Chapter 1503: DIVISION OF FORESTRY

1503.01 Chief of the division of forestry - powers and duties.

The chief of the division of forestry shall administer this chapter.

The chief may adopt, amend, and rescind rules, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, for the administration, implementation, and enforcement of section 1503.43 of the Revised Code and for the administration, use, visitation, and protection of the state forests, except those forests used solely for research purposes by the Ohio agricultural research and development center. Copies of the rules governing state forests shall be posted in conspicuous places in those forests. No person shall violate any rule adopted under this section.

The chief, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may enter into an agreement with the United States department of agriculture under the "Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978," 92 Stat. 365, 16 U.S.C.A. 2101 , as amended, for the purpose of receiving and disbursing grants to provide forestry and fire protection assistance on public and private lands in this state.

The chief shall employ, subject to the approval of the director, field assistants and such other employees as are necessary for the performance of the work prescribed by this chapter and for the performance of the other work of the division, shall prescribe their duties, and shall fix their compensation in accordance with such schedules as are provided by law for the compensation of state employees.

All employees of the division, unless specifically exempted by law, shall be employed subject to the classified civil service laws in force at the time of employment.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.01

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.011 Conservation and development of forests - duties of chief.

The chief of the division of forestry shall be responsible for the conservation and development of forests within this state. The chief shall be concerned with silvicultural practices, including the proper planting, growing, protecting, harvesting, and managing of trees for such purposes as watershed and soil protection, timber production and utilization, recreation, aesthetics, wildlife habitat development, and urban enhancement and for all benefits that forests provide.

The chief may do any or all of the following:

(A) Provide rural forestry assistance to nonindustrial private forest landowners, including advice in tree planting, forest improvement, harvesting, and all aspects of conservation;

(B) Provide urban forestry assistance to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and political subdivisions to manage their urban forest resource and develop comprehensive tree care programs;

(C) Provide wood utilization, marketing, and rural forestry development assistance to forest industries, political subdivisions and agencies thereof, and state and federal agencies for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a viable, economically sound wood-based industry while expanding the forest resource of this state;

(D) Provide forest pest protection assistance to forest landowners, political subdivisions and agencies thereof, and state and federal agencies on assessing and evaluating the health and vigor of the forest resource;

(E) Provide technical assistance to landowners in developing forest windbreaks, filter strips, and other forest management practices that provide conservation benefits;

(F) Provide awareness of and education concerning the programs provided for under divisions (A) to (E) of this section;

(G) Enter into agreements with political subdivisions and agencies thereof, state and federal agencies, firefighting agencies and private fire companies, as those terms are defined in section 9.60 of the Revised Code, nonprofit organizations, and individuals to meet the needs of forestry assistance in this state and, in accordance with section 1503.01 of the Revised Code, develop and administer grant programs for any of those entities requesting assistance. The chief shall adopt, and may amend and rescind, rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing such requirements and procedures as are necessary to implement this division.

As used in this section, "nonprofit organization" has the same meaning as in section 4141.01 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.011

Effective Date: 09-05-2001

1503.012 Forestry and mineral royalties fund; transfer of money.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the forestry mineral royalties fund. The fund shall consist of money deposited into it under section 1509.73 of the Revised Code. Any investment proceeds earned on money in the fund shall be credited to the fund.

Money in the fund shall be used by the division of forestry to acquire land and to pay capital costs, including equipment and repairs and renovations of facilities, that are owned by the state and administered by the division. Expenditures from the fund for those purposes shall be approved by the director of natural resources.

The director of natural resources also may request the director of budget and management to transfer money from the forestry mineral royalties fund to the parks mineral royalties fund created in section 1541.26 of the Revised Code. The director of budget and management shall transfer the money pursuant to the request if the director consents to the request. Money that is transferred to the parks mineral royalties fund shall be used for the purposes specified in section 1541.26 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.012

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.35, HB 133, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

1503.02 Agricultural research and development center - duties.

The Ohio agricultural research and development center shall carefully inquire into the character and extent of the forests of the state, the causes of their waste and decay, and methods for their preservation and development. It shall conduct investigations in the several sections of the state, determine the species of valuable trees best suited to grow on the various kinds of soil, and ascertain the best methods and cost of the propagation, planting, and cultivation of wood lots and plantations. It shall determine the average rate of growth of the various species of trees and the relative values of different kinds of timber for domestic and commercial purposes, and conduct experiments for the purpose of increasing durability of the various kinds of wood. It shall determine the kind of trees and shrubs best suited to different localities for windbreaks and shelter, and for beautifying grounds, and shall ascertain the best methods of planting and managing such trees, shrubs, and grounds.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.02

Effective Date: 03-16-1982

1503.03 Acquisition of forest areas.

The chief of the division of forestry shall cooperate with the Ohio agricultural research and development center, all state operated universities, and the department of agriculture. The chief, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may purchase or acquire by gift, donations, or contributions any interest in land suitable for forestry purposes. The chief may enter into agreements with the federal government or other agencies for the acquisition, by lease, purchase, or otherwise, of such lands as in the judgment of the chief and director are desirable for state forests, building sites, or nursery lands. The chief may expend funds, not otherwise obligated, for the management, development, and utilization of such lands.

