Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 11. Forest Resources and the Department of Forestry
5/17/2021

Chapter 11. Forest Resources and the Department of Forestry.

Article 1. Department of Forestry.

§ 10.1-1100. Department of Forestry; appointment of the State Forester.

The Department of Forestry, hereinafter referred to in this chapter as the Department, is continued as an agency under the supervision of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. The Department shall be headed by the State Forester, who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure for a term coincident with his own.

Any vacancy in the office of the State Forester shall be filled by appointment by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

The State Forester shall be a technically trained forester and shall have both a practical and theoretical knowledge of forestry.

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.1; 1988, c. 891; 1993, c. 699.

§ 10.1-1100.1. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this chapter the State Forester or the Department is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the State Forester or the Department may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566.

§ 10.1-1101. General powers of Department.

The Department shall have the following general powers, all of which, with the approval of the State Forester, may be exercised by a unit of the Department with respect to matters assigned to that organizational entity:

1. Employ personnel required to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

2. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter, including, but not limited to contracts with private nonprofit organizations, the United States, other state agencies and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth;

3. Accept bequests and gifts of real and personal property as well as endowments, funds, and grants from the United States government and any other source. To these ends, the Department shall have the power to comply with conditions and execute agreements as necessary, convenient or desirable;

4. Promulgate regulations necessary or incidental to the performance of duties or execution of powers conferred under this chapter;

5. Receive, hold in trust and administer any donation made to it for the advancement of forest resources of the Commonwealth;

6. Undertake evaluation and testing of products and technologies relating to replacement of petroleum-based lubricants and hydraulic fluids with lubricants and hydraulic fluids made or derived from vegetables or vegetable oil, and promote the use of such products and technologies found to be beneficial in preserving and enhancing environmental quality; and

7. Do all acts necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.2; 1988, c. 891; 1995, c. 111.

§ 10.1-1102. Board of Forestry.

The Board of Forestry within the Department of Forestry, referred to in this chapter as the Board, shall be composed of 13 members appointed by the Governor. At least two members shall be representatives of the pine pulpwood industry; two members shall be representatives of the pine lumber industry; two members shall be representatives of the hardwood lumber industry; one member shall be a representative of the timber harvesting industry; and two members shall be small forest landowners. In making appointments to the Board, the Governor shall take into account the geographic diversity of board membership as it relates to Virginia's forest resources. Beginning July 1, 2012, the Governor's appointments shall be staggered as follows: four members for a term of one year, three members for a term of two years, three members for a term of three years, and three members for a term of four years. After the initial staggering of terms, appointments shall be for four-year terms. The State Forester shall serve as executive officer of the Board.

No member of the Board, except the executive officer, shall be eligible for more than two successive terms; however, persons subsequently appointed to fill vacancies may serve two additional successive terms after the terms of the vacancies they were appointed to fill have expired. All vacancies in the membership of the Board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term.

The Board shall meet at least three times a year for the transaction of business. Special meetings may be held at any time upon the call of the executive officer of the Board, or a majority of the members of the Board.

Members of the Board shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of their membership on the Board.

Code 1950, § 10-84; 1986, c. 539; 1986, c. 567, § 10-84.1; 1988, c. 891; 1990, c. 127; 1992, c. 145; 2011, cc. 691, 714; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 10.1-1103. Powers of the Board.

A. The Board shall be charged with matters relating to the management of forest resources in the Commonwealth.

B. The Board shall advise the Governor and the Department on the state of forest resources within the Commonwealth and the management of forest resources. The Board shall encourage persons, agencies, organizations and industries to implement development programs for forest resource management and counsel them in such development. In addition, the Board shall recommend plans for improving the state system of forest protection, management and replacement, and shall prepare an annual report on the progress and conditions of state forest work.

C. The Board shall formulate recommendations to the State Forester concerning regulations and other matters applicable to Article 10 (§ 10.1-1170 et seq.), including types of equipment to be purchased, rental rates for equipment, and reforestation practices.

1986, c. 567, § 10-84.2; 1988, c. 891; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

Article 2. Duties of the State Forester and General Provisions.

§ 10.1-1104. General powers and duties of State Forester.

The State Forester, under the direction and control of the Governor, shall exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon him by law and shall perform other duties required of him by the Governor or the appropriate citizen boards.

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.3; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1105. Additional powers and duties of State Forester.

A. The State Forester shall supervise and direct all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the Commonwealth. He shall have charge of all forest wardens and shall appoint, direct and supervise persons he employs to perform labor in the forest reservations or the nurseries provided for herein, and he is authorized to employ temporary forest wardens to extinguish forest fires in the Commonwealth. He shall take such action as is authorized by law to prevent and extinguish forest fires; develop a program to promote the use of prescribed burning for community protection and ecological, silvicultural, and wildlife management; enforce all laws pertaining to forest and woodlands; prosecute any violation of such laws; develop silvicultural best management practices, including reforestation, prevention of erosion and sedimentation, and maintenance of buffers for water quality, pursuant to Article 12 (§ 10.1-1181.1 et seq.); collect information relative to forest destruction and conditions; direct the protection and improvement of all forest reservations; and, as far as his duties as State Forester will permit, conduct an educational course on forestry at the University of Virginia for credit toward a degree, at farmers' institutes and at similar meetings within the Commonwealth. He shall provide for the protection of state waters from pollution by sediment deposition resulting from silvicultural activities as provided in Article 12 (§ 10.1-1181.1 et seq.). In addition, the State Forester shall cooperate with counties, municipalities, corporations and individuals in preparing plans and providing technical assistance, based on generally accepted scientific forestry principles, for the protection, management and replacement of trees, wood lots and timber tracts and the establishment and preservation of urban forests, under an agreement that the parties obtaining such assistance shall pay the field and traveling expenses of the person employed in preparing such plans. The State Forester also shall assist landowners and law-enforcement agencies with regard to reported cases of timber theft.

B. Records of the Department composed of confidential commercial or financial information supplied by individuals or business entities to the Department in the course of an investigation of timber theft are excluded from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.4; 1988, c. 891; 1989, c. 215; 1993, c. 948; 1997, c. 7; 1998, c. 156; 1999, c. 220; 2000, c. 997; 2019, cc. 348, 353.

§ 10.1-1105.1. Century forest program.

The State Forester shall establish and administer a century forest program to honor families in the Commonwealth whose property has been in the same family for 100 years or more and includes at least 20 contiguous acres of managed forest. In order to be eligible for recognition under the program, a property shall (i) have been owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years; (ii) be lived on, or actually managed by, a descendant of the original owners; and (iii) have a documented history of timber harvests or forest management activities.

2016, c. 6.

§ 10.1-1106. State Forester to control forest reserves and funds; reforesting; preservation of timber, etc.

The care, management and preservation of the forest reserves of the Commonwealth and the forests thereon, and all moneys appropriated in that behalf, or collected therefrom in any way, and all personal and real property acquired to carry out the objects of this chapter, shall be subject to the control of the State Forester.

The State Forester shall observe, ascertain, follow and put into effect the best methods of reforesting cutover and denuded lands, foresting wastelands, preventing the destruction of forests by fire, the administering of forests on forestry principles, the instruction and encouragement of private owners in preserving and growing timber for commercial and manufacturing purposes, and the general conservation of forest tracts around the headwaters and on the watersheds of the watercourses of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 10-32; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1107. Purchase of lands and acceptance of gifts for forestry purposes by the State Forester; management; definition of state forests.

A. The State Forester shall have authority to purchase in the name of the Commonwealth lands suitable for state forests. He may accept for state forest purposes gifts, devises and bequests of real and personal property as well as endowments, funds, and grants from any source. Unless otherwise restricted by the terms of the gift, devise or bequest, the State Forester is authorized, in the name of the Commonwealth, to convey or lease any such real property given to it, with the consent and approval of the Governor and the General Assembly and the approval of the instrument as to form by the Attorney General. Mineral and mining rights over and under land donated may be reserved by the donors.

B. The State Forester shall have the power and authority to accept gifts, donations and contributions of land, and to enter into agreements for the acquisition by purchase, lease or otherwise with, the United States, or any agency or agent thereof, of lands for state forests.

C. The State Forester shall have authority to provide for the management, development and utilization of any lands purchased, leased or otherwise acquired, to sell or otherwise dispose of products on or derived from the land, and to enforce regulations governing state forests, the care and maintenance thereof, and the prevention of trespassing thereon, and such other regulations deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Approval by the Governor or General Assembly shall not be required for the sale or harvesting of timber on state forest lands or other lands over which the Department has supervision and control.

D. In exercising the powers conferred by this section, the State Forester shall not obligate the Commonwealth for any expenditure in excess of any funds either donated or appropriated to the Department for such purpose.

E. One-fourth of the gross proceeds derived from timber sales on any state forest lands so acquired by the State Forester shall be paid annually by the State Forester to the counties in which such lands are respectively located, and shall become a part of the general funds of such counties, except for Appomattox, Buckingham and Cumberland Counties. For the Counties of Appomattox, Buckingham and Cumberland, one-eighth of the gross proceeds derived from timber sales on any state forest lands acquired in these counties shall become part of the general funds of these counties and one-eighth shall be expended annually by the Department, upon consultation with each county, for the enhancement of recreational opportunities on those state forest lands located in the county. This subsection shall not apply to properties acquired or managed for nonstate forest purposes.

F. As used in this chapter unless the context requires a different meaning, "state forest" means lands acquired for the Commonwealth by purchase, gift or lease pursuant to this section. These lands shall be managed and protected for scientific, recreational and educational purposes. Uses of the state forests shall include, but not be limited to, research, demonstrations, tours, soil and water management and protection, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.

G. All acquisitions of real property under this section shall be subject to the provisions of § 2.2-1149. The Attorney General shall approve the form of the instruments prior to execution.

Code 1950, § 10-33; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 1999, c. 201; 2007, c. 689; 2009, c. 43; 2012, cc. 197, 248.

§ 10.1-1108. Waste and unappropriated lands.

Any waste and unappropriated land, other than ungranted shores of the sea, marsh or meadowlands exempted from grant by the provisions of § 41.1-3, may be set apart permanently for use as state forest land, by a grant and proclamation signed by the Governor upon the receipt from the State Forester of an application requesting that a certain piece, tract or parcel of waste and unappropriated land be so set apart. The State Forester shall submit with the application a copy of a report describing fully the location of the land, its character and suitability for forestry purposes together with a complete metes and bounds description of the boundary of the tract. The Department of General Services shall review the application and recommend either approval or disapproval of the transaction to the Governor. If the Governor determines that the land is more valuable for forestry purposes than for agricultural or any other purposes, he may authorize the preparation of a grant which shall be reviewed for legal sufficiency by the Attorney General for the Governor's signature and the lesser seal of the Commonwealth.

All lands so granted shall be subject to statutes and regulations relating to the regulation, management, protection and administration of state forests.

Code 1950, § 10-34.2; 1950, p. 225; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 1995, c. 850.

§ 10.1-1109. State forests not subject to warrant, survey or patent.

Lands acquired by the Commonwealth for forestry purposes shall not be subject to warrant, survey or patent.

Code 1950, § 10-42; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1110. Violation of regulations for supervision of state forests, etc.

Violators of any regulation for the supervision or use of any state forest, park, road, street or highway traversing the same, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 10-43; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1111. Kindling fires on state forests; cutting and removing timber; damaging land or timber.

