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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 337-S.F.No. 2546 
                  An act relating to natural resources; providing for 
                  the recovery of sunken logs in inland waters; 
                  proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
                  chapter 103G; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1998, 
                  section 514.53. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [103G.650] [RECOVERING SUNKEN LOGS ON INLAND 
        WATERS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) Unless the language or 
        context clearly indicates that a different meaning is indicated, 
        the following terms, for the purposes of this section, shall 
        have the meanings given to them. 
           (b) "Log" means a portion of the trunk of a felled tree 
        that has not been further processed for any end use. 
           (c) "Person" means a natural person, including a person 
        acting in a representative capacity, or a corporation, firm, or 
        association of whatever nature or kind. 
           (d) "Submerged lands" means beds of navigable waters below 
        the low water mark. 
           (e) "Inland waters" means navigable bodies of water within 
        the boundaries of this state, excluding boundary lakes and 
        boundary rivers. 
           (f) "District office" means the office of the area forest 
        supervisor, unless otherwise stipulated in a lease issued under 
        this section. 
           (g) "Officer" means a forest officer, conservation officer, 
        or other peace officer. 
           Subd. 2.  [TITLE TO SUNKEN LOGS AND HISTORICAL 
        ARTIFACTS.] Notwithstanding section 16B.25, title and ownership 
        of a log or historical artifact that rests for more than one 
        year on submerged land owned by the state in inland waters is 
        considered abandoned property that has forfeited to the state. 
           Subd. 3.  [APPLICATION TO REMOVE SUNKEN LOGS.] A person who 
        wishes to raise and remove logs that are resting on submerged 
        lands owned by the state and that are located in inland waters 
        shall make application to the commissioner for a lease.  A 
        person may not hold more than three leases at one time.  Each 
        lease must be for a specific lake or river.  A resident 
        applicant shall include with the application a fee of $500.  A 
        nonresident applicant shall include a fee of $2,500.  The 
        applicant shall: 
           (1) identify the inland lake or river where the logs will 
        be raised; 
           (2) identify the submerged land area requested for the 
        lease by providing the section, township, and range in which the 
        inland water is located; 
           (3) specify the methods to be used in raising the sunken 
        logs, including any techniques with the potential to disturb 
        lake bed material; 
           (4) provide evidence of a general liability insurance 
        policy that names the state as a coinsured party and that is in 
        force for the lease with limits of at least $300,000 per 
        occurrence and $1,000,000 in aggregate; and 
           (5) include any additional information required by the 
        commissioner. 
           Subd. 4.  [REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS.] The commissioner shall 
        review and approve applications in order by time and date 
        received to prevent two or more applications being approved for 
        the same lease.  The commissioner shall immediately notify the 
        Minnesota historical society of each application received.  The 
        commissioner shall publish notice of each application in the 
        State Register and allow 30 days for public comment.  Within 60 
        days after the time date stamp of receipt, the commissioner 
        shall either approve, modify and approve, or deny an 
        application.  In determining whether to approve an application, 
        the commissioner shall consider: 
           (1) whether the project requires a permit under section 
        103G.245; 
           (2) whether the proposed project may affect public rights 
        in navigable waters; 
           (3) whether the proposed project is subject to any 
        requirements arising under federal law; and 
           (4) whether the project meets ecological criteria for 
        protection of fish, wildlife, and native plants and their 
        habitats. 
           Subd. 5.  [LEASE TERMS.] (a) The terms and conditions in 
        this subdivision must be specified in leases issued under this 
        section.  
           (b) A lease is effective for three years and is not 
        transferable.  A lease may be renewed within 90 days of 
        expiration for a fee of $50.  
           (c) Within one year after the effective date of the lease, 
        the lessee shall commence operations to recover the logs covered 
        by the lease or the lease must be canceled.  
           (d) The lease must specify the lake or river where the 
        sunken logs may be raised.  No lake or river may be covered by 
        more than one lease under this section unless the water body is 
        located in more than one county, in which case one lease may be 
        issued in each county.  
           (e) The lessee shall comply with all conditions attached to 
        the lease by the commissioner to protect the public rights in 
        navigable water, ensure compliance with federal requirements, 
        and protect aquatic habitats.  