The chief, with the approval of the director, may acquire by lease, purchase, gift, or otherwise, in the name of the state, forested or other lands in the state suitable for the growth of forest trees to the amount of the appropriation for that purpose. The chief shall prepare and submit to the director maps and descriptions of such areas including and adjacent to the existing state forest lands, the lands within which, not at the time belonging to the state, are properly subject to purchase as state forest lands for reasons of protection, utilization, and administration. When such an area is approved by the director and the recreation and resources council, it shall be known as a state forest purchase area and the map and description, with the approval of the director indorsed thereon, shall be filed in duplicate with the auditor of state and the attorney general.

All lands purchased for forest purposes shall be deeded to the state, but the purchase price of such lands shall not be paid until the title thereof has been approved by the attorney general. The price of such lands shall not exceed the appropriation for such purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.03

Effective Date: 12-02-1996

1503.04 Custody of forests.

The chief of the division of forestry may plant such trees as he deems expedient, and take such measures as are necessary to bring about a profitable growth of timber on lands described in section 1503.03 of the Revised Code. The chief may fence such lands with substantial wire fencing, protect them from forest fires and trespassers, and preserve the timber thereon. The chief has entire custody of such forest lands and may employ such local assistance as he deems necessary.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.04

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.05 Timber sale agreements.

(A) The chief of the division of forestry may sell timber and other forest products from the state forest and state forest nurseries whenever the chief considers such a sale desirable and, with the approval of the attorney general and the director of natural resources, may sell portions of the state forest lands when such a sale is advantageous to the state.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a timber sale agreement shall not be executed unless the person or governmental entity bidding on the sale executes and files a surety bond conditioned on completion of the timber sale in accordance with the terms of the agreement in an amount equal to twenty-five per cent of the highest value cutting section. All bonds shall be given in a form prescribed by the chief and shall run to the state as obligee.

The chief shall not approve any bond until it is personally signed and acknowledged by both principal and surety, or as to either by the attorney in fact thereof, with a certified copy of the power of attorney attached. The chief shall not approve the bond unless there is attached a certificate of the superintendent of insurance that the company is authorized to transact a fidelity and surety business in this state.

In lieu of a bond, the bidder may deposit any of the following:

(1) Cash in an amount equal to the amount of the bond;

(2) United States government securities having a par value equal to or greater than the amount of the bond;

(3) Negotiable certificates of deposit or irrevocable letters of credit issued by any bank organized or transacting business in this state having a par value equal to or greater than the amount of the bond.

The cash or securities shall be deposited on the same terms as bonds. If one or more certificates of deposit are deposited in lieu of a bond, the chief shall require the bank that issued any of the certificates to pledge securities of the aggregate market value equal to the amount of the certificate or certificates that is in excess of the amount insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation. The securities to be pledged shall be those designated as eligible under section 135.18 of the Revised Code. The securities shall be security for the repayment of the certificate or certificates of deposit.

Immediately upon a deposit of cash, securities, certificates of deposit, or letters of credit, the chief shall deliver them to the treasurer of state, who shall hold them in trust for the purposes for which they have been deposited. The treasurer of state is responsible for the safekeeping of the deposits. A bidder making a deposit of cash, securities, certificates of deposit, or letters of credit may withdraw and receive from the treasurer of state, on the written order of the chief, all or any portion of the cash, securities, certificates of deposit, or letters of credit upon depositing with the treasurer of state cash, other United States government securities, or other negotiable certificates of deposit or irrevocable letters of credit issued by any bank organized or transacting business in this state, equal in par value to the par value of the cash, securities, certificates of deposit, or letters of credit withdrawn.

A bidder may demand and receive from the treasurer of state all interest or other income from any such securities or certificates as it becomes due. If securities so deposited with and in the possession of the treasurer of state mature or are called for payment by their issuer, the treasurer of state, at the request of the bidder who deposited them, shall convert the proceeds of the redemption or payment of the securities into other United States government securities, negotiable certificates of deposit, or cash as the bidder designates.