Any person who kindles fire upon any of the state forests of this Commonwealth, except in accordance with regulations prescribed by the State Forester, or who cuts and removes any timber, or who damages or causes the damage of forestland or timber belonging to the Commonwealth, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for each offense committed.

Code 1950, § 10-44; 1986, c. 539; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1112. Notices relating to forest fires and trespasses.

The State Forester shall distribute notices, printed in large letters on cloth or other suitable material, calling attention to the danger of forest fires, to the forest fire laws, and to trespass laws and their penalties, to forest wardens, and to owners of timberland to be posted by them in conspicuous places. Any person other than a forest warden or the owner of the land on which notices are posted, who tears down, mutilates or defaces any such notice shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.5; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1113. Not liable for trespass in performance of duties.

No action for trespass shall lie against the State Forester, or any agent or employee of the State Forester for lawful acts done in performance of his duties.

1986, c. 567, § 10-31.7; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1114. Establishment of nurseries; distribution of seeds and seedlings.

A. The State Forester may establish and maintain a nursery or nurseries, for the propagation of forest tree seedlings, either upon one or more of the forest reservations of the Commonwealth, or upon such other land as he may and which he is empowered to acquire for that purpose. Seedlings from this nursery may be furnished to the Commonwealth without expense for use upon its state forests or other public grounds or parks. Seeds and seedlings may also be distributed to private individuals pursuant to terms and conditions and at prices approved by the State Forester.

B. To the extent permitted by federal law and regulations, the preferred method of treatment shall be fumigation using methyl bromide in seedling plant beds prior to seeding.

C. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services or his designee may issue an inspection certificate for intrastate and interstate shipments of conifer and hardwood seedlings to certify that they are apparently free of pests and diseases.

Code 1950, § 10-36; 1968, c. 40; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2012, cc. 101, 621; 2013, c. 124.

§ 10.1-1115. Sale of trees.

For the purpose of maintaining in perpetuity the production of forest products on state forests, the State Forester may designate and appraise the trees which should be cut under the principles of scientific forest management, and may sell these trees for not less than the appraised value. When the appraised value of the trees to be sold is more than $50,000, the State Forester, before making such sale, shall receive bids therefor, after notice by publication once a week for two weeks in two newspapers of general circulation. The State Forester shall have the right to reject any and all bids and to readvertise for bids. The proceeds arising from the sale of the timber and trees so sold, except as provided in subsection E of § 10.1-1107, shall be paid into the state treasury as provided in § 10.1-1116, and shall be held in the Reforestation Operations Fund for the improvement or protection of state forests or for the purchase of additional lands.

Code 1950, § 10-37; 1970, c. 31; 1986, cc. 539, 567; 1988, c. 891; 2008, c. 19.

§ 10.1-1116. Reforestation Operations Fund.

All money obtained from the state forests, except as provided in subsection E of § 10.1-1107, shall be paid into a special nonreverting fund in the state treasury, to the credit of the Reforestation Operations Fund (the Fund). Interest earned on the moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund, but shall remain in the Fund. The moneys in the Fund are to be utilized for state forest protection, management, replacement, and extension, under the direction of the State Forester.

Code 1950, § 10-39; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2014, c. 263.

§ 10.1-1117. Specialized services or rentals of equipment to landowners, localities and state agencies; fees; disposition of proceeds.

The State Forester may cooperate with landowners, counties, municipalities and state agencies, by making available forestry services consisting of specialized or technical forestry equipment and an operator, or rent to them such specialized equipment. For such services or rentals, a reasonable fee, representing the State Forester's estimate of the cost of such services or rentals, shall be charged.

All moneys paid to the State Forester for such services or rentals shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the Forestry Operations Fund, to be used in the further protection and development of the forest resources of this Commonwealth. Upon presentation of a statement, the landowner, county, municipality or state agency receiving such services or rentals shall pay to the State Forester, within thirty days, the amount of charge shown on the statement.

1964, c. 513, § 10-54.1; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1118. Account of receipts and expenditures.

The State Forester shall keep a full and accurate account of the receipts and expenditures of the Department.

Code 1950, § 10-40; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2004, c. 58.

§ 10.1-1119. Preservation of evidence as to conserving forest supply; reports to General Assembly; publications.

The State Forester shall preserve all evidence taken by him with reference to conserving the forests of the Commonwealth and the methods best adapted to accomplish such object. He shall report his actions, conclusions and recommendations to each session of the General Assembly and from time to time publish for public distribution, in bulletin or other form, such conclusions and recommendations as may be of immediate public interest.

Code 1950, § 10-41; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1119.1. State Forests System Fund established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the State Forests System Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All contributions from income tax refunds and any other source shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of developing and implementing conservation and education initiatives in the state forests system. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the State Forester.

1999, c. 998.

Article 3. Forest Management of State-Owned Lands Fund.

§ 10.1-1120. Forest Management of State-Owned Lands Fund.

The Forest Management of State-Owned Lands Fund established by the legislature in 1980 is continued.

1980, c. 525, § 10-45.1; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1121. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Fund" means the Forest Management of State-Owned Lands Fund.

"State-owned lands" means forest land owned or managed by the various departments, agencies and institutions of the Commonwealth and designated by the Department in cooperation with the Division of Engineering and Buildings of the Department of General Services as being of sufficient size and value to benefit from a forest management plan. State-owned land shall not include properties held or managed by the Department of Wildlife Resources, the Department of Forestry, or the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

1980, c. 525, § 10-45.2; 1981, c. 219; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 1989, c. 656; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-1122. Management, harvesting, sale of timber on state-owned land.

A. The Department in cooperation with the Division of Engineering and Buildings shall develop a forest management plan for state-owned lands with the assistance of affected state agencies, departments and institutions.

B. Prior to the sale of timber from state-owned lands, the proposed sale shall be first approved by the Department and by the Division of Engineering and Buildings. The Department shall make or arrange for all sales so approved and shall deposit all proceeds to the credit of the Fund, except that when sales are made from timber on land held by special fund agencies or the Department of Military Affairs, or from timber on land that is gift property specified in subsection J of § 2.2-1156, the Department shall deposit in the Fund only so much of the proceeds as are needed to defray the cost of the sale and to implement the forestry management plan on that particular tract of land. The remainder of the proceeds from such a sale shall then be paid over to the special fund agency concerned, the Department of Military Affairs, or the agency or institution holding the gift properties, to be used for the purposes of that agency, department, or institution.

1980, c. 525, § 10-45.3; 1981, c. 219; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2009, c. 612; 2019, cc. 659, 660.

§ 10.1-1123. Use of Fund; management, receipt and expenditure of moneys.

The Fund shall be used to defray the costs of timber sales, to develop forest management plans for state-owned lands pursuant to § 10.1-1124, and to implement those plans. The Department shall have the authority to manage, receive and expend moneys for and from the Fund for these purposes.

1980, c. 525, § 10-45.4; 1981, c. 219; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

Article 4. Forest Protection for Cities and Counties.

§ 10.1-1124. Counties and certain cities to pay annual sums for forest protection, etc.

A. Upon presentation to its governing body of an itemized statement duly certified by the State Forester, each county in this Commonwealth, or city which enters into a contract with the State Forester under § 10.1-1125 to provide forest fire prevention, shall repay into the state treasury annually any amounts expended in the preceding year by the State Forester in such county or city for forest protection, forest fire detection, forest fire prevention and forest fire suppression, not to exceed in any one year an amount measured by the acreage, computed, beginning July 1, 2008, upon the basis of seven cents per acre of privately owned forests in the county or city and beginning July 1, 2009, nine cents per acre, according to the most recent United States Forest Survey. In any additions or deductions of acreage from that given by this survey, any land, other than commercial orchards, sustaining as its principal cover a growth of trees or woody shrubs shall be considered forest land, irrespective of the merchantability of the growth, and cutover land shall be considered as forest land unless it has been cleared or improved for other use. Open land shall be considered as forest land when it bears at least 80 well-distributed seedlings or sprouts of woody species per acre. The amounts so repaid by the counties or cities into the state treasury shall be credited to the Forestry Operations Fund for forest protection, forest fire detection, forest fire prevention and forest fire suppression in the Commonwealth and, with such other funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly or contributed by the United States or any governmental or private agency for these purposes, shall be used and disbursed by the State Forester for such purposes. In cities this subsection shall be subject to § 10.1-1125.

B. In any case in which the State Forester and the governing body of any county or city cannot agree upon the additions or deductions to privately owned forest acreage in a particular county or city, or to changes in forest acreage from year to year, the question shall be submitted to the judge of the circuit court of the county or city by a summary proceeding, and the decision of the judge certified to the governing body and to the State Forester, respectively, shall be conclusive and final.

Code 1950, § 10-46; 1964, c. 79; 1984, c. 715; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2008, c. 254.

§ 10.1-1125. Application of Articles 4, 5 and 6 to cities; State Forester authorized to enter into contracts with cities.

A. In addition to the application of this article and Articles 5 (§ 10.1-1131 et seq.) and 6 (§ 10.1-1134.1 et seq.) to forestlands lying in counties, such articles shall also apply to forestlands lying within cities. For the purposes of such articles as applied to cities, forest land shall be considered as comprising land which bears at least eighty well-distributed seedlings or sprouts of woody species per acre and which is specifically included in the provisions of the contract with the city.

B. The State Forester is authorized to enter into contracts prepared by the Attorney General with the governing body of any city in which any such forestland is located. The contract shall include provisions for the State Forester to furnish forest fire protection, prevention, detection, and suppression services and to enforce state law applicable to forest fires on forestlands upon any such lands located within a city. The services so provided by the State Forester shall be of the same general type, character, and standard as the same services provided in counties generally.

1964, c. 79, § 10-46.1; 1974, c. 216; 1984, c. 750; 1986, cc. 188, 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1126. State Forester authorized to enter into agreements with federal agencies.

The State Forester is authorized to enter into agreements, approved by the Attorney General of Virginia, with agencies of the United States government holding title to forest land in any county, city or town. Any such agreement may include provisions for the State Forester to furnish forest fire protection, prevention, detection, and suppression services together with enforcement of state law applicable to forest fires on forestlands within such county, city or town. Costs of such services provided by the State Forester shall be reimbursed to him as provided in the agreement. The services provided by the State Forester shall be of the same general type, character, and standard as the same services provided in counties, cities and towns generally.

1974, c. 216, § 10-46.2; 1984, c. 750; 1986, cc. 188, 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1126.1. Silvicultural practices; local government authority limited.

A. Forestry, when practiced in accordance with accepted silvicultural best management practices as determined by the State Forester pursuant to § 10.1-1105, constitutes a beneficial and desirable use of the Commonwealth's forest resources.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, silvicultural activity, as defined in § 10.1-1181.1, that (i) is conducted in accordance with the silvicultural best management practices developed and enforced by the State Forester pursuant to § 10.1-1105 and (ii) is located on property defined as real estate devoted to forest use under § 58.1-3230 or in a district established pursuant to Chapter 43 (§ 15.2-4300 et seq.) or Chapter 44 (§ 15.2-4400 et seq.) of Title 15.2, shall not be prohibited or unreasonably limited by a local government's use of its police, planning and zoning powers. Local ordinances and regulations shall not require a permit or impose a fee for such silvicultural activity. Local ordinances and regulations pertaining to such silvicultural activity shall be reasonable and necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens residing in the locality, and shall not be in conflict with the purposes of promoting the growth, continuation and beneficial use of the Commonwealth's privately owned forest resources. Prior to the adoption of any ordinance or regulation pertaining to silvicultural activity, a locality may consult with, and request a determination from, the State Forester as to whether the ordinance or regulation conflicts with the purposes of this section. Nothing in this section shall preclude a locality from requiring a review by the zoning administrator, which shall not exceed ten working days, to determine whether a proposed silvicultural activity complies with applicable local zoning requirements.

