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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 141-H.F.No. 823 
                  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.] Forest 
        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.  The commissioner 
        may shall designate forest roads by written order published in 
        the State Register.  Designated 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.  The 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: 
           Subd. 11.  [EFFECTIVE PERMIT.] "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. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.01, is amended 
        by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.] "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. 
           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.  A 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. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 90.042, is 
        amended to read: 
           90.042 [PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROCESS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [REPORT TO LEGISLATURE.] 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. 
           Subd. 2.  [PUBLIC MEETINGS.] 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. 
           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.  The 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.  No 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.  For the purposes of this subdivision, "employee" 
        means an individual working for salary or wages on a full-time 
        or part-time basis. 
           (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 REPORT REPORTS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [REPORT TO LEGISLATURE.] 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.  
           Subd. 2.  [REPORT TO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.] 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. 
           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 permit, the person required to file the bond may deposit 
        with the commissioner of finance cash,; a certified check,; a 
        cashier's check,; a personal check,; a postal, bank, or express 
        money order, assignable bonds or notes of the United States, or 
        an assignment of a bank savings account or investment 
        certificate; or an irrevocable bank letter of credit, in the 
        same amount as would be required for a bond.  If 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.  All of the conditions 
        of the timber sale bond shall equally apply to the deposit with 
        the commissioner of finance the alternatives in lieu of bond.  
        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 purchaser of any timber or the purchaser's 
        assignee holder of an effective permit fails to cut any part 
        thereof before the expiration of the permit, the purchaser or 
        assignee permit holder shall 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 
        following rewards shall commissioner may offer a reward to be 
        paid to any a person giving to the proper authorities any 
        information which shall lead that leads to the detection and 
        conviction of any persons a person violating any of the 
        provisions of this chapter:  $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.  The reward is limited to the greater of 
        $100 or ten percent of the single stumpage value of any timber 
        unlawfully cut or removed.  The Executive Council commissioner 
        shall pay the same reward from any funds appropriated for its 
        expenses that 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.  
           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, bark, and air, if cut in 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 green 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 wood shall be based on 74 79 cubic feet of 
        solid wood content per cord.  The 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. 
           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), exclusive of the down payment 
        required for an auction sale in paragraph (b).  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 an irrevocable bank letter of 
        credit or cash deposit is provided for the down payment required 
        in paragraph (b), and no 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.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2004, sections 90.01, subdivision 9; and 
        90.041, subdivisions 3 and 4, are repealed. 
           Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           This act is effective July 1, 2005. 
           Presented to the governor May 31, 2005 
           Signed by the governor June 3, 2005, 8:25 a.m.