When the chief finds that a person or governmental agency has failed to comply with the conditions of the person's or governmental agency's bond, the chief shall make a finding of that fact and declare the bond, cash, securities, certificates, or letters of credit forfeited. The chief thereupon shall certify the total forfeiture to the attorney general, who shall proceed to collect the amount of the bond, cash, securities, certificates, or letters of credit.

In lieu of total forfeiture, the surety, at its option, may cause the timber sale to be completed or pay to the treasurer of state the cost thereof.

All moneys collected as a result of forfeitures of bonds, cash, securities, certificates, and letters of credit under this section shall be credited to the state forest fund created in this section.

(C) The chief may grant easements and leases on portions of the state forest lands and state forest nurseries under terms that are advantageous to the state, and the chief may grant mineral rights on a royalty basis on those lands and nurseries, with the approval of the attorney general and the director.

(D) All moneys received from the sale of state forest lands, or in payment for easements or leases on or as rents from those lands or from state forest nurseries, shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the state forest fund, which is hereby created. In addition, all moneys received from federal grants, payments, and reimbursements, from the sale of reforestation tree stock, from the sale of forest products, other than standing timber, and from the sale of minerals taken from the state forest lands and state forest nurseries, together with royalties from mineral rights, shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the state forest fund. Any other revenues derived from the operation of the state forests and related facilities or equipment also shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the state forest fund, as shall contributions received for the issuance of Smokey Bear license plates under section 4503.574 of the Revised Code and any other moneys required by law to be deposited in the fund.

The state forest fund shall not be expended for any purpose other than the administration, operation, maintenance, development, or utilization of the state forests, forest nurseries, and forest programs, for facilities or equipment incident to them, or for the further purchase of lands for state forest or forest nursery purposes and, in the case of contributions received pursuant to section 4503.574 of the Revised Code, for fire prevention purposes.

All moneys received from the sale of standing timber taken from state forest lands and state forest nurseries shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the forestry holding account redistribution fund, which is hereby created. The moneys shall remain in the fund until they are redistributed in accordance with this division.

The redistribution shall occur at least once each year. To begin the redistribution, the chief first shall determine the amount of all standing timber sold from state forest lands and state forest nurseries, together with the amount of the total sale proceeds, in each county, in each township within the county, and in each school district within the county. The chief next shall determine the amount of the direct costs that the division of forestry incurred in association with the sale of that standing timber. The amount of the direct costs shall be subtracted from the amount of the total sale proceeds and shall be transferred from the forestry holding account redistribution fund to the state forest fund.

The remaining amount of the total sale proceeds equals the net value of the standing timber that was sold. The chief shall determine the net value of standing timber sold from state forest lands and state forest nurseries in each county, in each township within the county, and in each school district within the county and shall send to each county treasurer a copy of the determination at the time that moneys are paid to the county treasurer under this division.

Thirty-five per cent of the net value of standing timber sold from state forest lands and state forest nurseries located in a county shall be transferred from the forestry holding account redistribution fund to the state forest fund. The remaining sixty-five per cent of the net value shall be transferred from the forestry holding account redistribution fund and paid to the county treasurer for the use of the general fund of that county.

The county auditor shall do all of the following:

(1) Retain for the use of the general fund of the county one-fourth of the amount received by the county under division (D) of this section;

(2) Pay into the general fund of any township located within the county and containing such lands and nurseries one-fourth of the amount received by the county from standing timber sold from lands and nurseries located in the township;

(3) Request the board of education of any school district located within the county and containing such lands and nurseries to identify which fund or funds of the district should receive the moneys available to the school district under division (D)(3) of this section. After receiving notice from the board, the county auditor shall pay into the fund or funds so identified one-half of the amount received by the county from standing timber sold from lands and nurseries located in the school district, distributed proportionately as identified by the board.

The division of forestry shall not supply logs, lumber, or other forest products or minerals, taken from the state forest lands or state forest nurseries, to any other agency or subdivision of the state unless payment is made therefor in the amount of the actual prevailing value thereof. This section is applicable to the moneys so received.

(E) The chief may enter into a personal service contract for consulting services to assist the chief with the sale of timber or other forest products and related inventory. Compensation for consulting services shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale of timber or other forest products and related inventory that are the subject of the personal service contract.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.05

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 06-29-2004; 03-23-2005; 2007 HB119 06-30-2007

1503.06 State forest nursery.

The chief of the division of forestry may acquire suitable land in the name of the state and maintain it as a state forest nursery. He shall raise seedling trees of useful species for planting and, on terms approved by the director of natural resources, shall distribute the seedling trees to persons who desire to plant them within the state for conservation purposes, including general reforestation, wildlife habitat development, windbreaks, energy conservation, natural community restoration, soil and water protection, research, commemorative plantings, and any other purpose relating to conservation and natural resources education. No seedling trees distributed under this section subsequently shall be removed alive with roots attached and sold, bartered, or given away, except that products such as Christmas trees, roundwood, or other materials derived from seedling trees distributed under this section may be sold or removed.