C. The provisions of this section shall apply to the harvesting of timber, provided that the area on which such harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1 or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in subsection B of § 10.1-1163.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to land that has been rezoned or converted at the request of the owner or previous owner from an agricultural or rural to a residential, commercial or industrial zone or use.

Nothing in this section shall affect any requirement imposed pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) or imposed by a locality pursuant to the designation of a scenic highway or Virginia byway in accordance with §§ 33.2-405 through 33.2-408.

1997, c. 7.

§ 10.1-1127. County and city levies and appropriations.

The governing bodies of the counties and those cities entering into a contract as provided in § 10.1-1125 are authorized to levy taxes and appropriate money for forest protection, improvement and management.

Code 1950, § 10-47; 1964, c. 79; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1127.1. Tree conservation ordinance; civil penalties.

A. The governing body of any county, city or town may adopt a tree conservation ordinance regulating the preservation and removal of heritage, specimen, memorial and street trees, as defined under subsection B of this section, when such preservation and removal are not commercial silvicultural or horticultural activities, including but not limited to planting, managing, or harvesting forest or tree crops. Such ordinance shall consider planned land use by the property owner, may include reasonable fees for the administration and enforcement of the ordinance and may provide for the appointment by the local governing body of an administrator of the ordinance.

B. Any ordinance enacted pursuant to this authority may contain reasonable provisions for the preservation and removal of heritage, specimen, memorial and street trees. For the purpose of this section the following definitions shall apply:

"Arborist" or "urban forester" means a person trained in arboriculture, forestry, landscape architecture, horticulture, or related fields and experienced in the conservation and preservation of native and ornamental trees.

"Heritage tree" means any tree that has been individually designated by the local governing body to have notable historic or cultural interest.

"Memorial tree" means any tree that has been individually designated by the local governing body to be a special commemorating memorial.

"Specimen tree" means any tree that has been individually designated by the local governing body to be notable by virtue of its outstanding size and quality for its particular species.

"Street tree" means any tree that has been individually designated by the local governing body and which grows in the street right-of-way or on private property as authorized by the owner and placed or planted there by the local government.

The designation of such trees shall be by an arborist or urban forester and shall be made by ordinance. The individual property owner of such trees shall be notified prior to the hearing on the adoption of such ordinance by certified mail.

C. The provisions of a tree conservation ordinance enacted pursuant to this section shall not apply: (i) to work conducted on federal or state property; (ii) to emergency work to protect life, limb or property; (iii) to routine installation, maintenance and repair of cable and wires used to provide cable television, electric, gas or telephone service; (iv) to activities with minor effects on trees, including but not limited to, home gardening and landscaping of individual homes; and (v) commercial silvicultural or horticultural activities, including but not limited to planting, managing, or harvesting forest or tree crops.

D. In the event that the application of any ordinance regulating the removal of heritage, specimen, memorial or street trees results in any taking of private property for a public purpose or use, the governing body shall compensate by fee or other consideration the property owner for such taking and the ordinance shall so state thereby notifying the owner of his right to seek such fee or other compensation. The provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 shall apply to the taking of private property for a public purpose pursuant to such local ordinance.

E. Violations of such local ordinance shall be punishable by civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 for each violation.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be in derogation of the authority granted to any county, city or town by the provision of any charter or other provision of law.

1989, c. 678; 2003, c. 940.

§ 10.1-1128. Acquisition and administration.

Each county, city and town acting through its governing body, is authorized to acquire by purchase, gift or bequest tracts of land suitable for the growth of trees and to administer the same, as well as any lands now owned by any such locality and suitable for the growth of trees, as county, city or town forests.

Code 1950, § 10-48; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1129. Purchasing real estate outside of boundaries.

Before any governing body purchases any real estate outside of the county, city or town which it represents pursuant to the provisions of § 10.1-1128, it shall first secure the approval of the governing body of the county, city or town in which the real estate is located.

Code 1950, § 10-49; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1130. State Forester to furnish seedlings and technical assistance.

The State Forester is authorized to supply from any forest tree nursery or nurseries forest tree seedlings and transplants necessary and suitable for reforesting any part or all of any lands acquired or owned and administered by any county, city or town as provided in § 10.1-1128, and to furnish technical assistance and supervision necessary for the proper management and administration of such lands and forests free of cost to counties, cities and towns. The respective counties, cities and towns shall agree to administer such lands in accordance with the practices and principles of scientific forestry as determined by the State Forester or the Board of Forestry.

Code 1950, § 10-50; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

Article 5. Forestry Services for Landowners.

§ 10.1-1131. Authority of State Forester.

The State Forester is authorized to designate, upon request of the landowner, forest trees of private forest landowners for sale or removal, by blazing or otherwise, and to measure or estimate the volume of the trees under the terms and conditions hereinafter provided.

Code 1950, § 10-51; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1132. Administration by State Forester; services rendered.

The State Forester shall administer the provisions of this article. The State Forester, or his authorized agent, upon receipt of a request from a forest landowner for technical forestry assistance or service, may (i) designate forest trees for removal for lumber, veneer, poles, piling, pulpwood, cordwood, ties, or other forest products, by blazing, spotting with paint, or otherwise designating in an approved manner; (ii) measure or estimate the commercial volume contained in the trees designated; (iii) furnish the forest landowner with a statement of the volume of the trees so designated and estimated; and (iv) offer general forestry advice concerning the management of the landowner's forest.

Code 1950, § 10-52; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1133. Fees for services; free services.

Upon presentation of a statement for designating, measuring or estimating services specified in § 10.1-1132, the landowner or his agent shall pay to the State Forester within thirty days of receipt of the statement an amount not to exceed five percent of the sale price or fair market value of the stumpage so designated, measured or estimated. However, for the purpose of further encouraging the use of approved scientific forestry principles on the private forestlands of this Commonwealth, and to permit explanation of the application of such principles, the State Forester may, where he deems it advisable, designate, measure or estimate without charge the trees of a forest landowner on an area not in excess of ten acres.

Code 1950, § 10-53; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1134. Disposition of fees.

All moneys paid to the State Forester for services described in this article shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the Forestry Operations Fund, to be used to provide additional similar scientific forestry services to the landowners of this Commonwealth. The State Forester is hereby authorized to utilize any unobligated balances in the fire suppression fund for the purpose of acquiring replacement equipment for forestry management and protection operations.

Code 1950, § 10-54; 1984, c. 715; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

Article 6. Forest Wardens and Fires.

§ 10.1-1134.1. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Orchard" means agricultural land located in the Commonwealth consisting of at least one-half acre of contiguous land dedicated to the growing of crops from trees, bushes, or vines, which crops are used or are intended to be used for commercial purposes.

"Vineyard" means agricultural land located in the Commonwealth consisting of at least one-half acre of contiguous land dedicated to the growing of grapes that are used or are intended to be used for commercial purposes.

2018, c. 197.

§ 10.1-1135. Appointment and compensation of forest wardens; oath; powers.

The State Forester, when he deems it necessary, may request the Governor to commission persons designated by the State Forester to act as forest wardens of the Commonwealth, to enforce the forest laws and, under his direction, to aid in carrying out the purposes of this chapter. Such wardens shall receive compensation as may be provided in accordance with law for the purpose. Before entering upon the duties of their office, forest wardens thus appointed shall take the proper official oath before the clerk of the court of the county or city in which they reside. While holding such office forest wardens shall be conservators of the peace. They also shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of § 62.1-194.2.

The State Forester may designate certain forest wardens to be special forest wardens. Special forest wardens shall have the same authority and power as sheriffs throughout the Commonwealth to enforce the forest laws.

Code 1950, § 10-55; 1964, c. 79; 1970, c. 433; 1986, cc. 188, 567; 1988, cc. 196, 891.

§ 10.1-1136. Duties of forest wardens.

The duties of the forest wardens are to (i) enforce all forest and forest fire statutes and regulations of the Commonwealth, (ii) serve as forest fire incident commander and perform other duties as needed in the management and suppression of forest fire incidents as long as the authority granted under this section does not conflict with or diminish the lawful authority, duties, and responsibilities of fire chiefs or other fire service officers in charge, including but not limited to the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 27-6.1 et seq.) of Title 27, and (iii) protect the forests of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 10-56; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1137. Duty in case of fires and payment of costs of suppression.

When any forest warden sees or receives a report of a forest fire, he shall proceed immediately to the scene of the fire and employ such persons and means as in his judgment are expedient and necessary to extinguish the fire, within the limits of the expense he has been authorized to incur in his instructions from the State Forester. He shall keep an itemized account of all expenses incurred and immediately send the account verified by affidavit to the State Forester.

Upon approval by the State Forester the account shall be paid from the Forestry Operations Fund.

No such payment shall be made to any person who has maliciously started the fire or to any person whose negligence caused or contributed to the setting of the fire.

Code 1950, § 10-57; 1964, c. 79; 1986, cc. 188, 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1138. Rewards for information leading to conviction of arsonists or incendiaries.

The State Forester shall be authorized, whenever it appears to him that forest fires in any part of the Commonwealth are caused by unknown arsonists or incendiaries, to offer a monetary reward for information sufficient to procure conviction in a court of appropriate jurisdiction of the person or persons responsible for such fire. No law-enforcement officer paid in whole or in part from public funds or employee of the Department shall be eligible to receive such reward.

All such reward money shall be paid from funds appropriated for the protection and development of the forest resources of this Commonwealth, and shall not exceed either $10,000 paid in any one fiscal year or $2,000 paid to any one person for information leading to any one conviction.

1966, c. 8, § 10-57.1; 1986, cc. 188, 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1139. Who may be summoned to aid forest warden.

Any forest warden to whom written instructions have been issued by the State Forester authorizing him to employ persons to assist in suppressing forest fires, shall have the authority to summon as many able-bodied persons between eighteen and fifty years of age as may, in his discretion, be reasonably necessary to assist in extinguishing any forest fire in any county or city of the Commonwealth which is organized for forest fire control under the direction of the State Forester. Any person summoned by a forest warden to fight a forest fire shall be paid at the rate of pay provided in the Department of Forestry wage scale for fire fighting in effect in the county or city, or part thereof, in which the fire is fought. Wardens shall not summon for such service any person while engaged in maintaining the rights-of-way of railroads for the safe passage of trains, nor any station agent, operator or other person while engaged in duties necessary for the safe operation of trains.

Any person summoned who fails or refuses to assist in fighting the fire, unless the failure is due to physical inability or other valid reason, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 10-59; 1964, c. 79; 1973, c. 401; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1140. Liability of warden for trespass.

No action for trespass shall lie against any forest warden on account of lawful acts done in the legal performance of his duties.

Code 1950, § 10-60; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1140.1. Defense of forest wardens.

If any commissioned forest warden appointed by the State Forester is brought before any regulatory body, summoned before any grand jury, arrested, indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, the State Forester may employ special counsel approved by the Attorney General to defend the forest warden. Upon a finding that the forest warden did not violate a law or regulation resulting from the act which was subject of the investigation, the State Forester shall pay the special counsel legal fees and expenses subject to the approval of the Attorney General. The payment shall be made from funds appropriated for the administration of the Department of Forestry.

