The new schedule includes a fee of $5 per acre for forest management and forest stewardship plans, an increase of $2 per acre. However, the new schedule eliminates the $45 base fee that also was charged for each parcel. The schedule also eliminates fees for forest practice plans. These plans typically focus on just one forestry practice, such as tree planting, thinning or prescribed burning.
Sean Brogan, the Forest Service’s director of forest management and development, told the board that the new schedule should simplify the fee structure for landowners. It also could spur more interest in forest practice plans.
The new fee schedule takes effect Aug. 1.
In 2014, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring the Forest Service to charge fees for forest management plans.
In other action, the board:
- Voted to start the rulemaking process for the Animal Shelter Support Fund. The General Assembly established the fund to reimburse local governments for expenses related to operating a registered animal shelter in instances where the shelter’s registration has been denied, suspended or revoked, or the shelter has suffered a catastrophic disaster. The board must approve rules governing eligible expenses and application guidelines.
- Continue the periodic review of rules administered by the NCDA&CS. The General Assembly passed a bill in 2013 that requires agencies to analyze their rules to determine whether they are necessary. The rules and determinations will be posted on the department’s website for public comment for at least 60 days, starting in September.
- Voted to start the procedure to readopt rules the review process previously found to be necessary with substantive public interest. The rules pertain to food protection, and weights and measures.
Four new board members were sworn in at the meeting. They are Anne Faircloth of Sampson County, Jim Lambeth of Richmond County, Dr. Ben Shelton III of Iredell County and Faylene Whitaker of Randolph County.
About the Board of Agriculture
The Board of Agriculture is a policymaking body that adopts regulations for many of the programs administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members are appointed by the governor. The commissioner of agriculture serves as chairman of the board.