The chief may conduct activities for the improvement of seedlings of forest tree species. In distributing seedling trees under this section, he shall reserve sufficient seedling trees to reforest wastelands coming into the possession of the state and placed under the supervision of the division.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.06

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1503.07 Property which is a forest-fire hazard may be declared a public nuisance.

The chief of the division of forestry may declare any property to be a public nuisance which by reason of its condition or operation is a special forest-fire hazard and as such endangers property. He shall notify the owner of the property or person responsible for the condition declared to be a public nuisance and shall advise him as to the abatement or removal of the nuisance. In the case of a railroad, the notice shall be served upon the superintendent of the division upon which the nuisance exists. If the owner of the property on which the nuisance exists, after thirty days' notice, refuses or neglects to take action to abate or remove the nuisance, the chief shall cause it to be removed or abated. The costs of that action constitute a lien and are recoverable as a special tax assessed against the property. All money thus derived shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund. The chief shall collect and arrange information obtained concerning violation of laws relating to the protection of forests from fires and present that information to the director of natural resources, who shall file it with the attorney general for legal action.

The disbursements by the chief in carrying out the purposes of sections 1503.07 to 1503.27 of the Revised Code shall be paid by the state from the appropriation for the prevention and extinguishment of forest fires.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.07

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.08 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 1503.08

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.09 Appointment of forest-fire wardens.

The chief of the division of forestry may appoint forest-fire wardens, whose jurisdiction shall extend over such territory as the chief determines, subject to the approval of the director of natural resources. Any such warden shall hold office for the term of one year or until his successor is appointed, but he may at any time be summarily removed by the chief.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.09

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.10 Supervision of forest-fire wardens.

The chief of the division of forestry shall supervise all forest-fire wardens, shall instruct them in their duties, shall enforce all laws of this state for the prevention and suppression of forest fires, and shall cause those who violate such laws to be prosecuted.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.10

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.11 Forest-fire wardens - duties and powers.

Forest-fire wardens shall prevent and extinguish forest fires in the territory over which they have jurisdiction and shall have control and direction of all persons and apparatus while engaged in extinguishing forest fires.

In case of fire threatening any forest or woodland, the wardens having authority in that locality shall attend immediately and use all necessary means to confine and extinguish the fire. The wardens may destroy fences, plow land, or set backfires to check any fire.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.11

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.12 Notices.

Forest-fire wardens shall post such notices warning against the dangers of forest fires and calling attention to the forest-fire laws of this state as the chief of the division of forestry prepares. No person shall, without authority, willfully or maliciously tear down, remove, deface, or destroy any such notice.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.12

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.13 Compensation of forest-fire wardens.

Forest-fire wardens shall be allowed for their services such remuneration as is fixed by the chief of the division of forestry, subject to the approval of the director of natural resources. Laborers and owners of all property required by any warden in the extinguishment of a brush or forest fire shall receive reasonable compensation for labor and material so employed, and said chief may make final settlement.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.13

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.14 System for detection and observation of forest fires - mutual aid and assistance agreements - transfers of excess property.

The chief of the division of forestry may establish and put into effect a system for aerial or ground detection and observation of forest fires which shall cover the regions determined by the chief to be subject to forest fires, purchase the necessary equipment and material, and hire the necessary labor for the installation and maintenance of the system.

The chief may enter into agreements or contracts with firefighting agencies and private fire companies for the purpose of providing mutual aid and assistance in the protection of forests from forest fires. The agreements or contracts may provide for at least technical assistance, assistance in training personnel, and fire suppression assistance and such other forms of aid as may be available and appropriate.

The chief, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may transfer title to or ownership of vehicles, equipment, materials, and supplies that are determined to be in excess of the needs of the department of natural resources and the division to a firefighting agency or private fire company for the purpose of accomplishing fire suppression.

As used in this section, "firefighting agency" and "private fire company" have the same meanings as in section 9.60 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.14

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.141 Wildfire suppression fund - reimbursement of costs for suppression of fires.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the wildfire suppression fund. The fund shall consist of any federal moneys received for the purposes of this section and donations, gifts, bequests, and other moneys received for those purposes. In addition, the chief of the division of forestry annually may request that the director of budget and management transfer, and, if so requested, the director shall transfer, not more than one hundred thousand dollars to the wildfire suppression fund from the state forest fund created in section 1503.05 of the Revised Code. The amount transferred shall consist only of money deposited into the state forest fund from the sale of standing timber taken from state forest lands as set forth in that section .