           (f) The lessee shall only recover logs that are submerged 
        at a water depth of 20 feet or more.  The lessee is entitled to 
        ownership of only the sunken logs recovered during the time 
        covered by the lease from submerged lands described in the lease.
           (g) The location where the recovered logs are deposited on 
        shore is subject to approval by the commissioner but in no case 
        may the operations interfere with the public's use of public 
        accesses.  
           (h) The lessee shall plainly place the number of the lease 
        on all logs recovered to adequately identify the logs from the 
        time they are hauled onto shore until they are delivered to the 
        manufacturing facility where they will be processed.  
           (i) The commissioner reserves the right to revoke the lease 
        for failure to follow the terms and conditions of the lease.  
           (j) The only acceptable method of recovery is by winching 
        so as to minimize disturbance of lake or riverbed material.  
           (k) The commissioner shall bill the lessee for the value of 
        the recovered logs based on a rate of 25 percent of the weighted 
        average selling price for all logs sold from state lands for the 
        preceding 12 months.  
           (l) If the commissioner determines that use of the lease 
        area will interfere with the present or future management 
        objectives of the commissioner, a lease may be canceled upon 21 
        business days' written notice from the commissioner to the 
        lessee.  
           (m) The lessee shall indemnify the commissioner against all 
        claims, damages, costs, and expenses, including attorney fees, 
        arising either from reclamation or from any negligence on the 
        part of the lessee.  
           (n) All divers used in recovery must be certified by the 
        National Association of Scuba Diving Schools or the Professional 
        Association of Diving Instructors.  
           (o) A lessee must notify personnel at the appropriate 
        department district office five working days before raising 
        submerged logs.  
           (p) The commissioner and staff have access to leased 
        premises, recovery vehicles, and land vehicles for inspection at 
        any and all reasonable times.  Failure to comply must result in 
        immediate suspension of recovery and loss of the lease.  
           (q) It is the responsibility of the lessee to notify the 
        Minnesota historical society before commencing log removal.  
        Upon locating historic items, the lessee must notify the 
        Minnesota historical society within one business day.  The 
        historical society shall then make a determination on the 
        disposition of the items found.  The staff of the historical 
        society shall have access to leased premises, recovery vehicles, 
        and land vehicles for inspection at any and all reasonable 
        times.  Failure to comply must result in immediate and permanent 
        suspension of all leases held by the lessee.  
           (r) An officer shall enforce the terms and conditions of a 
        lease issued under this section.  
           (s) If the lessee finds what the lessee reasonably believes 
        to be a pollutant or contaminant, the lessee shall contact the 
        pollution control agency within 24 hours.  
           (t) If the lessee recovers a log with an American Indian 
        tribal mark or brand, the lessee shall notify the nearest tribal 
        government authority within five business days. 
           Subd. 6.  [DISPOSITION OF REVENUE.] Money collected under 
        this section must be deposited in the state treasury and 
        credited as follows: 
           (1) application fees must be credited to the general fund; 
           (2) lease proceeds must be credited to the game and fish 
        fund, unless the submerged lands are permanent school fund 
        lands; and 
           (3) lease proceeds for leases of submerged lands that are 
        permanent school fund lands must be credited to the permanent 
        school fund. 
           Subd. 7.  [PENALTIES.] (a) Recovery of sunken logs that are 
        removed from submerged lands without a lease issued by the 
        commissioner under this section is trespass as defined in 
        section 90.301. 
           (b) After the first offense under this subdivision, a 
        person may not apply for or work under a lease issued under this 
        section to remove sunken logs for a period of one year. 
           (c) After the second offense under this subdivision, a 
        person may not apply for or work under a lease issued under this 
        section to remove sunken logs.  
           Sec. 2.  [PROGRAM REPORT.] 
           No later than June 30, 2003, the commissioner of natural 
        resources shall report to the legislature on the recovery of 
        sunken logs under Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.650.  The 
        report shall include a fiscal note. 
           Sec. 3.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 514.53, is repealed. 
           Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 3 are effective June 1, 2000. 
           Presented to the governor April 3, 2000 
           Signed by the governor April 6, 2000, 3:50 p.m.