1992, c. 113.

§ 10.1-1141. Liability and recovery of cost of fighting forest fires by localities and the State Forester.

A. The State Forester in the name of the Commonwealth shall collect the costs of firefighting performed under the direction of a forest warden in accordance with § 10.1-1139 from any person who, negligently or intentionally without using reasonable care and precaution starts a fire or who negligently or intentionally fails to prevent its escape, which fire burns on any forestland, brushland, grassland or wasteland. Such person shall be liable for the full amount of all expenses incurred by the Commonwealth, for fighting or extinguishing such fire. All expenses collected shall be credited to the Forestry Operations Fund. It shall be the duty of the Commonwealth's attorneys to institute and prosecute proper proceedings under this section, at the instance of the State Forester.

B. Any locality may collect the costs of firefighting from any person who intentionally starts a fire and who fails to attempt to prevent its escape, which fire burns on any forestland, brushland, grassland or wasteland. Such person shall be liable for the full amount of all expenses incurred by the locality and any volunteer fire company or volunteer emergency medical services agency to fight or extinguish the fire and the reasonable administrative costs expended to collect such expenses. The locality shall remit any costs recovered on behalf of another entity to such entity.

C. The State Forester or a locality may institute an action and recover from either one or both parents of any minor, living with such parents or either of them, the cost of forest fire suppression suffered by reason of the willful or malicious destruction of, or damage to, public or private property by such minor. No more than $750 may be recovered from such parents or either of them as a result of any forest fire incident or occurrence on which such action is based.

Code 1950, §§ 10-58, 10-61; 1964, c. 79; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891; 2008, c. 835; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 10.1-1142. Regulating the burning of woods, brush, etc.; penalties.

A. It shall be unlawful for any owner or lessee of land to set fire to, or to procure another to set fire to, any woods, brush, logs, leaves, grass, debris, or other inflammable material upon such land unless he previously has taken all reasonable care and precaution, by having cut and piled the same or carefully cleared around the same, to prevent the spread of such fire to lands other than those owned or leased by him. It shall also be unlawful for any employee of any such owner or lessee of land to set fire to or to procure another to set fire to any woods, brush, logs, leaves, grass, debris, or other inflammable material, upon such land unless he has taken similar precautions to prevent the spread of such fire to any other land.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, during the period February 15 through April 30 of each year, even though the precautions required by the foregoing subsection have been taken, it shall be unlawful, in any county or city or portion thereof organized for forest fire control under the direction of the State Forester, for any person to set fire to, or to procure another to set fire to, any brush, leaves, grass, debris or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material capable of spreading fire, located in or within 300 feet of any woodland, brushland, or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material, except between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any fires which may be set to prevent damage to orchards or vineyards by frost or freezing temperatures or be set on federal lands.

C. Subsection B shall not apply to any fire set during the period beginning February 15 through April 30 of each year, if:

1. The fire is set for "prescribed burning" that is conducted in accordance with a "prescription" and managed by a "certified prescribed burn manager" as those terms are defined in § 10.1-1150.1;

2. The burn is conducted in accordance with § 10.1-1150.4;

3. The State Forester has, prior to February 1, approved the prescription for the burn; and

4. The burn is being conducted for one of the following purposes: (i) control of exotic and invasive plant species that cannot be accomplished at other times of the year, (ii) wildlife habitat establishment and maintenance that cannot be accomplished at other times of the year or, (iii) management necessary for natural heritage resources.

The State Forester may on the day of any burn planned to be conducted pursuant to this subsection revoke his approval of the prescription for the burn if hazardous fire conditions exist. The State Forester may revoke the certification of any certified prescribed burn manager who violates any provision of this subsection.

D. Any person who builds a fire in the open air, or uses a fire built by another in the open air, within 150 feet of any woodland, brushland or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material, shall totally extinguish the fire before leaving the area and shall not leave the fire unattended.

E. Any person violating any provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for each separate offense. If any forest fire originates as a result of the violation by any person of any provision of this section, such person shall, in addition to the above penalty, be liable to the Commonwealth for the full amount of all expenses incurred by the Commonwealth in suppressing such fire. Such amounts shall be recoverable by action brought by the State Forester in the name of the Commonwealth on behalf of the Commonwealth and credited to the Forestry Operations Fund.

Code 1950, §§ 10-62, 10-63; 1964, c. 79; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891; 1996, cc. 74, 1008; 2001, c. 319; 2006, c. 228; 2017, c. 6.

§ 10.1-1143. Throwing inflammable objects from vehicle on highway while in or near certain lands.

It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, toss or drop from a vehicle moving or standing on a highway any lighted smoking material, lighted match, lighted material of any nature, or any bomb or device liable to set fire to inflammable material on the ground while in or near any forestland, brushland or field containing inflammable vegetation or trash.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor for each separate offense.

1954, c. 35, § 10-64.1; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1144. Failure to clean premises of certain mills.

Any individual, firm, or corporation responsible for the operation of a saw mill, stave mill, heading mill, or any other mill in, through or near forest or brushland shall clean the premises for at least a distance of fifty yards in all directions from any fires maintained in or about, or in connection with the operation of such mill. The premises shall also be cleaned for a distance of 100 feet in all directions from any sawdust pile, slab pile, or any other inflammable material which accumulates from the operation of such mill, or all matter not essential to the operation of such mill, which is liable to take fire from any sparks emitted from such fires. When any mill is removed or ceases to operate for a period of ten consecutive days, any fire which may be burning in any sawdust pile, slab pile or other debris shall be totally extinguished unless the owner of the land on which such fire is located assumes in writing responsibility for the control of the fire. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Each day or fraction thereof on which any such mill is operated in violation of the provisions of this section and each day or fraction thereof on which fire is allowed to burn in any sawdust pile, slab pile or other inflammable debris in violation of the provisions of this section, shall be deemed a separate offense.

Whenever it is established that a forest fire originated from a fire maintained in or about any such mill, the individual, firm, or corporation, from whose mill any such fire originated shall immediately become liable for all costs incurred in fighting such fire.

Code 1950, § 10-64; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1145. Failure to properly maintain logging equipment and railroad locomotives.

Logging equipment and railroad locomotives operated in, through, or near forestland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other inflammable material shall be equipped with appliances and maintained to prevent, as far as may be possible, the escape of fire and sparks from the smokestacks. Any person failing to comply with these requirements shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor for each offense committed.

Code 1950, § 10-65; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1146. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 104.

§ 10.1-1147. Removal of inflammable material from lands adjoining right-of-way by railroads.

For the purpose of providing increased protection to forest property from fire originating along railroads, any railroad company shall have the right, subject to the provisions of this section, without liability for trespass to enter upon forest or brushlands for a distance of fifty feet from the railroad right-of-way and to clear from such a strip any inflammable material such as leaves, grass, dead trees, slash and brush, but shall not remove any valuable timber growth or other things of value without consent of and recompense to the owner. Not less than fifteen days prior to clearing such land, the railroad company shall give the owner notice of its intention, together with a transcript of this section, by letter deposited in the United States mail to his last known address. If the owner does not file objections to such clearings with the State Corporation Commission within ten days of the date of such notice he shall be deemed to have given consent. Upon the filing by an owner of such objection showing cause why such clearing should not be done the State Corporation Commission shall review the case and may sustain the objection of the owner or permit the clearing in whole or in part.

The State Corporation Commission may require assistance of the State Forester in furnishing information pertinent to the administration of this section.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to temporary tram roads used for hauling logs and lumber.

Code 1950, § 10-66; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1148. Fires caused by violation of provisions of article; liability to Commonwealth.

Individuals and corporations causing fires by violation of any provision of this article shall be liable to the Commonwealth for (i) all damages the Commonwealth sustained by such fire or fires, and (ii) the full amount of all expenses incurred by the Commonwealth, in fighting or extinguishing such fire.

Code 1950, § 10-67; 1964, c. 79; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1149. Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact.

§ 1. The Governor is hereby authorized to execute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a compact with any one or more of the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, which compact shall be in form substantially as follows:

SOUTHEASTERN INTERSTATE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION COMPACT.

ARTICLE I.
The purpose of this compact is to promote effective prevention and control of forest fires in the Southeastern region of the United States by the development of integrated forest fire plans, by the maintenance of adequate forest fire fighting services by the member states, by providing for mutual aid in fighting forest fires among the compacting states of the region and with states which are party to other Regional Forest Fire Protection compacts or agreements, and for more adequate forest protection.

ARTICLE II.
This compact shall become operative immediately as to those states ratifying it whenever any two or more of the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, which are contiguous have ratified it and Congress has given consent thereto. Any state not mentioned in this article which is contiguous with any member state may become a party to this compact, subject to approval by the legislature of each of the member states.

ARTICLE III.
In each state, the state forester or officer holding the equivalent position who is responsible for forest fire control shall act as compact administrator for that state and shall consult with like officials of the other member states and shall implement cooperation between such states in forest fire prevention and control.

The compact administrators of the member states shall coordinate the services of the member states and provide administrative integration in carrying out the purposes of this compact.

There shall be established an advisory committee of legislators, forestry commission representatives, and forestry or forest products industries representatives which shall meet from time to time with the compact administrators. Each member state shall name one member of the Senate and one member of the House of Representatives who shall be designated by that state's commission on interstate cooperation, or if said commission cannot constitutionally designate the said members, they shall be designated in accordance with laws of that state; and the Governor of each member state shall appoint two representatives, one of whom shall be associated with forestry or forest products industries to comprise the membership of the advisory committee. Action shall be taken by a majority of the compacting states, and each state shall be entitled to one vote.

The compact administrators shall formulate and, in accordance with need, from time to time, revise a regional forest fire plan for the member states.

It shall be the duty of each member state to formulate and put in effect a forest fire plan for that state and take such measures as may be necessary to integrate such forest fire plan with the regional forest fire plan formulated by the compact administrators.

ARTICLE IV.
Whenever the state forest fire control agency of a member state requests aid from the state forest fire control agency of any other member state in combating, controlling or preventing forest fires, it shall be the duty of the state forest fire control agency of that state to render all possible aid to the requesting agency which is consonant with the maintenance of protection at home.

ARTICLE V.
Whenever the forces of any member state are rendering outside aid pursuant to the request of another member state under this compact, the employees of such state shall, under the direction of the officers of the state to which they are rendering aid, have the same powers (except the power of arrest), duties, rights, privileges and immunities as comparable employees of the state to which they are rendering aid.

No member state or its officers or employees rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission on the part of such forces while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance, or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith; Provided, that nothing herein shall be construed as relieving any person from liability for his own negligent act or omission, or as imposing liability for such negligent act or omission upon any state.

All liability, except as otherwise provided hereinafter, that may arise either under the laws of the requesting state or under the laws of the aiding state or under the laws of a third state on account of or in connection with a request for aid, shall be assumed and borne by the requesting state.

Any member state rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the member state receiving such aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries, and subsistence of employees and maintenance of equipment incurred in connection with such request: Provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any assisting member state from assuming such loss, damage, expense or other cost or from loaning such equipment or from donating such service to the receiving member state without charge or cost.

Each member state shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured employees and the representatives of deceased employees in case employees sustain injuries or are killed while rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within such state.