The chief shall use moneys in the wildfire suppression fund to reimburse firefighting agencies and private fire companies for their costs incurred in the suppression of wildfires. The chief shall provide such reimbursement pursuant to agreements and contracts entered into under section 1503.14 of the Revised Code and in accordance with the following schedule:

(A) For wildfire suppression on private land, an initial seventy-dollar payment to the firefighting agency or private fire company;

(B) For wildfire suppression on land under the administration or care of the department of natural resources or on land that is part of any national forest administered by the United States department of agriculture forest service, an initial one-hundred-dollar payment to the firefighting agency or private fire company;

(C) For any wildfire suppression on land specified in division (A) or (B) of this section lasting more than two hours, an additional payment of thirty-five dollars per hour.

If at any time moneys in the fund exceed two hundred thousand dollars, the chief shall disburse the moneys that exceed that amount to the firefighting agencies and private fire companies in accordance with rules that the chief shall adopt in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. The rules shall establish requirements and procedures that are similar in purpose and operation to the federal rural community fire protection program established under the "Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978," 92 Stat. 365, 16 U.S.C.A. 2101 , as amended.

As used in this section, "firefighting agency" and "private fire company" have the same meanings as in section 9.60 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.141

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 06-30-1997

1503.15 Personal liability of forest-fire warden.

A forest-fire warden is not personally liable for any act required or authorized under sections 1503.07 to 1503.27 of the Revised Code while acting within the scope of his duties as warden.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.15

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.16 Duty of owners or lessees.

Sections 1503.07 to 1503.27 of the Revised Code do not relieve the owners or lessees of lands upon which fires may burn or be started from the duty of extinguishing the fires insofar as it is within their power.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.16

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.17 Owner or lessee not to receive compensation for extinguishing fire.

No owner or lessee of land upon which fire may burn or be started and no person during employment with such an owner or lessee shall receive compensation under sections 1503.07 to 1503.27 of the Revised Code for extinguishing fire upon his land or the land to which his interest is attached. No person who is responsible for the spreading of a fire to a woodland, forest, or wild land and no person in his employ may receive compensation for helping to extinguish such fires. If any owner or lessee of land neglects to extinguish such fires, the forest-fire wardens shall provide the necessary means and assistance to extinguish the fires. One-half of the costs of the extinguishment shall be borne by the owner or lessee and shall constitute a lien and be recoverable as a special tax assessed against the property. All moneys thus derived shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.17

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.18 Kindled fires.

(A) No person shall kindle a fire upon public land without the written permission of the forest-fire warden having jurisdiction or on land of another without the written permission of the owner or his agent.

(B) No person shall kindle or authorize another to kindle a fire in or near any woodland, brushland, or land containing tree growth or in any place from which the fire is likely to escape, unless all leaves, grass, wood, and inflammable material surrounding the place where the fire is kindled have first been removed to a safe distance and all other reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent its escape from control. No fire shall be left until extinguished or safely covered.

(C) Excepting fires kindled in a plowed field, garden, or public highway at a distance of not less than two hundred feet from any woodland, brushland, or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material, no person shall kindle or authorize another to kindle a fire in the open air, outside the limits of any municipal corporation or land controlled by any railroad company, for the purpose of burning wood, brush, weeds, grass, or rubbish of any kind between the hours of six a.m. and six p.m. during the months of March, April, May, October, and November in any year. The chief of the division of forestry may expand the times and places for kindling fires if the chief gives notice by publishing one notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected or giving written authorization to the affected person.

(D) The times and places for kindling fires established under division (C) of this section may be restricted or eliminated by executive order of the governor if environmental conditions so warrant.

(E) Fires kindled by improperly disposing of a lighted match, cigar, or other burning or glowing substance are kindled fires within the meaning of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.18

Effective Date: 02-11-1988

1503.19 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 1503.19

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

1503.20, 1503.21 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 1503.20, 1503.21

Effective Date: 02-11-1988

1503.22 Fire may be kindled in absence of forest-fire warden.

In the absence of any forest-fire warden to take control of wildfire, any person may kindle a fire at any time on his own land, public land, or the land of another with the consent of the owner or occupant thereof for the purpose of back-firing to protect property from the threatened and immediate injury of a wildfire.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.22

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1503.23 Disposition of fines.

