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HF 2954

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/15/2010 09:42am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; providing for general burning permits; modifying
authority to establish forestry services fees; modifying timber sales provisions;
eliminating certain pilot projects and reports; amending Minnesota Statutes
2008, sections 88.17, subdivisions 1, 3; 88.79, subdivision 2; 90.041, by adding
a subdivision; 90.14; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 90.172;
Minnesota Statutes 2009 Supplement, section 88.795.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 88.17, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

deleted text beginPermitdeleted text endnew text begin Permissionnew text end required.

(a) deleted text beginA permitdeleted text endnew text begin Permissionnew text end to start a fire
to burn vegetative materials and other materials allowed by Minnesota Statutes or official
state rules and regulations may be given by the commissioner or the commissioner's agent.
This permission shall be in the form of:

(1) a written permit issued by a forest officer, fire warden, or other person authorized
by the commissioner; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(2) an electronic permit issued by the commissioner, an agent authorized by the
commissioner, or an Internet site authorized by the commissionerdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (3) a general permit adopted by the county board of commissioners according to
paragraph (c).
new text end

(b) new text beginWritten and electronic new text endburning permits shall set the time and conditions by which
the fire may be started and burned. The permit shall also specifically list the materials that
may be burned. The permittee must have the permit on their person and shall produce
the permit for inspection when requested to do so by a forest officer, conservation officer,
or other peace officer. The permittee shall remain with the fire at all times and before
leaving the site shall completely extinguish the fire. A person shall not start or cause a
fire to be started on any land that is not owned or under their legal control without the
written permission of the owner, lessee, or an agent of the owner or lessee of the land.
Violating or exceeding the permit conditions shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be
cause for the permit to be revoked.

new text begin (c) A general burning permit may be adopted by the county board of commissioners
in counties that are determined by the commissioner either to not be wildfire areas as
defined in section 88.01, subdivision 6, or to otherwise have low potential for damage
to life and property from wildfire. The commissioner shall consider the history of and
potential for wildfire; the distribution of trees, brush, grasslands, and other vegetative
material; and the distribution of property subject to damage from escaped fires. Upon a
determination by the commissioner and adoption by a vote of the county board, permission
for open burning is extended to all residents in the county without the need for individual
written or electronic permits, provided burning conforms to all other provisions of this
chapter, including those related to responsibility to control and extinguish fires, no burning
of prohibited materials, and liability for damages caused by violations of this chapter.
new text end

new text begin (d) Upon adoption of a general burning permit, a county must establish specific
regulations by ordinance, to include at a minimum the time when and conditions under
which fires may be started and burned. No ordinance may be less restrictive than state law.
new text end

new text begin (e) At any time when the commissioner or the county board determines that a general
burning permit is no longer in the public interest, the general permit may be canceled by
mutual agreement of the commissioner and the county board.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 88.17, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Special permits.

The following special permits are required at all times,
including when the ground is snow-covered:

(a) Fire training. A permit to start a fire for the instruction and training of
firefighters, including liquid fuels training, may be given by the commissioner or agent of
the commissioner. Except for owners or operators conducting fire training in specialized
industrial settings pursuant to applicable federal, state, or local standards, owners
or operators conducting open burning for the purpose of instruction and training of
firefighters with regard to structures must follow the techniques described in a document
entitled: Structural Burn Training Procedures for the Minnesota Technical College System.

(b) Permanent tree and brush open burning sites. A permit for the operation of
a permanent tree and brush burning site may be given by the commissioner or agent of
the commissioner. Applicants for a permanent open burning site permit shall submit a
complete application on a form provided by the commissioner. Existing permanent tree
and brush open burning sites must submit for a permit within 90 days of the passage of
this statute for a burning permit. New site applications must be submitted at least 90
days before the date of the proposed operation of the permanent open burning site. The
application must be submitted to the commissioner and must contain:

(1) the name, address, and telephone number of all owners of the site proposed for
use as the permanent open burning site;

(2) if the operator for the proposed permanent open burning site is different from the
owner, the name, address, and telephone number of the operator;

(3) a general description of the materials to be burned, including the source and
estimated quantitynew text begin, dimensions of the site and burn pile areas, hours and dates of operation,
and provisions for smoke management
new text end; and

(4) a topographic or similarly detailed map of the site and surrounding area within
a one mile circumference showing all structures that might be affected by the operation
of the site.