For the purposes of this compact the term employee shall include any volunteer or auxiliary legally included within the forest fire fighting forces of the aiding state under the laws thereof.

The compact administrators shall formulate procedures for claims and reimbursement under the provisions of this article, in accordance with the laws of the member states.

ARTICLE VI.
Ratification of this compact shall not be construed to affect any existing statute so as to authorize or permit curtailment or diminution of the forest fire fighting forces, equipment, services or facilities of any member state.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit or restrict the powers of any state ratifying the same to provide for the prevention, control and extinguishment of forest fires, or to prohibit the enactment or enforcement of state laws, rules or regulations intended to aid in such prevention, control and extinguishment in such state.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to affect any existing or future cooperative relationship or arrangement between any federal agency and a member state or states.

ARTICLE VII.
The compact administrators may request the United States Forest Service to act as a research and coordinating agency of the Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact in cooperation with the appropriate agencies in each state, and the United States Forest Service may accept responsibility for preparing and presenting to the compact administrators its recommendations with respect to the regional fire plan. Representatives of any federal agency engaged in forest fire prevention and control may attend meetings of the compact administrators.

ARTICLE VIII.
The provisions of Articles IV and V of this compact which relate to mutual aid in combating, controlling or preventing forest fires shall be operative as between any state party to this compact and any other state which is party to a regional forest fire protection compact in another region: Provided, that the legislature of such other state shall have given its assent to such mutual aid provisions of this compact.

ARTICLE IX.
This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on each state ratifying it until the legislature or the Governor of such state, as the laws of such state shall provide, takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall not be effective until six months after notice thereof has been sent by the chief executive of the state desiring to withdraw to the chief executives of all states then parties to the compact.

§ 2. When the Governor shall have executed said compact on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia and shall have caused a verified copy thereof to have been filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and when said compact also shall have been ratified by one or more of the states named in § 1 of this act, then said compact shall become operative and effective as between this State and such other state or states; and the Governor is hereby authorized and directed to take such action as may be necessary to complete the exchange of official documents between this State and any other state ratifying said compact.

§ 3. Pursuant to the provisions of Article III of said compact, the State Forester, under the general direction of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, shall act as Compact Administrator for the Commonwealth of Virginia of the compact set forth in § 1 of this act.

§ 4. The State Forester, under the general direction of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, as Compact Administrator, shall be vested with all powers provided for in said compact and all powers necessary and incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular.

§ 5. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

§ 6. This act shall become effective the first day of July 1956.

1956, c. 63, § 27-5.2; 1988, c. 891; 2016, c. 566.

§ 10.1-1150. Middle Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact.

§ 1. The Governor is hereby authorized to execute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a compact with any one or more of the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia which compact shall be in substantially the following form:

MIDDLE ATLANTIC INTERSTATE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION COMPACT

ARTICLE I.
The purpose of this compact is to promote effective prevention and control of forest fires in the Middle Atlantic region of the United States by the development of integrated forest fire plans, by the maintenance of adequate forest fire fighting services by the member states, and by providing for mutual aid in fighting forest fires among the compacting states of the region and with states which are party to other regional forest fire protection compacts or agreements.

ARTICLE II.
This compact shall become operative immediately as to those states ratifying it whenever any two or more of the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia which are contiguous have ratified it and Congress has given consent thereto.

ARTICLE III.
In each state, the state forester or officer holding the equivalent position who is responsible for forest fire control shall act as compact administrator for that state and shall consult with like officials of the other member states and shall implement cooperation between such states in forest fire prevention and control.

The compact administrators of the member states shall organize to coordinate the services of the member states and provide administrative integration in carrying out the purposes of this compact.

The compact administrators shall formulate and, in accordance with need, from time to time, revise a regional forest fire plan for the member states.

It shall be the duty of each member state to formulate and put in effect a forest fire plan for that state and take such measures as may be necessary to integrate such forest fire plan with the regional forest fire plan formulated by the compact administrators.

ARTICLE IV.
Whenever the state forest fire control agency of a member state requests aid from the state forest fire control agency of any other member state in combating, controlling or preventing forest fires, it shall be the duty of the state forest fire control agency of that state to render all possible aid to the requesting agency which is consonant with the maintenance of protection at home.

ARTICLE V.
Whenever the forces of any member state are rendering outside aid pursuant to the request of another member state under this compact, the employees of such state shall, under the direction of the officers of the state to which they are rendering aid, have the same powers (except the power of arrest), duties, rights, privileges and immunities as comparable employees of the state to which they are rendering aid.

No member state or its officers or employees rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission on the part of such forces while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith.

All liability, except as otherwise provided hereinafter, that may arise either under the laws of the requesting state or under the laws of the aiding state or under the laws of a third state on account of or in connection with a request for aid, shall be assumed and borne by the requesting state.

Any member state rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the member state receiving such aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries, and maintenance of employees and equipment incurred in connection with such request: provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any assisting member state from assuming such loss, damage, expense or other cost or from loaning such equipment or from donating such services to the receiving member state without charge or cost.

Each member state shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured employees and the representatives of deceased employees in case employees sustain injuries or are killed while rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within such state.

For the purposes of this compact, the term "employee" shall include any volunteer or auxiliary legally included within the forest fire fighting forces of the aiding state under the laws thereof.

The compact administrators shall formulate procedures for claims and reimbursement under the provisions of this article, in accordance with the laws of the member states.

ARTICLE VI.
Nothing in this compact shall be construed to authorize or permit any member state to curtail or diminish its forest fire fighting forces, equipment, services or facilities, and it shall be the duty and responsibility of each member state to maintain adequate forest fire fighting forces and equipment to meet demands for forest fire protection within its borders in the same manner and to the same extent as if this compact were not operative.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit or restrict the powers of any state ratifying the same to provide for the prevention, control and extinguishment of forest fires, or to prohibit the enactment or enforcement of state laws, rules or regulations intended to aid in such prevention, control and extinguishment in such state.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to affect any existing or future cooperative relationship or arrangement between the United States Forest Service and a member state or states.

ARTICLE VII.
The compact administrators may request the United States Forest Service to act as the primary research and coordinating agency of the Middle Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact in cooperation with the appropriate agencies in each state, and the United States Forest Service may accept the initial responsibility in preparing and presenting to the compact administrators its recommendations with respect to the regional fire plan. Representatives of the United States Forest Service may attend meetings of the compact administrators.

ARTICLE VIII.
The provisions of Articles IV and V of this compact which relate to mutual aid in combating, controlling or preventing forest fires shall be operative as between any state party to this compact and any other state which is party to a regional forest fire protection compact in another region, provided that the legislature of such other state shall have given its assent to such mutual aid provisions of this compact.

ARTICLE IX.
This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on each state ratifying it until the legislature or the governor of such state takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall not be effective until six months after notice thereof has been sent by the chief executive of the state desiring to withdraw to the chief executives of all states then parties to the compact.

§ 2. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this Act is expressly reserved.

1966, c. 6, § 27-5.4; 1988, c. 891; 2016, c. 566.

Article 6.1. Certified Prescribed Burning Manager Program.

§ 10.1-1150.1. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Certified prescribed burn manager" means any person who has successfully completed a certification process established by the State Forester under § 10.1-1150.2.

"Prescribed burning" means the controlled application of fire or wildland fuels in either the natural or modified state, under specified environmental conditions, which allows a fire to be confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behavior and fire characteristics necessary to attain planned fire treatment and ecological, silvicultural, and wildlife management objectives.

"Prescription" means a written statement defining the objectives to be attained by a prescribed burning and the conditions of temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, fuel moisture, and soil moisture under which a fire will be allowed to burn. A prescription is generally expressed as an acceptable range of the prescription elements.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.2. State Forester to establish certification process.

The State Forester shall develop and administer a certification process and training course for any individual who desires to become a certified prescribed burn manager. The training program shall include the following subjects: the legal aspects of prescribed burning, fire behavior, prescribed burning tactics, smoke management, environmental effects, plan preparation, and safety. A final examination on these subjects shall be given to all attendees. The State Forester may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of the course and the examination.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.3. Voluntary certification.

To be certified as a prescribed burn manager, a person shall:

1. Successfully complete all components of the prescribed burn course developed by the State Forester and pass the examination developed for the course;

2. Successfully complete a training course comparable to that developed by the State Forester and pass the examination developed for Virginia's course; or

3. Demonstrate relevant past experience, complete a review course and pass the examination developed for Virginia's course.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.4. Prescribed burn elements.

Prescribed burning shall be performed in the following manner:

1. A prescription for the prescribed burn shall be prepared by a certified prescribed burn manager prior to the burn. The prescription shall include: (i) the landowner's name, address, and telephone number, and the telephone number of the certified prescribed burn manager who prepared the plan; (ii) a description of the area to be burned, a map of the area to be burned, the objectives of the prescribed burn, and the desired weather conditions or parameters; (iii) a summary of the methods to be used to start, control, and extinguish the prescribed burn; and (iv) a smoke management plan. The smoke management plan shall be based on guidelines presented in the Virginia Department of Forestry publication, "Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines for Virginia," and the U.S. Forest Service's technical publication, "A Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Forests." A copy of the prescription shall be retained at the site throughout the period of the burning;

2. Prescribed burning shall be conducted under the direct supervision of a certified prescribed burn manager, who shall ensure that the prescribed burning is in accordance with the prescription; and

3. The nearest regional office of the Virginia Department of Forestry shall be notified prior to the burn.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.5. Liability.

A. Any prescribed burning conducted in compliance with the requirements of this article, state air pollution control laws, and any rules adopted by the Virginia Department of Forestry shall be in the public interest and shall not constitute a nuisance.

B. Any landowner or his agent who conducts a prescribed burn in compliance with the requirements of this article, state air pollution control laws, and any rules adopted by the Virginia Department of Forestry shall not be liable for any damage or injury caused by or resulting from smoke.

C. Subsections A and B of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance or damage results from the negligent or improper conduct of the prescribed burn or when the prescribed burn elements described in § 10.1-1150.4 have not been complied with.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.6. Revocation of certification.

If the actions of any certified prescribed burn manager or the prescriptions prepared by him violate any provision of this article, state air pollution control laws, or Virginia Department of Forestry rules or threaten public health and safety, his certification may be revoked by the State Forester.

1998, c. 156.

Article 7. Hunting and Trapping in State Forests.

§ 10.1-1151. Necessity for permits.

No person shall hunt or trap in this Commonwealth on any lands which are under the jurisdiction and control of the Department by virtue of purchase, gift, lease or otherwise, and are administered as state forests, without first obtaining, in addition to other licenses and permits required by law, special use permits required by the State Forester pursuant to this article.

Code 1950, § 10-68; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1152. State Forester may require permits and fees.

A. The State Forester is authorized to require any person who engages in certain activities authorized by regulations promulgated by the Department on any of the lands described in § 10.1-1151 to obtain a special use permit. A special use permit to engage in these activities on any such lands shall be issued for a fee established by regulations promulgated by the Department.

B. The State Forester is also authorized to enter into an agreement with the Department of Wildlife Resources under which the Department of Wildlife Resources will include permits required under subsection A in its program for the sale of permits and licenses by the means and to the extent authorized by § 29.1-327.

Code 1950, § 10-69; 1984, c. 715; 1986, cc. 539, 567; 1988, c. 891; 1993, c. 260; 2006, c. 13; 2007, c. 646; 2009, c. 297; 2012, c. 484; 2014, c. 141; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-1153. Limitations on rights of holders of permits.