Notwithstanding any other section of the Revised Code relating to the distribution or crediting of fines for violations of the Revised Code, all fines imposed under section 1503.99 of the Revised Code shall be paid to the treasurer of state and deposited in the state forest fund created in section 1503.05 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.23

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1503.24 Liability of railroad company.

Any railroad company which through any act of its employees or agents or by sparks from its locomotives or otherwise sets fire to trees, brush, or grass on lands outside the right of way of such company shall be liable to the state for the lawful expenses incurred in extinguishing such fire; providing such fires occur in a district having a regularly appointed forest-fire warden.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.24

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1503.25 Duty of section foreman.

Every section foreman employed by a railroad company shall upon discovery of any fire in the section under his jurisdiction for which said company is liable, under section 1503.24 of the Revised Code, summon necessary assistance, proceed to the fire and extinguish it, and give such assistance to the local or subdistrict forest fire warden as is requested by such warden.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.25

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1503.26 Preventive rules.

All steam and electric railroad companies owning or operating lines of railroad within the state shall put into effect such reasonable rules for the prevention of forest fires as the chief of the division of forestry considers necessary, providing such rules are approved by the public utilities commission.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.26

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.27 Agreement with federal government.

The chief of the division of forestry may take such action as is necessary to provide for the prevention and control of forest fires in groups of districts and, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may enter into an agreement with the secretary of agriculture of the United States under authority of the act of congress of March 1, 1911, 36 Stat. 961, or acts amendatory or supplementary thereto or others having a similar purpose, for the protection of forested watersheds of navigable streams in this state.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.27

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.28 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 1503.28

Effective Date: 10-08-1992

1503.29 Forest officers.

(A) As used in this section, "felony" has the same meaning as in section 109.511 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) Subject to division (D) of this section, any person employed by the chief of the division of forestry for administrative service in a state forest may be designated by the chief and known as a forest officer. A forest officer, on any lands or waters owned, controlled, maintained, or administered by the department of natural resources and on highways, as defined in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code, adjacent to lands and waters owned, controlled, maintained, or administered by the division of forestry, has the authority specified under section 2935.03 of the Revised Code for peace officers of the department of natural resources to keep the peace, to enforce all laws and rules governing those lands and waters, and to make arrests for violation of those laws and rules, provided that the authority shall be exercised on lands or waters administered by another division of the department only pursuant to an agreement with the chief of that division or to a request for assistance by an enforcement officer of that division in an emergency.

(2) A forest officer, in or along any watercourse within, abutting, or upstream from the boundary of any area administered by the department, has the authority to enforce section 3767.32 of the Revised Code and other laws prohibiting the dumping of refuse into or along waters and to make arrests for violation of those laws. The jurisdiction of forest officers shall be concurrent with that of the peace officers of the county, township, or municipal corporation in which the violation occurs.

(3) A forest officer may enter upon private and public lands to investigate an alleged violation of, and may enforce, this chapter and sections 2909.02 , 2909.03 , and 2909.06 of the Revised Code when the alleged violation or other act pertains to forest fires.

(C)

(1) A forest officer may render assistance to a state or local law enforcement officer at the request of that officer or may render assistance to a state or local law enforcement officer in the event of an emergency. Forest officers serving outside the division of forestry under this section or serving under the terms of a mutual aid compact authorized under section 1501.02 of the Revised Code shall be considered as performing services within their regular employment for the purposes of compensation, pension or indemnity fund rights, workers' compensation, and other rights or benefits to which they may be entitled as incidents of their regular employment.

(2) Forest officers serving outside the division of forestry under this section or under a mutual aid compact retain personal immunity from civil liability as specified in section 9.86 of the Revised Code and shall not be considered an employee of a political subdivision for purposes of Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code. A political subdivision that uses forest officers under this section or under the terms of a mutual aid compact authorized under section 1501.02 of the Revised Code is not subject to civil liability under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code as the result of any action or omission of any forest officer acting under this section or under a mutual aid compact.

(D)

(1) The chief of the division of forestry shall not designate a person as a forest officer pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section on a permanent basis, on a temporary basis, for a probationary term, or on other than a permanent basis if the person previously has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty to a felony.

(2)

(a) The chief of the division of forestry shall terminate the employment as a forest officer of a person designated as a forest officer under division (B)(1) of this section if that person does either of the following:

(i) Pleads guilty to a felony;

(ii) Pleads guilty to a misdemeanor pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement as provided in division (D) of section 2929.43 of the Revised Code in which the forest officer agrees to surrender the certificate awarded to the forest officer under section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(b) The chief shall suspend from employment as a forest officer a person designated as a forest officer under division (B)(1) of this section if that person is convicted, after trial, of a felony. If the forest officer files an appeal from that conviction and the conviction is upheld by the highest court to which the appeal is taken or if the forest officer does not file a timely appeal, the chief shall terminate the employment of that forest officer. If the forest officer files an appeal that results in that forest officer's acquittal of the felony or conviction of a misdemeanor, or in the dismissal of the felony charge against the forest officer, the chief shall reinstate that forest officer. A forest officer who is reinstated under division (D)(2)(b) of this section shall not receive any back pay unless that forest officer's conviction of the felony was reversed on appeal, or the felony charge was dismissed, because the court found insufficient evidence to convict the forest officer of the felony.

