Reforestation — Requirements — Procedures — Notification on sale or transfer.
(1) After the completion of a logging operation, satisfactory reforestation, as defined by the rules and regulations promulgated by the board, shall be completed within three years. However:
(a) A longer period may be authorized if seed or seedlings are not available;
(b) A period of up to five years may be allowed where a natural regeneration plan is approved by the department; and
(c) The department may identify low-productivity lands on which it may allow for a period of up to ten years for natural regeneration.
(2)(a) Upon the completion of a reforestation operation a report on such operation shall be filed with the department of natural resources.
(b) Within twelve months of receipt of such a report the department shall inspect the reforestation operation, and shall determine either that the reforestation operation has been properly completed or that further reforestation and inspection is necessary.
(3) Satisfactory reforestation is the obligation of the owner of the land as defined by forest practices regulations, except the owner of perpetual rights to cut timber owned separately from the land is responsible for satisfactory reforestation. The reforestation obligation shall become the obligation of a new owner if the land or perpetual timber rights are sold or otherwise transferred.
(4)(a) Prior to the sale or transfer of land or perpetual timber rights subject to a reforestation obligation or to a notice of conversion to a nonforestry use issued under RCW 76.09.060, the seller shall notify the buyer of the existence and nature of the obligation and the buyer shall sign a notice indicating the buyer's knowledge of all obligations.
(b) The notice shall be on a form prepared by the department and shall be sent to the department by the seller at the time of sale or transfer of the land or perpetual timber rights.
(c) If the seller fails to notify the buyer about the reforestation obligation or the notice of conversion to a nonforestry use, the seller shall pay the buyer's costs related to reforestation or mitigation under RCW 76.09.470, including all legal costs which include reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the buyer in enforcing the reforestation obligation or mitigation requirements against the seller.
(d) Failure by the seller to send the required notice to the department at the time of sale shall be prima facie evidence, in an action by the buyer against the seller for costs related to reforestation or mitigation, that the seller did not notify the buyer of the reforestation obligation or potential mitigation requirements prior to sale.
(5) The forest practices regulations may provide alternatives to or limitations on the applicability of reforestation requirements with respect to forest lands being converted in whole or in part to another use which is compatible with timber growing. The forest practices regulations may identify classifications and/or areas of forest land that have the likelihood of future conversion to urban development within a ten year period. The reforestation requirements may be modified or eliminated on such lands. However, such identification and/or such conversion to urban development must be consistent with any local or regional land use plans or ordinances.
[2007 c 106 § 4; 1987 c 95 § 10; 1982 c 173 § 1; 1975 1st ex.s. c 200 § 4; 1974 ex.s. c 137 § 7.]
| Effective date -- 1982 c 173: "This act shall take effect July 1, 1982." [1982 c 173 § 2.]|