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HF 823

4th Engrossment - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 4th Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying the State
Timber Act; modifying timber sale requirements on
tax-forfeited land; clarifying state forest road
designation; modifying standard measurements for wood;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, sections 89.71,
subdivision 1; 90.01, by adding subdivisions; 90.041,
subdivision 5; 90.042; 90.101, subdivision 2; 90.121;
90.172; 90.173; 90.211; 90.301, subdivision 4; 239.33;
282.04, subdivision 1; repealing Minnesota Statutes
2004, sections 90.01, subdivision 9; 90.041,
subdivisions 3, 4.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 89.71,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Designation, inventory, recording.

deleted text beginForest
roads, bridges, and other improvements administered under
section 89.002, subdivision 3, are designated as state forest
roads to the width of the actual use including ditches,
backslopes, fills, and maintained right-of-way, unless otherwise
specified in a prior easement of record.
deleted text endThe commissioner
deleted text begin may deleted text endnew text beginshall new text enddesignate forest roads by written order published in
the State Register. new text beginDesignated forest roads, bridges, and other
improvements administered under section 89.002, subdivision 3,
are designated to the width of the actual use including ditches,
backslopes, fills, and maintained right-of-way, unless otherwise
specified in a prior easement of record.
new text endThe commissioner may
undesignate, by written order published in the State Register,
all or part of a state forest road that is not needed to carry
out forest resource management policy. Designations and
undesignations are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of
chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply. The commissioner
shall maintain and keep current an inventory listing and
describing roads in which the state claims a right or property
interest for state forest road purposes. The commissioner may
file for record with a county recorder or registrar of titles
appropriate documents setting forth the state's interest in all
or part of any state forest road.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.01, is amended
by adding a subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Effective permit. new text end

new text begin "Effective permit" means a
permit for which the commissioner has on file full or partial
surety as required by section 90.161, 90.162, 90.163, or 90.173
or, in the case of permits issued according to section 90.191 or
90.195, the commissioner has received a down payment equal to
the full appraised value.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.01, is amended
by adding a subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Responsible bidder. new text end

new text begin "Responsible bidder" means
a person who is financially responsible; demonstrates the
judgment, skill, ability, capacity, and integrity requisite and
necessary to perform according to the terms of a permit issued
under this chapter; and is not currently debarred by another
government entity for any cause.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.041,
subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Forest improvement contracts.

The commissioner
may contract as part of the timber sale with the purchaser of
state timber at either informal or auction sale for the
following forest improvement work to be done on the land
included within the sale area: preparation of the site for
seeding or planting of seedlings or trees, seeding or planting
of seedlings or trees, and other activities relating to forest
regeneration. new text beginA contract issued under this subdivision is not
subject to the competitive bidding provisions of chapter 16C and
is exempt from the contract approval provisions of section
16C.05, subdivision 2.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.042, is
amended to read:


90.042 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROCESS.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Report to legislature. new text end

By July 1 each
year, the commissioner must provide a complete description of
the public involvement process for timber harvest plans to the
chairs of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over
natural resources policy and finance. The process must provide
public notice and public input in affected areas of proposed
annual harvest plans.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Public meetings. new text end

new text begin By May 1 each year, the
commissioner shall hold one or more public meetings in the
forested area of the state to inform the public of the manner in
which the proposed annual harvest plan for the next fiscal year
is proposed to be allocated between informal, intermediate, and
regular auction sales. The public shall be afforded an
opportunity to provide written and oral comments concerning the
proposed allocation.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.101,
subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Sale list and notice.

At least 30 days before
the date of sale, the commissioner shall compile a list
containing a description of each tract of land upon which any
timber to be offered is situated and a statement of the
estimated quantity of timber and of the appraised price of each
kind of timber thereon as shown by the report of the state
appraiser. deleted text beginThe commissioner may also list the estimated
quantity of timber of doubtful market value and the appraised
price of each kind of such timber within the permit area that
may be cut at the discretion of the purchaser. Optional timber
will not be considered a part of the sale contract until the
permit holder has advised the commissioner in writing of an
intent to cut such timber.
deleted text endNo description shall be added after
the list is posted and no timber shall be sold from land not
described in the list. Copies of the list shall be furnished to
all interested applicants. A copy of the list shall be
conspicuously posted in the forest office or other public
facility most accessible to potential bidders at least 30 days
prior to the date of sale. The commissioner shall cause a
notice to be published once not less than one week before the
date of sale in a legal newspaper in the county or counties
where the land is situated. The notice shall state the time and
place of the sale and the location at which further information
regarding the sale may be obtained. The commissioner may give
other published or posted notice as the commissioner deems
proper to reach prospective bidders.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.121, is
amended to read:


