N. H. Timber Harvesting Council

The New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council (NHTHC) was formed in 1993 by a group of logging-industry leaders. Sponsored by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA), UNH Cooperative Extension and the UNH Thompson School of Applied Sciences, Forest Technology Program, the council works to:

  • Provide training standards the timber harvesting industry
  • Conduct training which benefits loggers by improving work efficiency, safety and environmental awareness
  • Publicly recognize loggers completing training programs
  • Improve awareness and compliance of timber harvesting and wetlands laws and regulations

Who can apply

  • Any person gainfully employed in timber harvesting to include manual or mechanical felling, limbing, bucking, skidding, trucking or chipping.
  • A business owner, contractor or employee of a timber harvesting business
  • Residents of surrounding states conducting 25 percent or more of their business in New Hampshire

Professional Logger Program (PLP)

The PLP is a four core-course certificate program available to loggers on a voluntary basis. Since its inception in 1993 the program has educated thousands of loggers throughout the state. Over 350 loggers maintain their certificates each year.

Becoming PLP-certified

Any qualified individual successfully completing 32 credits of basic course work within two years is certified for four years. Those individuals hoping to become certified should complete the required course work within two calendar years—courses can be repeated if if the two years have gone by. Certification is valid for four years, though the First Aid and CPR class should be renewed every two years.

Basic Courses for Cutters and Equipment Operators:

  • First Aid & CPR - 8 credits
  • Timber Harvesting Law - 8 credits
  • Safe and Productive Felling Practices - 8 credits
  • Fundamentals of Forestry - 8 credits

Basic Courses for Truckers:

  • First Aid & CPR - 8 credits
  • Timber Harvesting Law - 8 credits
  • Safe Trucking - 8 credits
  • Fundamentals of Forestry - 8 credits

Basic Courses for Mechanized Logging Operators:

  • First Aid & CPR - 8 credits
  • Timber Harvesting Law - 8 credits
  • Mechanized Harvesting - 8 credits
  • Fundamentals of Forestry - 8 credits

Maintaining PLP certification

To maintain certification, a qualified timber harvester is required to participate in 32 credit hours of related continuing education or public service, within four years of initial certification and each four years thereafter. Sixteen of those credits must be in First Aid and CPR. (The National Safety Council requires that First Aid and CPR certificates be updated every two years.) Before credits for recertification can be earned, the logger or trucker must have started course work for certification.

Category I—Formal Education and Self-Improvement
Credits are awarded for classes toward a degree or certificate. One credit is earned for one hour of instruction, with a maximum of 8 credits in this category. Proof of attendance is required. Examples include:

  • High School GED
  • Business courses
  • College courses
  • EMT courses
  • Certified Welders Program
  • Computer courses

Category II—Logging and Forestry Seminars and Meetings
Any logging or industry-related classes or seminars offered by NHTHC, UNH Cooperative Extension, Forest Resources Association, Northeastern Loggers Association, Society of American Foresters, Vermont and Maine logger programs, or other state or regional organizations may apply. One hour of instruction time recieves one credit and there are no limits to credits earned in this category. Proof of attendance is required.

NHTHC in cooperation with UNH Cooperative Extension provides eight-credit elective courses in this category. Recent examples:

  • Basic Welding
  • Advanced or Specialized Welding
  • Book Keeping for Loggers
  • Logger Rescue
  • Wildlife Management for Loggers
  • GPS for Loggers
  • Advanced Falling
  • Best Management Practices
  • Evaluating Best Management Practices
  • Maintenance of Mechanized equipment
  • Call the NHTOA office or talk to a Timber Harvesting Council representative if you have a course idea.

Category III—Community and Professional Service
Credits are awarded for participation and leadership in community and professional organizations.  Up to 8 credits can be earned in this category.

Examples of Community Service

  • Selectman (8 credits)
  • School Board (8 credits)
  • Conservation Commission (8 credits)
  • Scout Leader (8 credits)
  • School Presentations (1 hour = 2 credits) Etc

Examples of Professional Service

  • NH Timber Harvesting Council committees (8 Credits for 3 years)
  • Forest Resource Association committees (8 credits)
  • Northeastern Loggers Association committee (8 credits)
  • Volunteering to help with special projects (Fund-raisers, assisting with PLP classes, etc., 1 hour = 1 credit)

Other examples

  • Written letters to the editor of a newspaper, magazine, other publication and letters to legislators can recieve one credit per article or letter up to a maximum of eight credits. Submit copies to NHTHC.
  • A newsletter with distribution indicated. Submit a copy to NHTHC.
  • Testimony at a legislative hearing is two credits per hour for a minimum of two credits.

Verification of Category III type of service must be in the form of a written statement describing the level of involvement and it must be signed by the chairperson of the board or group with whom you serve. If you are the chair, have someone who serves with you sign a statement.

Additional Miscellaneous Additional notes

  • Proof of attendance is required for courses and workshops.
  • Regardless of the specific category, the applicant informs the NHTHC of accomplishments.
  • The date of recertification is December 1 of the year the course work is completed.
  • The NH Professional Loggers Program Personal Log Book is a great place to record any recertification work and keep copies of certificates. The Recertification Committee reviews everything submitted and the applicant is notified of the committee’s decisions.

For more information about the PLP program contact Cheri Birch at the NH Timberland Owners Association 603-224-9699 or cbirch@nhtoa.org.


Extension State Specialist, Forest Industry
Forest Industry State Specialist/Extension Professor
Phone: (603) 862-2402
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Extension Field Specialist, Forestry
Phone: 603-787-6944
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824