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SF 4134

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/10/2020 08:50am

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

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; establishing Lorax Act; appropriating money;
proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 88.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [88.85] NO NET LOSS OF FOREST.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Deforest" means to permanently remove trees from forest land to clear the land for
an alternate purpose.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Forest land" has the meaning given under section 89.001, subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Findings; public interest. new text end

new text begin (a) The legislature finds that the forests of Minnesota
are important to comprehensive forest and water management and provide public value by:
new text end

new text begin (1) protecting drinking water and reducing the cost of water treatment;
new text end

new text begin (2) conserving and cooling surface waters;
new text end

new text begin (3) maintaining and improving water quality;
new text end

new text begin (4) preserving wildlife habitat;
new text end

new text begin (5) providing recreational opportunities;
new text end

new text begin (6) reducing runoff;
new text end

new text begin (7) providing for floodwater retention;
new text end

new text begin (8) reducing stream sedimentation;
new text end

new text begin (9) contributing to improved subsurface moisture;
new text end

new text begin (10) helping to moderate climatic change;
new text end

new text begin (11) sequestering carbon;
new text end

new text begin (12) contributing to climate resiliency;
new text end

new text begin (13) enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape; and
new text end

new text begin (14) contributing greatly to the health, safety, economic well-being, and general welfare
of this state and its citizens.
new text end

new text begin (b) The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to:
new text end

new text begin (1) achieve no net loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's
existing forests;
new text end

new text begin (2) increase the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's forests by
restoring or enhancing diminished or converted forests;
new text end

new text begin (3) avoid direct or indirect impacts from activities that destroy or diminish the quantity,
quality, and biological diversity of forests; and
new text end

new text begin (4) replace forest values where avoiding activity is not feasible and prudent.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin No net loss. new text end

new text begin A person may not deforest forest land unless the forest land is
replaced with forest land that has an equal or greater public value under a replacement plan
approved by the commissioner under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Forest land replacement plans. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner must approve forest
land replacement plans under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) Replacement must be guided by the following principles in descending order of
priority:
new text end

new text begin (1) avoiding the direct or indirect impact to forest land;
new text end

new text begin (2) minimizing the impact by limiting the degree or magnitude of the activity and its
impact on forest land; and
new text end

new text begin (3) compensating for the impact by replacing the forest land as provided under this
section.
new text end

new text begin (c) Replacement plans must consider the following public benefits:
new text end

new text begin (1) replacement forest to provide an equivalent amount of groundwater protection as
removed forest;
new text end

new text begin (2) nondegradation of water;
new text end

new text begin (3) climate resiliency;
new text end

new text begin (4) carbon sequestration; and
new text end

new text begin (5) nonfragmentation of forest.
new text end

new text begin (d) Forest land replacement must be done in the ratio of one acre of replacement forest
for each acre of deforested forest.
new text end

new text begin (e) Forest land replacement plans must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) tree species, size, and quantity;
new text end

new text begin (2) methods of planting, protecting, caring for, and managing trees;
new text end

new text begin (3) maps detailing the location of tree plantings; and
new text end

new text begin (4) trees of an appropriate species for the biome and for climate resiliency as approved
by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Forest land replacement siting. new text end

new text begin Forest land replacement must follow the
following priority order:
new text end

new text begin (1) in the same minor watershed as the impacted forest;
new text end

new text begin (2) in the same watershed as the impacted forest;
new text end

new text begin (3) in the same basin; and
new text end

new text begin (4) in another basin.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Exceptions. new text end

new text begin Replacement requirements under this section do not apply to forest
land deforested as part of a conservation project approved by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Citation. new text end

new text begin This section may be cited as the "Lorax Act."
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $....... in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of
natural resources to implement Minnesota Statutes, section 88.85.
new text end