90.121 INTERMEDIATE AUCTION SALES; MAXIMUM LOTS OF 3,000
CORDS.

(a) The commissioner may sell the timber on any tract of
state land in lots not exceeding 3,000 cords in volume, in the
same manner as timber sold at public auction under section
90.101, and related laws, subject to the following special
exceptions and limitations:

(1) the commissioner shall offer all tracts authorized for
sale by this section separately from the sale of tracts of state
timber made pursuant to section 90.101;

(2) no bidder may be awarded more than 25 percent of the
total tracts offered at the first round of bidding unless fewer
than four tracts are offered, in which case not more than one
tract shall be awarded to one bidder. Any tract not sold at
public auction may be offered for private sale as authorized by
section 90.101, subdivision 1, to persons eligible under this
section at the appraised value; and

(3) no sale may be made to a person having more than 20
employees. new text beginFor the purposes of this subdivision, "employee"
means an individual working for salary or wages on a full-time
or part-time basis.
new text end

(b) The auction sale procedure set forth in this section
constitutes an additional alternative timber sale procedure
available to the commissioner and is not intended to replace
other authority possessed by the commissioner to sell timber in
lots of 3,000 cords or less.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.172, is
amended to read:


90.172 ANNUAL deleted text beginREPORT deleted text endnew text beginREPORTSnew text end.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Report to legislature. new text end

The commissioner
shall file an annual report on or before September 30 of each
year with the Legislative Reference Library providing detailed
information on all auctions and informal sales made in the
previous fiscal year. The report shall include but not be
limited to the names and addresses of all purchasers, volumes of
timber purchased, species, appraised value and sale price. The
commissioner shall make copies of the report available to the
public upon request.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Report to executive council. new text end

new text begin The commissioner
shall report on or before September 30 of each year or more
frequently, as required, to the state Executive Council
concerning the status of the state timber sales and timber
management program, including any special problems or changes
occurring since the previous report.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.173, is
amended to read:


90.173 PURCHASER'S OR ASSIGNEE'S CASH DEPOSIT IN LIEU OF
BOND.

(a) In lieu of filing the bond required by section 90.161
or 90.171, as security for the issuance or assignment of a
timber permitnew text begin,new text endthe person required to file the bond may deposit
with the commissioner deleted text beginof finance deleted text endcashdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text enda certified checkdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text enda
cashier's checkdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text enda personal checkdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text enda postal, bank, or express
money orderdeleted text begin, assignable bonds or notes of the United States, or
an assignment of a bank savings account or investment
certificate
deleted text endnew text begin;new text endor an irrevocable bank letter of creditdeleted text begin,deleted text endin the
same amount as would be required for a bond. deleted text beginIf securities
listed in this section are deposited, the par value of the
securities shall be not less than the amount required for the
timber sale bond, and the person required to file the timber
sale bond shall submit an agreement authorizing the commissioner
to sell or otherwise take possession of the security in the
event of default under the timber sale.
deleted text endAll of the conditions
of the timber sale bond shall equally apply to deleted text beginthe deposit with
the commissioner of finance
deleted text endnew text beginthe alternatives in lieu of bondnew text end.
In the event of a default the state may take from the deposit
the sum of money to which it is entitled; the remainder, if any,
shall be returned to the person making the deposit. When cash
is deposited for a bond, it shall be applied to the amount due
when a statement is prepared and transmitted to the permit
holder pursuant to section 90.181. Any balance due to the state
shall be shown on the statement and shall be paid as provided in
section 90.181. Any amount of the deposit in excess of the
amount determined to be due pursuant to section 90.181 shall be
returned to the permit holder when a final statement is
transmitted pursuant to that section. All or part of a cash
bond may be withheld from application to an amount due on a
nonfinal statement if it appears that the total amount due on
the permit will exceed the bid price.