Each special use permit shall entitle the holder to hunt and trap, or to trap, in and upon such lands of the state forests as shall be determined by the State Forester and designated on the permit, subject to all other applicable provisions of law or regulations of the Department of Wildlife Resources and to such further conditions and restrictions for safeguarding the state forests as may be imposed by the State Forester and indicated on the permit. In addition to the other provisions of law applicable to hunting and trapping on the lands of the Commonwealth, the State Forester is authorized to impose such restrictions and conditions upon hunting and trapping in the state forests as he deems proper. No such restriction or condition shall be effective for the permit holder unless the restriction or condition is written, printed, stamped or otherwise indicated on the permit.

Code 1950, § 10-70; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-1154. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 646, cl. 2.

§ 10.1-1156. Funds credited to Department; disbursements.

All funds paid into the state treasury pursuant to § 10.1-1152 shall be credited to the Department and maintained in the Reforestation Operations Fund to be expended annually, in the following order:

1. From the annual gross receipts, there shall be paid the costs of preparing and issuing the permits, including compensation to the Department of Wildlife Resources, which is authorized to sell state forest special use permits;

2. The remainder may be expended by the State Forester for operation and management in such state forests. All funds expended by the State Forester in the development, management, and protection of the game resources in state forests shall be in cooperation with the Department of Wildlife Resources.

Code 1950, § 10-73; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 2007, c. 646; 2012, cc. 197, 248; 2020, c. 958.

§ 10.1-1157. Punishment for violations.

Any person who hunts or traps in violation of any provision of this article, or in violation of restrictions and conditions imposed by the State Forester pursuant to the provisions of § 10.1-1153 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 10-74; 1986, cc. 539, 567; 1988, c. 891; 2010, c. 8.

Article 8. Fire Hazards and Closing of Hunting and Fishing Seasons in Forestlands.

§ 10.1-1158. Prohibition of all open burning where serious fire hazards exist; penalty.

It shall be unlawful when the forestlands, brushlands and fields in this Commonwealth or any part thereof have become so dry as to create a serious fire hazard endangering lives and property, for any persons to do any open burning nearer than 300 feet from any such forestlands, brushlands or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material.

This article shall not be effective until the Governor, upon recommendation of the State Forester, proclaims such a condition to exist in this Commonwealth or any part thereof, and it shall be in effect until the Governor proclaims such condition to have terminated.

It shall be the duty of all authorized law-enforcement officers of the Commonwealth, counties, and municipalities to enforce the provisions of this section.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for each separate offense.

1986, c. 188, § 27-54.5; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1159. Upon proclamation of Governor certain acts made unlawful where extraordinary fire hazards exist; closing of hunting and fishing seasons.

Upon proclamation of the Governor, it shall be unlawful, when the forestlands, brushlands and fields in the Commonwealth or any part thereof have become so dry as to create an extraordinary fire hazard endangering lives and property, for any person, except the owner, tenant or owner's authorized agent, persons regularly engaged in cutting, processing, or moving forest products, or person on official duty, to enter or travel in any state, county, municipal or private forestlands, brushlands, marshland, fields or idle or abandoned lands in the area so affected except on public highways or well-defined private roads. During such period hunting and fishing seasons shall be closed, except hunting of migratory waterfowl and fishing as hereinafter provided, on all land and water within the Commonwealth or any geographical part thereof affected by proclamation. It shall further be unlawful during such periods for any person to hunt or fish except as hereinafter provided, smoke, burn leaves, grass, brush or debris of any type or to ignite or maintain any open fire nearer than 300 feet from any such forestlands, brushlands or fields containing inflammable vegetation or marshland adjoining such forestlands, brushlands, fields or idle or abandoned lands.

It shall not be unlawful to fish or hunt migratory waterfowl from a boat, or from a blind entirely surrounded by water and reached by a boat, or on nonforested islands at least 300 feet from the mainland shore and reached by a boat, when the boat embarks from and lands at established boat landings, and at no other time touches shore nearer than 300 feet from any forestlands, brushlands, or fields containing inflammable vegetation or marshland adjoining such areas.

It shall be the duty of all authorized law-enforcement officers of the Commonwealth, counties and municipalities to enforce the provisions of this section.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor for each separate offense.

1954, c. 134, § 27-54.1; 1964, c. 65; 1966, c. 302; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1160. Effect of proclamation on hunting season.

When any proclamation is issued pursuant to § 10.1-1158 during any open hunting season (with the exception of any season on migratory birds or waterfowl, the limits of which are prescribed by any agency of the federal government), or when the opening date of any such hunting season occurs while such proclamation is effective, the season, if open, may be extended by the Governor for a period not exceeding the number of legal hunting days during which such proclamation is in effect, beginning on the first legal hunting day after the expiration of the season. If the season is not open, it may open beginning on the first legal hunting day after such proclamation is rescinded and remain open for a period not exceeding the prescribed length of the season.

1954, c. 134, § 27-54.2; 1972, c. 150; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1161. Notice of issuance, amendment or rescission of proclamation.

When any proclamation is issued, amended or rescinded the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall promptly give notice thereof through a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the area or areas affected. In addition, the Secretary may, in his discretion, give such additional notice as he deems necessary.

Code 1950, § 10-75; 1952, c. 417; 1956, c. 75; 1988, c. 891.

Article 9. Seed Trees.

§ 10.1-1162. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Diameter" means the distance through a tree at the point of average thickness as measured from outside of bark to outside of bark at a point on a trunk ten inches above the general ground level.

"Person" means any landowner, owner of timber, owner of timber rights, sawmill operator, sawmill owner, veneer wood operator, pulpwood contractor, or any person engaged in the business of severing timber from the stump.

"Tree" means any tree of a currently commercially valuable species which is six inches or more in diameter.

Code 1950, § 10-75; 1952, c. 417; 1956, c. 75; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1163. Exemptions from article.

A. This article shall not apply to any acre of land on which there are present at the time of final cutting of the timber 400 or more loblolly or white pine seedlings, singly or together, four feet or more in height.

B. This article shall not apply to any person who clears or who procures another to clear his land for bona fide agricultural or improved pasture purposes or for the purpose of subdividing such land for sale for building sites. For the purpose of this article, evidence of intent of bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use shall require, as a minimum and within twelve months from the date of completion of commercial cutting, that the land intended for such use be cleared of all trees, snags, brush, tree tops, and debris by piling and burning or otherwise disposing of same, or by enclosing the area with a well-constructed fence and planting grass seed thereon so as to make a bona fide improved pasture. In the case of clearing for building sites evidence of intent shall be the construction of dwellings or other bona fide structure in progress or completed within two years from the date of completion of commercial cutting.

C. This article shall not apply to land which has been zoned for a more intensive land use than agricultural or forestal use.

D. The provisions of this article shall not apply to any acre or acres of forest land for which a planting, cutting or management plan has been prepared, designed to provide conservation of natural resources, and which plan has been submitted to and approved by the State Forester previous to the cutting of any trees on the acre or acres concerned. If such plan has been submitted to the State Forester by registered or certified mail and he has not approved the plan, or disapproved it with a statement in writing of his reasons therefor, within a period of sixty days from the date of submission, the plan shall be deemed approved and shall be effective for the purposes of this section.

E. The State Forester may grant exemptions from this article to individual landowners who wish to grow hardwoods on their property. The State Forester may place conditions on the exemption as he deems advisable for the conservation of natural resources.

Code 1950, §§ 10-81, 10-82, 10-83; 1950, p. 58; 1952, c. 412; 1956, c. 75; 1960, c. 244; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285; 1997, c. 146.

§ 10.1-1164. Pine trees to be left uncut for reseeding purposes.

Every landowner who cuts, or any person who cuts or procures another to cut, or any person who owns the timber at the time of cutting and knowingly and willfully allows to be cut, for commercial purposes, timber from ten acres or more of land on which loblolly or white pine, singly or together, occur and constitute twenty-five percent or more of the live trees on each acre or acres, shall reserve and leave uncut and uninjured not less than eight cone-bearing loblolly or white pine trees fourteen inches or larger in diameter on each acre thus cut and upon each acre on which such pine trees occur singly or together, unless there is in effect for such land a planting, cutting or management plan as provided in subsection D of § 10.1-1163. Where eight cone-bearing loblolly or white pine trees fourteen inches or larger in diameter are not present on any particular acre, there shall be left uncut and uninjured for each such pine two cone-bearing pine trees of the largest diameter present less than fourteen inches in diameter. Such pine trees shall be left uncut for the purpose of reseeding the land and shall be healthy, windfirm, and of well-developed crowns, evidencing seed-bearing ability by the presence of cones in the crowns.

Code 1950, § 10-76; 1950, p. 58; 1952, c. 417; 1956, c. 75; 1960, c. 244; 1968, c. 73; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285.

§ 10.1-1165. When trees left for reseeding purposes may be cut.

Pine trees which are left uncut for purposes of reseeding shall be the property of the landowner but shall not be cut until at least three years have elapsed after the cutting of the timber on such lands.

Code 1950, § 10-77; 1956, c. 75; 1960, c. 244; 1972, c. 163; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1166. Posting or publication of notices.

The State Forester shall distribute notices calling attention to the provisions of this article in conspicuous places in all counties and cities where such pine timber grows in appreciable quantities, and may publish notices in newspapers of general circulation in such counties and cities.

Code 1950, § 10-78; 1956, c. 75; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1167. Penalty for violation of article.

Any person violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined thirty dollars for each seed tree cut from the land in violation of this article. The total amount of fine for any one acre shall not exceed $240.

Code 1950, § 10-79; 1950, p. 58; 1956, c. 75; 1972, c. 163; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285.

§ 10.1-1168. Procedure to ensure proper planting after conviction; cash deposit or bond; inspection or planting by State Forester.

When any person is convicted of failing to leave seed trees uncut as required by § 10.1-1164, the judge shall require the person so convicted to immediately post with the court a cash deposit or a bond of a reputable surety company in favor of the State Forester in the amount of thirty dollars for each seed tree cut in violation of this article. The total amount of the cash deposit or bond for any one acre shall not exceed $240.

The judge shall cause the cash deposit or surety bond to be delivered to the State Forester, who shall hold the cash or surety bond in a special account until it is used or released as hereinafter provided. The purpose of the cash or surety bond is to ensure that the general cutover area on which seed trees have been cut in violation of this article shall be planted with tree seedlings of the same species as the trees cut in violation of this article in a manner hereinafter specified.

For each acre on which trees have been cut in violation of this article, a number up to 600, as determined by the State Forester, of tree seedlings shall be planted on the general cutover area on which seed trees were cut in violation. Each seedling shall be planted in a separate hole at least six feet from any other planted seedling. Seedlings shall be planted at least six feet from any sapling or tree which may shade the planted seedling from direct sunlight. If stems of noncommercial species prevent the planting of tree seedlings in the manner herein described on any area in violation, a sufficient number of such stems shall be cut, girdled or poisoned to permit the required number of seedlings to be planted. The seedlings shall be planted during the period of the year when forest tree seedlings are customarily planted in the section of the Commonwealth in which the cutover area is located. After receipt of the tree seedlings from the nursery, care shall be taken to keep the seedling roots in a moist, uninjured condition at all times prior to actual planting, and the seedlings shall be planted in a careful, workmanlike manner. Planted seedlings shall be of the same tree species as the seed trees cut in violation, or if two or more seed tree species are cut in violation, the species of the planted seedlings shall be in proportion to the seed trees cut in violation. The above specified manner of planting and tree species planted shall be observed whether the planting is done by the person found in violation of this article or by the State Forester.

