(1) The department classifies contiguous forest land of 15 acres or more, under one ownership which is capable of producing timber that can be harvested in commercial quantity with:
(a) an annual productive capacity of 100 board feet or more of lumber per acre in live softwood trees, measured using the Scribner Log Rule, at the culmination of the MAI for fully stocked natural stands;
(b) softwood timber stocked at 10 percent or greater on an area of at least 120 feet in width; or
(c) a minimum stocking rate of 300 saplings per acre with 12-foot average spacing.
(2) Land that does not meet the stocking requirements in (1)(b) or (1)(c) because of timber harvest, clear-cuts, or by natural disaster, but will have trees regenerated within ten years, is classified as forest land.
(3) Land that was classified as forest land in a prior year and is now reduced to less than 15 acres as the result of a land acquisition through eminent domain, as set forth in 70-30-102, MCA, maintains its forest land classification unless the forest land has been further divided or is devoted to a residential, commercial, or industrial use as provided in 15-6-143, MCA.
(4) Forest land classification is not available for nonforest land, nonproductive forest land, noncommercial forest land, or land:
(a) incapable of yielding wood products due to adverse site conditions;
(b) withdrawn from timber use by statute, ordinance, covenant, court order, or administrative order;
(c) producing commercially marketable cultivated Christmas trees; or
(d) producing fruit trees or ornamental trees, including trees used as shade trees and windbreaks.
(5) A person who owns two or more contiguous parcels of land deeded in non-identical names may file an affidavit with the department attesting to the parcels as being under one ownership.