(b) If an irrevocable bank letter of credit is provided as
security under paragraph (a), at the written request of the
permittee the state shall annually allow the amount of the bank
letter of credit to be reduced by an amount proportionate to the
value of timber that has been harvested and for which the state
has received payment under the timber permit. The remaining
amount of the bank letter of credit after a reduction under this
paragraph must not be less than the value of the timber
remaining to be harvested under the timber permit.

(c) If cash; a certified check; a cashier's check; a
personal check; or a postal, bank, or express money order is
provided as security under paragraph (a) and no cutting of state
timber has taken place on the permit, the commissioner may
credit the security provided, less any deposit required by
sections 90.14 and 90.163, to any other permit to which the
permit holder requests in writing that it be credited.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.211, is
amended to read:


90.211 PURCHASE MONEY, WHEN FORFEITED.

If the deleted text beginpurchaser of any timber or the purchaser's
assignee
deleted text endnew text beginholder of an effective permit new text endfails to cut any part
thereof before the expiration of the permit, the deleted text beginpurchaser or
assignee
deleted text endnew text beginpermit holder new text endshall nevertheless pay the price
therefor; but under no circumstances shall timber be cut after
the expiration of the permit or extension thereof.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.301,
subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Apprehension of trespassers; reward.

The
deleted text begin following rewards shall deleted text endnew text begincommissioner may offer a reward to new text endbe
paid to deleted text beginany deleted text endnew text begina new text endperson giving to the proper authorities any
information deleted text beginwhich shall lead deleted text endnew text beginthat leads new text endto the deleted text begindetection and
deleted text end conviction of deleted text beginany persons deleted text endnew text begina person new text endviolating deleted text beginany of the
provisions of
deleted text endthis chapterdeleted text begin: $25 reward, if the value of the
timber so unlawfully cut or removed shall not exceed the sum of
$25; $50 reward, if the value of the timber shall not exceed
$50; and $100 reward, if the value of the timber shall exceed
the sum of $100; and the court before whom the person so
violating the provisions of this chapter shall have been tried,
shall, upon application of any person claiming to be entitled to
such reward, examine the claim in a summary manner and determine
whether or not the person claiming the reward is entitled to the
same and, if it should appear to the satisfaction of the court
that the person claiming the reward is entitled to the same, a
certificate of such facts shall be made by the court and
delivered to the person, which shall be deemed evidence of a
right to the reward
deleted text end. new text beginThe reward is limited to the greater of
$100 or ten percent of the single stumpage value of any timber
unlawfully cut or removed.
new text endThe deleted text beginExecutive Council deleted text endnew text begincommissioner
new text end shall pay the deleted text beginsame deleted text endnew text beginreward new text endfrom deleted text beginany deleted text endfunds appropriated for deleted text beginits
expenses
deleted text endnew text beginthat purpose or from receipts from the sale of state
timber. A reward shall not be paid to salaried forest officers,
conservation officers, or licensed peace officers
new text end.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 239.33, is
amended to read:


239.33 STANDARD MEASUREMENTS OF WOOD.

In all contracts for sale of wood the term "cord" shall
mean 128 cubic feet of wood, new text beginbark, and air, if cut new text endin four-foot
lengths; and if the sale is of "sawed wood," a cord shall mean
110 cubic feet when ranked, or 160 cubic feet when thrown
irregularly or loosely into a conveyance for delivery to the
purchaser; and if the sale is of "sawed and split wood," a cord
shall mean 120 cubic feet, when ranked, and 175 cubic feet when
thrown irregularly and loosely into a conveyance for delivery.
If a measurement is made by weight, the term "cord" or any other
term used to describe freshly cut deleted text begingreen aspen in 100-inch or
pole lengths containing 133-1/3 cubic feet of loosely or
irregularly piled wood for transportation constitutes 4,300
pounds during the period of May 1 through October 31 and 4,500
pounds during the period of November 1 through April 30.
Specified weights are
deleted text endnew text beginwood shall be new text endbased on deleted text begin74 deleted text endnew text begin79 new text endcubic feet of
solid wood content per cord. new text beginThe weight per cord may vary by
species or species group. In case of any dispute when the
parties have not otherwise agreed in writing to the weight per
cord by species or species group, the weight most recently
established by the commissioner of natural resources prevails.
new text end

In all contracts for sale of wood, the term "board foot"
means 144 cubic inches of wood measured in any combination of
length, thickness, and width. If a measurement or scale is made
of logs, Scribner's decimal C rule is the standard rule for
determining board feet log scale. When measuring or scaling
logs, each log must be scaled individually by the largest number
of even feet in its length above eight and under 24 feet. All
logs of 24 feet or more in length must be scaled as two or more
logs. This section does not apply to finished lumber measured
in nominal dimensions.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 282.04,
subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Timber sales; land leases and uses.