A person convicted of violating this article may plant tree seedlings on the general cutover area of the species and in the manner specified herein within one year following the date of conviction. Upon completion of the planting, the person shall immediately notify the State Forester in writing that the area has been planted. The State Forester or his representative shall then inspect the area and if he finds the planting to be done in accordance with the specifications set forth, he shall notify the person in writing and return the cash deposit or surety bond to the person depositing it.

If, upon inspection, the State Forester finds that the general cutover area or any part thereof has not been planted in the manner and during the period of year specified, or that the area has not been planted previous to one year following the date of conviction, the State Forester shall then plant the area during the next planting season, and do such forest cultural work as he deems necessary by reason of the delayed planting, keeping a careful and accurate account of all costs incurred, including a reasonable administrative cost. Following completion of the planting the State Forester shall prepare a certified statement showing the cost of planting, which shall be paid from the cash deposit, or if a surety bond has been deposited the State Forester shall collect the cost of planting from the bonding company. The State Forester shall then submit to the person making the deposit a certified statement of the cost of planting, together with any cash remaining after paying the cost of planting and forest cultural work.

The State Forester shall not be required to expend for planting and forest cultural operations more than thirty dollars per seed tree cut in violation of this article.

1956, c. 75, § 10-79.1; 1960, c. 269; 1972, c. 163; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285.

§ 10.1-1169. Liability for failure to carry out planting, cutting or management plan; reforestation of area by State Forester.

A. Any person failing to carry out, fulfill or complete any term or provision of any planting, cutting, or management plan submitted to and approved by the State Forester as provided in subsection D of § 10.1-1163 shall be liable to the Commonwealth in a civil suit brought by the Attorney General in the name of the Commonwealth in any court of competent jurisdiction for, at least $240 per acre for each acre or part of an acre subject to such plan and legal fees incurred by the Commonwealth. All moneys collected pursuant to this subsection, exclusive of court costs and legal fees incurred by the Commonwealth, shall be delivered to the State Forester, who shall deposit the money in the Forestry Operations Fund in the state treasury until it is used or released as hereinafter provided. Such deposit may only be spent to ensure that the area for which the planting, cutting or management plan was approved by the State Forester shall be reforested in the manner hereinafter specified.

B. During the year following the date of payment of any judgment rendered in favor of the Commonwealth pursuant to subsection A of this section and at the season when forest tree seedlings are customarily planted in the section of the Commonwealth where the planting, cutting or management plan area is located, the State Forester shall plant, or cause to be planted, on the area, as many forest tree seedlings as he deems necessary to reforest the area adequately. The tree species used in reforesting the area may be the same as the pine species cut from the area, or the species may be a mixture suitable for reforesting the area, in the judgment of the State Forester.

C. If, upon inspection, the State Forester finds that the area for which the forest management plan was approved is covered with a growth of woody plants, sprouts, brush and briars of such a density as to retard or preclude the establishment and development of the planted tree seedlings, he may perform or cause to be performed forest cultural measures, such as bulldozing, disking, poisoning by spray, and similar measures, necessary to make the area suitable for the planting, establishment and development of tree seedlings.

D. The State Forester shall keep an accurate account of all costs involved, including reasonable administrative costs, and shall transfer such costs from the Forestry Operations Fund into the Department operating account for protection and development of the forest resources of the Commonwealth. If, after having complied with the reforestation provisions of this section, any money remains in the special account to the credit of any particular case, the unexpended balance shall be paid to the person against whom a judgment was rendered pursuant to the provisions of subsection A.

E. The expenditure by the State Forester for reforestation on any individual area as herein provided shall not exceed the amount of the judgment paid for the reforestation of such area.

1964, c. 235, § 10-83.01; 1972, c. 163; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285.

Article 10. Reforestation of Timberlands.

§ 10.1-1170. Administration of article.

The State Forester shall administer the provisions of this article, including the protection, preservation and perpetuation of forest resources by means of reforestation to allow continuous growth of timber on lands suitable therefor, and is authorized to employ personnel; purchase equipment, materials, and supplies; maintain and transport equipment; and make other expenditures and payments authorized by law, and as directed by the regulations adopted for the administration of this article. In any one fiscal year, the expenditures for salaries of administrative supervisory personnel shall not exceed ten percent of the general fund appropriation and forest products taxes collected and deposited in the Reforestation of Timberlands Fund as provided in § 10.1-1174 for that particular year.

1981, c. 371, § 10-90.31; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1171. Exceptions.

A. This article shall not apply to any tract of land in excess of 500 acres under the sole ownership of an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or any other business unit, device, or arrangement.

B. This article shall not apply to any acre or part of an acre on which the landowner is receiving federal financial assistance for growing timber.

1981, c. 371, §§ 10-90.33, 10-90.34, 10-90.35; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 733.

§ 10.1-1172. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 803 and 835, cl. 19.

§ 10.1-1173. Authority of State Forester; reforestation options; lien.

The State Forester is authorized, upon the request of a landowner, to examine timberland and make recommendations concerning reforestation. He may make available to landowners, with or without charge, use of specialized state-owned equipment and tree seedlings, tree seed, materials, and services of specialized state personnel for the purpose of preparing land for reforestation and reforesting land devoted to growing timber, in accordance with administrative regulations.

Upon the completion of each separate reforestation project in accordance with the recommendations and approval of the State Forester, the State Forester shall determine the total cost of the project including money paid or payable to a contractor for services performed on the project, for labor, and for other costs incurred by the landowner, including a standard rental rate value for use of state-owned equipment and the cost of tree seedlings, tree seed, materials, and specialized state personnel used on the project.

The following incentive to reforesting land may be utilized by the State Forester: whenever a landowner completes a reforestation project in accordance with the recommendations and approval of the State Forester, through the use of his own equipment, material and personnel, or through the employment of a contractor where no state equipment, materials or personnel are used, or are used only in part, the State Forester shall determine the total cost of the project based on current commercial rental rate for machines similar to types used, cost of material, and cost of personnel where the landowner does his own work on the project, or based on the contractor's statement of cost or paid receipts furnished by the landowner where work is done by a contractor together with and at the standard rental value for use of any state-owned specialized equipment, tree seedlings, tree seed, materials, and specialized state personnel used on the project. The State Forester, from funds appropriated for the purposes of this article, may pay to the landowner an amount not to exceed seventy-five percent of the total cost of the project, as above determined, or ninety dollars per acre, whichever is the lesser.

1981, c. 371, § 10-90.36; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1174. Reforestation of Timberlands Fund.

All moneys paid to or collected by the State Forester for rental equipment, tree seedlings, seed and material furnished, and specialized personnel services rendered to a landowner and all moneys collected or received from settlement of liens, including principal, interest and fines, authorized under this article shall be paid into the state treasury. All such moneys shall be credited by the State Comptroller as special revenues to the Reforestation of Timberlands Fund of the Department of Forestry to be expended solely for reforesting privately owned timberlands of the Commonwealth as provided in this article.

1981, c. 371, § 10-90.37; 1984, c. 750; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1175. Certain rights of landowner not limited.

This article shall not limit the right of any landowner to contract with individuals, organizations, and public bodies to provide for the utilization of the land for recreational purposes, or to grant open space easements over the land to public bodies.

1981, c. 371, § 10-90.39; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1176. When provisions of article effective.

This article shall not be effective during any biennium for which the General Assembly fails to appropriate from the state general fund a sum which equals or exceeds the total revenues collected from the forest products tax for the immediately preceding two years; a report of such sum shall be submitted by the State Forester to the Governor on or before November 1 of the last year of the preceding biennium.

1981, c. 371, § 10-90.38; 1988, c. 891; 1998, c. 420.

Article 11. Insect Infestation and Diseases of Forest Trees.

§ 10.1-1177. Authority of Department of Forestry.

The Department of Forestry is authorized to and responsible for (i) investigating insect infestations and disease infections which affect stands of forest trees, and (ii) devising and demonstrating control measures to interested persons. The State Forester shall administer the provisions of this article. Authority for quarantine procedure now vested in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall remain in that Department.

1952, c. 657, § 10-90.3; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1178. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Forest land" means land on which forest trees are found.

"Forest trees" means only those trees which are a part of and constitute a stand of potential, immature, or mature commercial timber trees. The term "forest trees" includes shade trees of any species around houses, along highways and within cities and towns if the trees constitute an insect or disease menace to nearby timber trees or timber stands.

"Infection" means infection by any disease affecting forest trees which is declared by the State Forester to be dangerously injurious to forest trees.

"Infestation" means infestation by means of any insect which is declared by the State Forester to be dangerously injurious to forest trees.

"Person" includes an individual, partnership, corporation, company, society or association.

1952, c. 657, § 10-90.4; 1986, c. 539; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1179. State Forester to investigate; notice to landowners.

Where an insect infestation or disease infection is believed to exist on forest land within this Commonwealth, the State Forester shall investigate the condition. Whenever he finds that an infestation or infection exists he shall give notice in writing by mail or otherwise to each forest landowner within the affected area, advising him of the nature of the infestation or infection and the recommended control measures, and offering him technical advice on methods of carrying out control measures.

1952, c. 657, § 10-90.5; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1180. Cooperation with individuals and public agencies.

The Department of Forestry is authorized to cooperate with persons, counties, state agencies, and United States government agencies, and the appropriate authorities of adjacent states concerning forest tree insect and disease investigation and control, and to accept money, gifts and donations and to disburse the same for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this article.

1952, c. 657, § 10-90.7; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1181. Control of Forest Tree Insects and Diseases Fund.

A special fund in the state treasury known as the Control of Forest Tree Insects and Diseases Fund shall consist of all moneys appropriated thereto by the General Assembly, all revenues collected under the provisions of this article, and any moneys paid into the state treasury or to the State Forester, the Board of Forestry, or the Department of Forestry by the federal government or any agency thereof to be used for the purposes of this article. All such funds are hereby appropriated to the Department of Forestry to be used to carry out the purposes of this article.

1952, c. 657, § 10-90.9; 1986, c. 567; 1988, c. 891.

Article 12. Silvicultural Activities Affecting Water Quality.

§ 10.1-1181.1. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Operator" means any person that operates or has operated or exercises or has exercised control over any silvicultural activity.

"Owner" means any person that (i) owns or leases land on which silvicultural activity occurs or has occurred or (ii) owns timber on land on which silvicultural activity occurs or has occurred.

"Pollution" means such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters resulting from sediment deposition as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters (i) harmful or detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety or welfare, or to the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) unsuitable with reasonable treatment for use as present or possible future sources of public water supply; or (iii) unsuitable for recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses.

"Silvicultural activity" means any forest management activity, including but not limited to the harvesting of timber, the construction of roads and trails for forest management purposes, and the preparation of property for reforestation.

"Special order" means a special order or emergency special order issued under subsection B or C of § 10.1-1181.2.

1993, c. 948; 1998, c. 578.

§ 10.1-1181.2. Conduct of silvicultural activities; issuance of special orders.

