Forestland classification is a process by which a committee studies all lands within the fire protection district boundary to determine which lands are "forestland." Once lands have been determined to meet the definition of forestland, they are further classified as lands primarily suitable for timber production, grazing use, or a combination of the two.
"Forestland" means any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgment of the forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed.
Forest landowners are required by law to provide protection from fire for their lands. Rather than having their own firefighting force, most private landowners have ODF or their local fire protective association protect their lands. To fund this service, they pay a forest patrol assessment to the state. Forestland classification is done at the local level. Each county within a forest protection district has a committee that meets periodically to determine which lands meet the definition of forestland and are subject to the forest patrol assessment.
Recent forestland classification processes
Final Forestland Classification Documents - October 2016
Final Forestland Classification Maps - October 2016
Minutes - Forestland Classification Committee Meetings and Public Hearing - 2016