(a)
The county auditor may sell timber upon any tract that may be
approved by the natural resources commissioner. The sale of
timber shall be made for cash at not less than the appraised
value determined by the county board to the highest bidder after
not less than one week's published notice in an official paper
within the county. Any timber offered at the public sale and
not sold may thereafter be sold at private sale by the county
auditor at not less than the appraised value thereof, until the
time as the county board may withdraw the timber from sale. The
appraised value of the timber and the forestry practices to be
followed in the cutting of said timber shall be approved by the
commissioner of natural resources.

(b) Payment of the full sale price of all timber sold on
tax-forfeited lands shall be made in cash at the time of the
timber sale, except in the case of oral or sealed bid auction
sales, the down payment shall be no less than 15 percent of the
appraised value, and the balance shall be paid prior to entry.
In the case of auction sales that are partitioned and sold as a
single sale with predetermined cutting blocks, the down payment
shall be no less than 15 percent of the appraised price of the
entire timber sale which may be held until the satisfactory
completion of the sale or applied in whole or in part to the
final cutting block. The value of each separate block must be
paid in full before any cutting may begin in that block. With
the permission of the county contract administrator the
purchaser may enter unpaid blocks and cut necessary timber
incidental to developing logging roads as may be needed to log
other blocks provided that no timber may be removed from an
unpaid block until separately scaled and paid for. If payment
is provided as specified in this paragraph as security under
paragraph (a) and no cutting has taken place on the contract,
the county auditor may credit the security provided, less any
down payment required for an auction sale under this paragraph,
to any other contract issued to the contract holder by the
county under this chapter to which the contract holder requests
in writing that it be credited, provided the request and
transfer is made within the same calendar year as the security
was received.

(c) The county board may require final settlement on the
basis of a scale of cut products. Any parcels of land from
which timber is to be sold by scale of cut products shall be so
designated in the published notice of sale under paragraph (a),
in which case the notice shall contain a description of the
parcels, a statement of the estimated quantity of each species
of timber, and the appraised price of each species of timber for
1,000 feet, per cord or per piece, as the case may be. In those
cases any bids offered over and above the appraised prices shall
be by percentage, the percent bid to be added to the appraised
price of each of the different species of timber advertised on
the land. The purchaser of timber from the parcels shall pay in
cash at the time of sale at the rate bid for all of the timber
shown in the notice of sale as estimated to be standing on the
land, and in addition shall pay at the same rate for any
additional amounts which the final scale shows to have been cut
or was available for cutting on the land at the time of sale
under the terms of the sale. Where the final scale of cut
products shows that less timber was cut or was available for
cutting under terms of the sale than was originally paid for,
the excess payment shall be refunded from the forfeited tax sale
fund upon the claim of the purchaser, to be audited and allowed
by the county board as in case of other claims against the
county. No timber, except hardwood pulpwood, may be removed
from the parcels of land or other designated landings until
scaled by a person or persons designated by the county board and
approved by the commissioner of natural resources. Landings
other than the parcel of land from which timber is cut may be
designated for scaling by the county board by written agreement
with the purchaser of the timber. The county board may, by
written agreement with the purchaser and with a consumer
designated by the purchaser when the timber is sold by the
county auditor, and with the approval of the commissioner of
natural resources, accept the consumer's scale of cut products
delivered at the consumer's landing. No timber shall be removed
until fully paid for in cash. Small amounts of timber not
exceeding $3,000 in appraised valuation may be sold for not less
than the full appraised value at private sale to individual
persons without first publishing notice of sale or calling for
bids, provided that in case of a sale involving a total
appraised value of more than $200 the sale shall be made subject
to final settlement on the basis of a scale of cut products in
the manner above provided and not more than two of the sales,
directly or indirectly to any individual shall be in effect at
one time.

