When is a forest notification required?

All forest owners are obligated to manage their forests responsibly and in accordance with current legislation. The need to abide by legal requirements applies particularly to legal persons whose forests are larger than 2 hectares and private persons whose forests are larger than 5 hectares. Owning a larger plot of forest land means that valid inventory data, i.e. a survey description, is required for cutting. We have covered survey descriptions in a previous article, which you should read to understand this one.

Even if valid inventory data exists for a forest plot, you should not go cutting down your forest just yet. Before that, you should figure out if a valid forest notification is required for the planned cutting works.

What is a forest notification?

If the forest has been assessed and the survey descriptions prepared, the planned amount of wood to be cut should be defined. For example, if you wish to cut trees for firewood and the forest material to be cut does not exceed 20 cubic metres, you are good to go. However, if the prescribed cut exceeds 20 cubic metres, a valid forest notification is required for cutting.

The forest notification is submitted to the Environmental Board and must contain the following:

  • information on planned cuts (except cleaning cuts);
  • information on significant damage not entered into the forest register (for example, expansive blowdown or damage caused by fires).
How to submit a forest notification

Forest notifications can be submitted in several ways, including electronically. Based on the information from the Environmental Board, a forest notification can be submitted as follows:

  • In the online environment of the forest register  register.metsad.ee
  • By sending an electronically filled and digitally signed forest notification to the e-mail address info@keskkonnaamet.ee of the Environmental Board
  • By bringing the forest notification to an office of the Environmental Board
  • By mailing the forest notification to your regional office of the Environmental Board

Guidelines on submitting an electronic forest notification are available HERE and the fillable PDF of the forest notification can be found HERE (in Estonian).

What is the duration of the processing procedure of a forest notification?

The verification of compliance of a forest notification based on valid inventory data usually takes up to 15 days. If the planned cutting requires approvals or a forest protection assessment, the process may take up to 30 days.

If the planned cut is legal, it is registered in the forest register. In addition, significant damage entered into the forest notification is registered in the forest register.

If the forest notification or planned cut is not compliant with requirements, the Environmental Board will announce this in writing and give recommendations on bringing the cut into compliance with legal acts.

If the Environmental Board has approved the forest notification, the planned cut may be carried out within 12 months of registering the cut in the forest register.

Looking for help with forestry-related questions?

EstEst PR has been actively engaged in forest land transactions and forest management for 25 years. We are familiar with the legislation and legal regulations governing the forestry sector and therefore also with all details related to forest transactions and responsible management.

Need help with preparing a survey description? Or in cutting? Looking to sell your forest and forest land to an experienced forest management company? We can help you! We mainly operate in Northern and Southern Estonia, but are also active on the islands. Contact us by calling +372 504 5215, writing to the e-mail address info@est-land.ee , or using our contact form.