(3) Division (D) of this section does not apply regarding an offense that was committed prior to January 1, 1997.

(4) The suspension from employment, or the termination of the employment, of a forest officer under division (D)(2) of this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.29

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

1503.30 Commission of forest officer.

The chief of the division of forestry shall furnish each forest officer, as an evidence of his authority, a badge which has impressed thereon "Forest Officer."

The governor shall issue to each forest officer a commission indicating such officer's authority to make arrests as provided by section 1503.29 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.30

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.31 Forest officer is not entitled to any fines collected.

No forest officer shall be entitled to any portion of any fine imposed upon any person for any breach of the peace or violation of rules and regulations of the public forest. When the proceeding is initiated by the forest officer, all such fines shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.31

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1503.32 Consent of state to land acquisition by federal forest service.

Consent of the state is given to the United States department of agriculture forest service and, between May 6, 1902 and March 14, 1980, to any other agency or instrumentality of the United States, for the acquisition, by purchase or gift, of such lands in the state as in the opinion of the federal government may be needed for the establishment, consolidation, and extension of national forests and for flood control and soil conservation work in the state. At the time the forest service begins to negotiate with the owner of land to acquire land in the state, the forest service shall notify in writing the board of county commissioners of the county in which the land is located. Such notice shall include the location and amount of land that the forest service intends to acquire. The board of county commissioners shall publish, in the Ohio newspaper of largest circulation in the county in which the land is located, notice of the intent of the forest service to acquire the land and the location thereof.

The state retains concurrent jurisdiction with the United States over such areas in the matter of service thereon of all civil and criminal process issuing under the authority of the state.

The boundaries of any areas selected under this section shall be first approved by the governor and such other state agencies and departments as he designates.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.32

Effective Date: 09-30-1980

1503.33 Cooperation among states and with federal agencies to prevent forest fires.

In order to further cooperation with other states and with federal agencies, the chief of the division of forestry, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may request assistance and aid from and may provide assistance and aid to other states, groups of states, and federal agencies in the protection of forests from forest fires and may enter into agreements for that purpose. Upon the request of another state, the chief may send to or receive from that state such personnel, equipment, and supplies as may be available and appropriate for use in accordance with the terms of the applicable agreement.

Employees of the division serving outside the state under the terms of an agreement entered into under this section shall be considered as performing services within their regular employment for the purposes of compensation, pension or indemnity fund rights, workers' compensation, and other rights or benefits to which they may be entitled as incidents of their regular employment. Such employees retain personal immunity from civil liability as specified in section 9.86 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.33

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1503.34 Lease agreements for the rental of concessions.

The chief of the division of forestry, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may enter into lease agreements for the rental of concessions or the operation of other lands or facilities located within state-owned forests or on other property under the control and administration of the division. For the purposes of this section, a concessionaire may be any person.

The chief may establish and collect fees for the use of and admission to state forest lands and facilities, the amount of concession rentals, and fees for other special projects on lands and waters under the control and administration of the division and may regulate the sale of tangible objects through contracts between the division and concessionaires. All moneys received as user fees, from concession rentals, and from fees for other special projects shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the state forest fund created in section 1503.05 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.34

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1503.35, 1503.351 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 1503.35, 1503.351

Effective Date: 09-05-2001

1503.36 Amended and Renumbered RC 1541.23.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.36

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1503.40 Forestry advisory council.

There is hereby created in the division of forestry a forestry advisory council which shall consist of eight appointed members, not more than four of whom shall belong to the same political party, to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. One member shall be appointed to represent each of the following: forest-based research activities, small private forest land owners, large private forest land owners, the pulp and paper industry, other forest industries, soil science, forest recreation, and the public.

The member first appointed to represent forest recreation shall have a term to expire on the last day of February, 1974.

Terms of office shall be for four years, commencing on the first day of March and ending on the last day of February, except that upon expiration of the two terms ending on March 4, 1973, the new terms which succeed them shall commence on March 5, 1973 and end on February 28, 1977; upon expiration of the term ending on March 4, 1974, the new term which succeeds it shall commence on March 5, 1974 and end on February 28, 1978; and upon expiration of the two terms ending on March 2, 1975, the new terms which succeed them shall commence on March 3, 1975 and end on February 28, 1979. Each member shall hold office from the date of his appointment until the end of the term for which he was appointed.