(d) As directed by the county board, the county auditor may
lease tax-forfeited land to individuals, corporations or
organized subdivisions of the state at public or private sale,
and at the prices and under the terms as the county board may
prescribe, for use as cottage and camp sites and for
agricultural purposes and for the purpose of taking and removing
of hay, stumpage, sand, gravel, clay, rock, marl, and black dirt
from the land, and for garden sites and other temporary uses
provided that no leases shall be for a period to exceed ten
years; provided, further that any leases involving a
consideration of more than $12,000 per year, except to an
organized subdivision of the state shall first be offered at
public sale in the manner provided herein for sale of timber.
Upon the sale of any leased land, it shall remain subject to the
lease for not to exceed one year from the beginning of the term
of the lease. Any rent paid by the lessee for the portion of
the term cut off by the cancellation shall be refunded from the
forfeited tax sale fund upon the claim of the lessee, to be
audited and allowed by the county board as in case of other
claims against the county.

(e) As directed by the county board, the county auditor may
lease tax-forfeited land to individuals, corporations, or
organized subdivisions of the state at public or private sale,
at the prices and under the terms as the county board may
prescribe, for the purpose of taking and removing for use for
road construction and other purposes tax-forfeited stockpiled
iron-bearing material. The county auditor must determine that
the material is needed and suitable for use in the construction
or maintenance of a road, tailings basin, settling basin, dike,
dam, bank fill, or other works on public or private property,
and that the use would be in the best interests of the public.
No lease shall exceed ten years. The use of a stockpile for
these purposes must first be approved by the commissioner of
natural resources. The request shall be deemed approved unless
the requesting county is notified to the contrary by the
commissioner of natural resources within six months after
receipt of a request for approval for use of a stockpile. Once
use of a stockpile has been approved, the county may continue to
lease it for these purposes until approval is withdrawn by the
commissioner of natural resources.

(f) The county auditor, with the approval of the county
board is authorized to grant permits, licenses, and leases to
tax-forfeited lands for the depositing of stripping, lean ores,
tailings, or waste products from mines or ore milling plants,
upon the conditions and for the consideration and for the period
of time, not exceeding 15 years, as the county board may
determine. The permits, licenses, or leases are subject to
approval by the commissioner of natural resources.

(g) Any person who removes any timber from tax-forfeited
land before said timber has been scaled and fully paid for as
provided in this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(h) The county auditor may, with the approval of the county
board, and without first offering at public sale, grant leases,
for a term not exceeding 25 years, for the removal of peat from
tax-forfeited lands upon the terms and conditions as the county
board may prescribe. Any lease for the removal of peat from
tax-forfeited lands must first be reviewed and approved by the
commissioner of natural resources if the lease covers 320 or
more acres. No lease for the removal of peat shall be made by
the county auditor pursuant to this section without first
holding a public hearing on the auditor's intention to lease.
One printed notice in a legal newspaper in the county at least
ten days before the hearing, and posted notice in the courthouse
at least 20 days before the hearing shall be given of the
hearing.

(i) Notwithstanding any provision of paragraph (c) to the
contrary, the St. Louis County auditor may, at the discretion of
the county board, sell timber to the party who bids the highest
price for all the several kinds of timber, as provided for sales
by the commissioner of natural resources under section 90.14.
Bids offered over and above the appraised price need not be
applied proportionately to the appraised price of each of the
different species of timber.

(j) In lieu of any payment or deposit required in paragraph
(b), as directed by the county board and under terms set by the
county board, the county auditor may accept an irrevocable bank
letter of credit in the amount equal to the amount otherwise
determined in paragraph (b)deleted text begin, exclusive of the down payment
required for an auction sale in paragraph (b)
deleted text end. If an
irrevocable bank letter of credit is provided under this
paragraph, at the written request of the purchaser, the county
may periodically allow the bank letter of credit to be reduced
by an amount proportionate to the value of timber that has been
harvested and for which the county has received payment. The
remaining amount of the bank letter of credit after a reduction
under this paragraph must not be less than 20 percent of the
value of the timber purchased. If new text beginan irrevocable bank letter of
credit or cash deposit is provided for the down payment required
in paragraph (b), and
new text endno cutting of timber has taken place on
the contract for which a letter of credit has been provided, the
county may allow the transfer of the letter of credit to any
other contract issued to the contract holder by the county under
this chapter to which the contract holder requests in writing
that it be credited.

Sec. 14. new text beginREPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2004, sections 90.01, subdivision 9; and
90.041, subdivisions 3 and 4, are repealed.
new text end

Sec. 15. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective July 1, 2005.
new text end