Before You Harvest… Protect Your Interests
1. Seek the advice of a trusted attorney. It is important to seek the advice of the forestry professionals, either at state agencies or a private consulting firm who can help you plan for a harvest. It is equally important for you to seek the advice of an attorney who can prepare for you a timber sale contract. Timber sale contracts are not complicated or lengthy and no fine print is necessary. A trusted local attorney can use this sample contract to draft a contract which meets your specific needs.
2. Don’t get talked out of using a contract. Too many Kentucky landowners have made the mistake of entering into a logging agreement on a verbal understanding and a firm handshake. The logger and the landowner are both well advised to have a clear written understanding of the terms of the logging project, including the timber harvest management practice standards to be used by the logger. The prudent landowner will have no problem addressing both his financial and ecological concerns with the logger if a proper timber sale contract is prepared. Don’t be persuaded to enter into a verbal logging agreement. Any ethical logger understands that you have a legal right to a signed written contract to avoid misunderstandings. If a logger is attempting to talk you out of using the timber sale contract—that is the first red flag letting you know that you may be talking with the wrong logger.
3. Who should pay for the contract? First, the timber sale contract is not an expensive legal document. By reviewing the sample contract, you will notice that the contract is not lengthy or complicated. Read this sample contract thoroughly before visiting your attorney. Your advance preparation will likely limit his or her time to a couple of hours. This will be a minor cost of the overall timber harvesting project. By accepting the responsibility of paying for the binding timber sale contract, you get the comfort of knowing your interests are protected. The old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, is applicable here. The cost of a simple contract is only a fraction of the cost of property damage or a dispute over timber sales proceeds.
4. Can I just use the contract in the Handbook? The contract offered here is only an example. You are encouraged to use the sample contract as a basis for discussion and consultation with an attorney of your choosing. The drafting of a binding contract should be done by an attorney whom you trust. The sample is not intended to be used by you without first consulting with your attorney.
The contract offered here is a sample and is to be used as a guideline only. Consult your local attorney to add or amend this sample to meet your specific needs.
Content that is underlined or where options are listed (E.G.: a. or b.) requires consideration for your specific circumstances.
Many thanks for Michael Campbell (Campbell, Rogers and Blair, Attorneys at Law) for drafting this sample contract.
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