An Act Concerning Timber Harvesting on Public Lands and in State Parks, Historic Sites and the Restricted Zone of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §1801, sub-§4-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §1807, as amended by PL 2017, c. 289, §1, is further amended to read:
§ 1807. Sustainable harvest level
Except as provided in this section, timber harvesting on public reserved lands and nonreserved public lands may not exceed in total an average of 160,000 cords per year over any 3-year period. If an independent timber inventory conducted after July 1, 2015 establishes a different sustainable harvest, the department, upon recommendation from staff within the bureau based on opinions of silvicultural experts in public reserved lands management and data from the most recent physical forest inventory, may adopt by rule a different harvesting level consistent with the most recent physical forest inventory, as long as the harvesting level is also consistent with this chapter, multiple use objectives, existing management plans and the department's most recent integrated resource policy for public reserved and nonreserved public lands, state parks and state historic sites. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A and must be reviewed by the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over public reserved and nonreserved public lands matters.
Sec. 3. 12 MRSA §1817, sub-§§5 and 6, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 678, §13, are amended to read:
Sec. 4. 12 MRSA §1817, sub-§6-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 12 MRSA §1826, sub-§§5 and 6 are enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 12 MRSA §1826, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 678, §13 and amended by PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 and PL 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §24, is further amended by adding at the end a new paragraph to read:
The bureau shall adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 7. 12 MRSA §1833, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 1997, c. 678, §13 and amended by PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 and PL 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §24, is further amended to read:
Sec. 8. 12 MRSA §1834, sub-§5 is enacted to read:
Sec. 9. 12 MRSA §1848, sub-§5 is enacted to read:
Sec. 10. 12 MRSA §1853, sub-§1, ¶H, as amended by PL 2017, c. 362, §4, is further amended to read:
Sec. 11. 12 MRSA §1880, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2003, c. 452, Pt. F, §3 and affected by Pt. X, §2 and amended by PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 and PL 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §24, is further amended to read:
The provisions of section 1826, subsections 5 and 6 relating to timber harvesting in state parks and historic sites apply to timber harvesting in the restricted zone.
This bill amends and enacts provisions regarding the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Lands' management of timber harvesting on state property under its jurisdiction, including:
1. Requiring the bureau to report on the State's actual and potential forest inventory status and needs, including the need for a sawmill or other forest products processing facility to be located in the State;
2. Requiring contractors harvesting timber at state parks, historic sites and the restricted zone in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway to be established businesses in the State and to meet other requirements;
3. Requiring forest products harvested or collected from state parks, historic sites, public lands or the restricted zone in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, unless used by the state parks, historic sites or Allagash Wilderness Waterway, to be sold to a sawmill or other forest products processing or manufacturing facility located in the State to be processed or manufactured at the facility;
4. Declaring that it is in the public interest and for the general benefit of the people of the State that title, possession and the responsibility for the management of nonreserved public lands be vested and established in the bureau acting on behalf of the people of the State and that the lands be managed to demonstrate exemplary land management practices, including silvicultural, wildlife and recreational practices, that reflect state policies governing management of forested and related types of lands; and
5. Requiring that the annual report dealing with public reserved lands identify persons who conduct timber harvesting on the lands and the sawmill or other forest products processing or manufacturing facility located in the State to which the forest products derived from the harvesting were delivered.