Tomcat ships with a default logging.properties file that's generic enough to be used however we already override it with a custom log file as seen at https://github.com/apache/hadoop-common/blob/trunk/hadoop-hdfs-project/hadoop-hdfs-httpfs/pom.xml#L557
This is necessary because we can have the log locations controlled by httpfs.log.dir env variable (instead of default catalina.base/logs), control the prefix of the log files names, etc.
In any case, this overriding doesn't always happen. In my environment, the custom logging.properties file doesn't get overridden. The reason is the destination logging.properties file already exists and the maven pom's copy command silently fails and doesn't override. If we explicitly delete the destination logging.properties file, then the copy command successfully completes. You may notice, we do the same thing with server.xml (which doesn't have this problem). We explicitly delete the destination file first and then copy it over. We should do the same with logging.properties as well.