Tree Removal Information / Selling Logs


Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit

785 Mountain Ranch Road

San Andreas, CA 95249



The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) enforces the laws that regulate logging on privately owned lands in California. These laws are found in the Forest Practice Act, which was enacted in 1973 to ensure logging is done in a manner that will protect our natural resources. The removal of “commercial” timber species from areas of pending new construction, and from the area around existing structures is included under these regulations. In Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, “commercial” timber species includes Ponderosa Pine, Jeffery Pine, Sugar Pine, Western White Pine, White Fir, Red Fir, Douglas Fir, Lodgepole Pine (Tamarack) and Incense Cedar. These permits are free of charge from CAL FIRE and are submitted to CAL FIRE Region Headquarters in Fresno. These documents are used in those situations that are exempt from the requirement of a Timber Harvesting Plan. The three most commonly used exemption documents are:

1. Removal of Fire Hazard Trees within 150 feet of a Structure Exemption

This exemption permit is required for the removal of selected trees which are located up to 150 feet from around existing structures that are deemed by the landowner to be a potential hazard to any structures that have been permitted through the County Building Permit process. This permit is required only if the wood is sold, bartered, exchanged, or traded. A Licensed Registered Professional Forester’s (RPF) services are not required. A Licensed Timber Operator (LTO) must be listed on the permit and is responsible for all logging activities. The Licensed Timber Operator must have an approved copy on-site at the time of operations and has one year to complete timber operations. Clearcutting, Shelterwood Removal and Seed Tree Removal cutting methods are not allowed. CAL FIRE has up to 5 days to accept the permit.

2. Dead, Dying, or Diseased: Fuelwood or Split Products Exemption

This exemption permit is required when removing trees that are dead or are obviously dying from insect attack or disease, or when removing fuel wood. The harvest cannot exceed 10% of the volume per acre. Otherwise a Timber Harvesting Plan is required. A Licensed Registered Professional Forester’s services are not required. This CAL FIRE permit is required only if the wood is sold, bartered, exchanged, or traded. CAL FIRE has up to 5 days to accept the permit. This permit is valid for 1 year.

3. Less than 3 Acre Conversion Exemption

This one-time exemption permit is required for property owners who intend to clear for structures and other needed improvements (i.e. driveways, utility lines, out buildings, septic systems, etc.) in preparation for such development. This permit is required whether or not the trees are sold, bartered, exchanged, or traded. There are other uses for this conversion form and each situation is unique. Consult your local CAL FIRE Forester for more information. A Registered Professional Forester must prepare this permit and a Licensed Timber Operator must conduct timber operations. The Licensed Timber Operator must have a copy of the exemption on-site at the time of operations and has one year to complete timber operations. Responsibility for treatment of logging slash and woody debris may be assumed by the landowner, provided that the landowner acknowledges in writing to the Director at the time of notice such responsibility and specific slash and woody debris treatment requirements and timing. The land owner must submit to CAL FIRE in Fresno a Work Completion Report within one month of completion of timber operations. Building contractors are ineligible to perform this work unless they are a Licensed Timber Operator. CAL FIRE has up to 15 days to accept the permit. This permit is valid for 1 year.

Specific terms and conditions apply to all permits, including logging debris clean-up requirements and protection of wildlife, archaeological sites, water quality, and other natural resources. Before hiring an LTO, be sure to ask the LTO for proof of valid insurance or call CAL FIRE LTO Licensing at (916) 653-7211. A state filing fee is not imposed for the three forms, however the person listed on the form as a Timber Owner will be required to pay a post-harvest yield tax based on the board foot volume of timber removed from the parcel to the State Board of Equalization. Small amounts of timber may be exempt from yield tax. A complete listing of these and other CAL FIRE forms and information can be found at:

Adam Frese is the local CAL FIRE Licensed Forester. He is available to assist landowners through the permit process and can be reached at 209/532-7424 extension 109.

Below is partial listing of Registered Professional Foresters and Licensed Timber Operators that conduct forestry and timber harvesting operations within Tuolumne and Calaveras County. This listing does not imply endorsement of a particular company nor their integrity on the ground. Be sure to ask both the LTO and RPF to show proof of a valid license and valid liability insurance. Additional contacts may be found in the yellow pages of a local telephone book, under Foresters-Consulting and Logging Companies.


Ross Richards (209) 736-4988

Martin Fischer Logging (209) 293-4847

Glenn Gottschall (209) 533-3748

Butch Bray Logging (209) 728-2575

Bill Pollard (209) 728-2243

George Dubois Logging (209) 293-7884

Mike Albrecht (209) 984-1146

Tanner Bros. Logging (209) 728-2923

Will Dorrell (209) 588-1920

Sullivan Logging (209) 754-4389

Leon Manich (209) 588-1920

Keith Alderman Logging (209) 532-9636

Steve Cannon (209) 296-1569

Terry Poston Logging (209) 532-2423

Tom Lowry (209) 223-0251

Dunlap Enterprises (209) 532-4974

Mark Stewart (209) 621-4100

Steve Crook Logging (209) 962-7716

David Thompson (209) 245-5235

Joe Cover & Sons Logging (209) 928-4433

Dave Baker (209) 588-1891

Sierra West Logging (209) 795-1203

Finn’s Logging & Tree Service (209) 795-7649

Dave Alley Tree Service (209) 533-3448

Randy Gray (209) 532-3294 or


C&H Tree Service (209) 588-1846