Only trees, tree trimmings, or brush that cannot be disposed of by an alternative
method such as chipping, composting, or other method shall be permitted to be burned
at a permanent open burning site. A permanent tree and brush open burning site must
be located new text beginand operated new text endso as not to create a nuisance or endanger water text begin The
commissioner shall revoke the permit or order actions to mitigate threats to public health,
safety, and the environment in the event that permit conditions are violated.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 88.79, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Charge for service; receipts to special revenue fund.

new text beginNotwithstanding
section 16A.1283,
new text endthe commissioner of natural resources may deleted text begincharge the ownerdeleted text endnew text begin, by written
order published in the State Register, establish fees the commissioner determines to be
fair and reasonable that are charged to owners
new text end receiving deleted text beginsuchdeleted text end services deleted text beginsuch sums as the
commissioner shall determine to be fair and reasonable
deleted text endnew text begin under subdivision 1new text end. The charges
must account for differences in the value of timber and other benefits. The receipts from
such services shall be credited to the special revenue fund and are annually appropriated to
the commissioner for the purposes specified in subdivision 1.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 90.041, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Reoffering unsold timber. new text end

new text begin To maintain and enhance forest ecosystems on
state forest lands, the commissioner may reoffer timber tracts remaining unsold under the
provisions of section 90.101 below appraised value at public auction with the required
30-day notice under section 90.101, subdivision 2.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 90.14, is amended to read:


(a) All state timber shall be offered and sold by the same unit of measurement as it
was appraised. No tract shall be sold to any person other than the purchaser in whose name
the bid was made. The commissioner may refuse to approve any and all bids received and
cancel a sale of state timber for good and sufficient reasons.

(b) The purchaser at any sale of timber shall, immediately upon the approval of the
bid, or, if unsold at public auction, at the time of purchase at a subsequent sale under
section 90.101, subdivision 1, pay to the commissioner a down payment of 15 percent
of the appraised value. In case any purchaser fails to make such payment, the purchaser
shall be liable therefor to the state in a civil action, and the commissioner may reoffer the
timber for sale as though no bid or sale under section 90.101, subdivision 1, therefor
had been made.

(c) In lieu of the scaling of state timber required by this chapter, a purchaser of
state timber may, at the time of payment by the purchaser to the commissioner of 15
percent of the appraised value, elect in writing on a form prescribed by the attorney
general to purchase a permit based solely on the appraiser's estimate of the volume of
timber described in the permit, provided that the commissioner has expressly designated
the availability of such option for that tract on the list of tracts available for sale as
required under section 90.101. A purchaser who elects in writing on a form prescribed
by the attorney general to purchase a permit based solely on the appraiser's estimate of
the volume of timber described on the permit does not have recourse to the provisions
of section 90.281.

(d) In the case of a public auction sale conducted by a sealed bid process, tracts shall
be awarded to the high bidder, who shall pay to the commissioner a down payment of 15
percent of the appraised value deleted text beginwithin ten business days of receiving a written award
deleted text endnew text begin that must be received or postmarked within 14 days of the date of the sealed bid
new text end. If a purchaser fails to make the down payment, the purchaser is liable for the
down payment to the state and the commissioner may offer the timber for sale to the next
highest bidder as though no higher bid had been made.

(e) Except as otherwise provided by law, at the time the purchaser signs a permit
issued under section 90.151, the new text begincommissioner shall require the new text endpurchaser deleted text beginshalldeleted text end new text beginto new text endmake
a bid guarantee payment to the commissioner in an amount equal to 15 percent of the
total purchase price of the permit less the down payment amount required by paragraph
(b)new text begin for any bid increase in excess of $5,000 of the appraised valuenew text end. If deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text begina required new text endbid
guarantee payment is not submitted with the signed permit, no harvesting may occur, the
permit cancels, and the down payment for timber forfeits to the state. The bid guarantee
payment forfeits to the state if the purchaser and successors in interest fail to execute
an effective permit.

Sec. 6. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 90.172, new text end new text begin and new text end new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2009 Supplement,
section 88.795,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end