A. If the State Forester believes that an owner or operator has conducted or is conducting or has allowed or is allowing the conduct of any silvicultural activity in a manner that is causing or is likely to cause pollution, he may enter upon the silvicultural operation for inspection to determine whether the activity is causing or likely to cause pollution and notify the owner or operator regarding the activity that is causing or likely to cause pollution and recommend (i) corrective measures and (ii) a reasonable time period to prevent, mitigate, or eliminate the pollution. If the owner or operator fails to take action to prevent, mitigate, or eliminate the pollution, the State Forester shall issue a special order pursuant to subsection B or C. Failure of the State Forester to notify an owner or operator of such corrective measures shall not impair the State Forester's authority to issue special orders pursuant to subsection B or C.

B. The State Forester shall have the authority to issue special orders to any owner or operator who has conducted or is conducting, or has allowed or is allowing to be conducted, any silvicultural activity in a manner that is causing or is likely to cause pollution, to cease immediately all or part of the silvicultural activities on the site, and to implement specified corrective measures within a stated period of time. Such special orders are to be issued only after the owner or operator has been given the opportunity for a hearing with reasonable notice to the owner or operator, or both, of the time, place and purpose thereof, and they shall become effective not less than five days after service as provided in subsection D.

C. If the State Forester finds that any owner or operator is conducting any silvicultural activity in a manner that is causing or is likely to cause an alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters resulting from sediment deposition presenting an imminent and substantial danger to (i) the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) a public water supply; or (iii) recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other reasonable uses, the State Forester may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing the owner or operator, or both, to cease immediately all or part of the silvicultural activities on the site, and to implement specified corrective measures within a stated period of time. The commencement of proceedings by the State Forester for the issuance of a special order pursuant to subsection B shall not impair the State Forester's authority to issue an emergency special order pursuant to this subsection. The State Forester shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof to the owner or operator, to affirm, modify, amend or cancel such emergency special order.

D. The owner or operator to whom such special order is directed shall be notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, sent to the last known address of the owner, or operator, or by personal delivery by an agent of the State Forester, and the time limits specified shall be counted from the date of receipt.

E. The State Forester shall not issue a special order to any owner or operator who has incorporated generally acceptable water quality protection techniques in the operation of silvicultural activities, which techniques have failed to prevent pollution, if the State Forester determines that the pollution is the direct result of unusual weather events that could not have been reasonably anticipated.

F. Any hearing required under this section shall be conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020 unless the parties consent to informal proceedings.

G. The State Forester shall not issue a notice under subsection A or a special order or emergency special order under subsection B or C more than one year after the silvicultural activity has occurred on the property. Any such notice, special order, or emergency special order shall remain in effect until the State Forester determines that corrective measures specified therein have been implemented.

H. Prior to completion but not later than three working days after the commencement of an operation, the operator shall notify the State Forester of the commercial harvesting of timber. For the purpose of this section, commercial harvesting of timber means the harvesting of trees for the primary purpose of transporting to another site for additional manufacturing. The notification may be verbal or written and shall (i) specify the location and the actual or anticipated date of the activity, (ii) include an owner's name or the owner's representative or agent and contact information, and (iii) be provided in a manner or form as prescribed by the State Forester. If an operator fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection, the State Forester may assess a civil penalty of $250 for the initial violation and not more than $1,000 for any subsequent violation within a 24-month period by the operator. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Virginia Forest Water Quality Fund pursuant to § 10.1-1181.7.

1993, c. 948; 1998, c. 578; 2002, cc. 293, 304, 376; 2003, c. 812; 2004, c. 228; 2009, c. 572.

§ 10.1-1181.3. Civil penalties.

A. Any owner or operator who violates, or fails or refuses to obey any special order may be assessed a civil penalty by the State Forester. Such penalty shall not exceed $5,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation may be deemed a separate violation for purposes of assessing penalties. In determining the amount of the penalty, consideration shall be given to the owner's or operator's history of noncompliance; the seriousness of the violation, including any irreparable harm to the environment and any hazard to the health or safety of the public; whether the owner or operator was negligent; and the demonstrated good faith of the owner or operator in reporting and remedying the pollution.

B. A civil penalty may be assessed by the State Forester only after the owner or operator has been given an opportunity for a hearing. Any hearing required under this section shall be conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020, unless the parties consent to informal proceedings. If the owner or operator fails to avail himself of the opportunity for a formal hearing, a civil penalty shall be assessed by the State Forester after the State Forester finds that a violation of a special order has occurred and the amount of the civil penalty warranted, and issues an order requiring that the civil penalty be paid.

C. If a person who is required under this article to pay a civil penalty fails to do so, the State Forester may transmit a true copy of the final order assessing such penalty to the clerk of circuit court of any county or city wherein it is ascertained that the person owing the penalty has any estate; and the clerk to whom such copy is sent shall record it, as a judgment is required by law to be recorded, and shall index the same in the name of the Commonwealth as well as of the person owing the penalty, and thereupon there shall be a lien in favor of the Commonwealth on the property of the owner or operator within such county or city in the amount of the penalty. The State Forester may collect civil penalties that are owed in the same manner as provided by law in respect to judgment of a court of record. All civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Virginia Forest Water Quality Fund pursuant to § 10.1-1181.7.

D. With the consent of any owner or operator who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any special order of the State Forester issued pursuant to subsection B or C of § 10.1-1181.2, the State Forester may provide, in an order issued by the State Forester against such owner or operator, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection A of this section. Such civil charges shall be in lieu of any civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection A of this section, and shall be placed in the Virginia Forest Water Quality Fund pursuant to § 10.1-1181.7.

1993, c. 948; 2004, c. 228.

§ 10.1-1181.4. Final decisions; costs of hearing examiner.

A. Any final order or decision rendered pursuant to this article shall be reduced to writing and shall contain the explicit findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the decision is based. Certified copies of the written decision shall be delivered or mailed by certified mail to the parties affected by the decision.

B. If any final agency case decision is rendered following a hearing conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020 presided over by a hearing officer, the officer shall be paid by the State Forester if the owner or operator is the prevailing party, or by the owner or operator if the State Forester is the prevailing party. The findings of the hearing officer shall specify which party prevailed in the hearing.

1993, c. 948.

§ 10.1-1181.5. Judicial review.

Any person aggrieved by a final order or decision under this article shall be entitled to judicial review thereof in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The commencement of a proceeding for judicial review under this section shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the order or decision of the State Forester.

1993, c. 948.

§ 10.1-1181.6. Enforcement by injunction.

Any owner or operator violating or failing, neglecting or refusing to obey any special order issued by the State Forester may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in any appropriate circuit court by the State Forester to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus or other appropriate remedy, without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist.

1993, c. 948.

§ 10.1-1181.7. Virginia Forest Water Quality Fund established; administration and disbursements.

A. There is hereby established a special, nonreverting fund in the state treasury to be known as the Virginia Forest Water Quality Fund, hereafter referred to as the Fund, to be used for education efforts, promoting the implementation of proper silvicultural activities, research, and monitoring the effectiveness of practices to prevent erosion and sedimentation. The Fund shall be a nonlapsing fund consisting of moneys received and credited to the Fund by the State Treasurer for civil penalties and civil charges assessed pursuant to this article. Interest earned on the Fund shall be credited to the Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the State Comptroller. Any money remaining in the Fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.

B. Disbursement of moneys from the Fund shall be made by the State Comptroller at the written request of the State Forester. Disbursements from the Fund may be made for the purposes set forth in subsection A of this section, including, but not limited to, personnel, administrative, and equipment costs and expenses directly incurred by the Department in connection with such purposes.

1993, c. 948.

Article 13. Foresters.

§ 10.1-1181.8. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Forester" means any person who is engaged in the science, profession and practice of forestry and who possesses the qualifications required by this article.

"Forestry" means the science, art and practice of creating, managing, using and conserving forests and associated natural resources for human benefit and in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values.

2002, c. 447.

§ 10.1-1181.9. Requirements for forester title.

A. In order to use the title of forester in connection with any practice of forestry, the person shall (i) hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from a public or private institution of higher education, having completed a degree program that (a) is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (the Society) and (b) meets the minimum education criteria set forth by the Society in the fields of forest ecology and biology, management of forest resources, and forest resources policy and administration or (ii) have met the educational criteria for Certified Forester as reviewed and officially recognized in writing by the Society.

B. No person shall be appointed by the Governor to serve as State Forester unless he meets the requirements of clause (i) of subsection A.

2002, c. 447; 2019, c. 158.

§ 10.1-1181.10. Activities not prohibited.

The provisions of this article shall not prohibit:

1. Any person from performing forestry functions and services so long as he does not represent himself to the public as a forester;

2. An employee or subordinate of a forester from performing forestry functions and services; or

3. The practice of any profession or occupation that is regulated by a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or other state agency.

2002, c. 447.

§ 10.1-1181.11. Injunctive relief.

The Attorney General or any other person may apply to the circuit court in a jurisdiction where venue is proper for injunctive relief to restrain a person who has violated the provisions of this article.

2002, c. 447.

§ 10.1-1181.12. Exemption from article.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any person who supplies the Department of Forestry with information or documentation showing that such person was actively engaged in the practice of forestry for a continuous period of at least ten years prior to July 1, 2002. The Department shall maintain and make available to the public a list of all persons who satisfy the requirements of this section.

2002, c. 447.

Article 14. Voluntary Forest Mitigation.

§ 10.1-1181.13. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Construction project" means any land-disturbing activity that involves construction of infrastructure, including interstate highways, pipelines, or energy generation and transmission facilities.

"Forest mitigation" means addressing the direct and indirect adverse impacts to forests that may be caused by a construction project by avoiding and minimizing impacts to the extent practicable and then compensating for the remaining impacts.

2020, c. 959.

§ 10.1-1181.14. Applicability.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any forest mitigation required by law or to any mitigation agreements entered into before July 1, 2020.

2020, c. 959.

§ 10.1-1181.15. Forest mitigation agreements.

A. The Secretary of Natural Resources, the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, or any agency within those secretariats, or the Virginia Outdoors Foundation may enter into an agreement with the owner or operator of construction projects to accomplish forest mitigation. At a minimum, any such agreement shall:

1. Document the extent to which the construction project has been designed to avoid and minimize adverse impacts to forests;

2. Provide funding for compensation for impacts that approximates at least no net loss of forest acreage and function;

3. Provide for the payment of such funds by the owner or operator to a nonprofit organization, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, or an agency within the secretariats of Agriculture and Forestry or Natural Resources. The recipient of the funds shall establish criteria for the expenditure of the funds, shall provide such criteria to the public, and shall regularly provide to the public updated information on how funds are spent; and

4. Ensure that expenditures of the funds occur in reasonable proximity to the forest impacts that are caused by the construction project. Reasonable proximity shall be determined by the recipient of the funds and shall be based on appropriate ecological boundaries, with consideration given to communities adversely affected by the construction project.

B. Nothing in this section shall preclude the expenditure of funds (i) by the recipient of the funds for the costs of administration of the funds or (ii) for water quality protection and improvement, land conservation, or environmental education.

C. No agreement entered into pursuant to this article shall identify any specific expenditure.

D. No agreement entered into pursuant to this article shall include any waiver of liability for environmental damage caused by the construction project. No agreement entered into under this article shall guarantee regulatory approval for a construction project by any state agency.

E. No forest mitigation agreement entered into pursuant to this article shall prohibit sustainable forest management on a property receiving funding except as necessary to comply with a requirement of the Commonwealth that specific conservation values be protected on such property.

2020, c. 959.