behind only young, disease-resistant trees. All roads, landings and other disturbed areas are reclaimed and reseeded.


How long does it take a forest to recover?

While it may be 20 years or more until you see mature tree stands again, seedling pre-production should start within one to three years. Once the forest canopy is removed, the understory (underlying seed cones) has access to light and nutrients, providing an environment where saplings can take root and eventually grow into a new forest canopy. In the not too distant future, you will likely see saplings beginning to emerge and grow as the forest renews itself. 


When do timber harvesting operations occur?

Logging operations may occur year-round, even during winter months. However, logging operations will not be in progress constantly. Depending on ground and weather conditions, and contractor scheduling, you will see periods of activity and inactivity throughout the contract period.


What is SITLA?

The State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) is a quasi-independent state agency tasked with managing the state’s 3.4 million acres of trust lands. Unlike public lands, trust lands are parcels of land held in trust to support 12 state institutions, primarily public schools, but also state hospitals, teaching colleges, and universities. At the time of statehood, Congress granted trust lands to Utah and created permanent endowments to support these institutions. SITLA is constitutionally mandated to generate revenue from trust lands to build and grow these endowments on behalf of trust beneficiaries.


How does timber harvesting benefit local schools?

Proceeds generated from the sale of timber are deposited into Utah’s Permanent School Fund or into the funds of SITLA’s other beneficiaries. Income generated from the investment of the school fund is distributed annually to public schools, and similar distributions occur for other trust beneficiaries.