A vacancy in the office of a member shall be filled by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of such term. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of his term until his successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

The council shall select from among its appointed members a chairman, vice-chairman, and a secretary. All members are entitled to their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as such members, payable from the appropriations for the division.

The governor may remove any appointed member for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

The council shall hold at least one regular meeting in each quarter of a calendar year, and shall keep a record of its proceedings. Special meetings may be called by the chairman, and shall be called by him upon receipt of a written request therefor signed by two or more members of the council. A written notice of the time and place of each meeting shall be sent to each member of the council. Five members constitute a quorum.

The council may advise and make recommendations to the chief of the division of forestry concerning forestry practices and programs in the state, including programs of the division, and may assist the division in promoting cooperation on forestry practices and programs with other agencies, political subdivisions, and private interests.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.40

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

1503.41 Middle Atlantic interstate forest fire protection compact.

(A) The "Middle Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact" is hereby ratified, enacted into law, and entered into by the state of Ohio as a party thereto with any other state that under Article II of the compact has legally joined in the compact as follows:

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, 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 forest 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.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.41

Effective Date: 02-11-1988

1503.43 Shawnee wilderness area.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Wilderness area" means a contiguous area of relatively undeveloped state-owned land administered by the division of forestry and consisting of not less than five thousand acres or of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition that either has retained its natural character and influence or has been substantially restored to a near natural appearance and that meets both of the following qualifications:

(a) The area is one in which humankind's past influences are largely unnoticed;

(b) The area has outstanding opportunities for solitude or for a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.

(2) "Utility facility" includes, without limitation, towers, poles, pipes, sewers, tubing, conduits, conductors, cables, valves, lines, wires, manholes, and appurtenances thereto owned by a utility facility operator.

(3) "Utility facility operator" means a person or public authority that supplies any of the following materials or services by means of a utility facility:

(a) Flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas;

(b) Crude oil, petroleum products, or hazardous liquids;

(c) Coal;

(d) Electricity;

(e) Electronic, telephonic, or telegraphic communications;

(f) Television signals;

(g) Sewage disposal or drainage;

(h) Potable water;

(i) Steam or hot water.

(B) That portion of contiguous state lands located in Scioto and Adams counties and within the Shawnee state forest and bounded by forest road seventeen and sunshine ridge to the north, by upper Twin Creek road to the east and northeast, by United States route fifty-two to the south, and by lower Twin Creek road to the west and southwest is hereby designated the Shawnee wilderness area. Except as otherwise specifically provided by this section or by rule adopted under this chapter, the provisions of this chapter apply to the Shawnee wilderness area, and that area shall continue to be a part of the Shawnee state forest.

(C) The Shawnee wilderness area shall be managed to preserve natural conditions and ensure the continuance of natural processes. The chief of the division of forestry, with the approval of the director of natural resources, shall administer the Shawnee wilderness area in accordance with a management plan, which the chief shall develop and adopt within one year after September 14, 1988. Sixty days prior to adopting a plan, the chief shall solicit public review and comment on a draft plan. At least once every ten years, the chief shall conduct a review of the plan, with public input, and revise the plan as appropriate. The chief shall make the plan available for review by any person upon request.

(D) Notwithstanding any other authority granted to the chief under this chapter, the chief shall include within the management plan adopted under division (C) of this section prohibitions of the following activities within the Shawnee wilderness area except for the areas exempted in division (E) of this section:

(1) Picking, removal, cutting, or alteration in any manner of any vegetation unless the person first has obtained written consent from the chief for that activity and the action is necessary for appropriate public access, the preservation or restoration of a plant or wildlife species, or the documentation of scientific values;

(2) Granting of any easement or license, or sale or lease of any of the land, for any purpose. Division (D)(2) of this section does not apply to any private easement or license in existence on September 14, 1988.

(3) Exploration for or extraction of any coal, oil, gas, or minerals;

(4) Operation, construction, or installation of a utility facility above or below the surface of the land;

(5) Operation of a commercial enterprise;

(6) Except as provided in division (D)(7) of this section, construction of a road upon any of the land or use of the land as a road;

(7) Except as is necessary to meet emergency requirements for administration of the area:

(a) Landing of an aircraft;

(b) Operation of a motor vehicle, motor boat, other form of mechanical transport, or motorized equipment;

(c) Construction of any building or other structure;

(d) Use of the land as a temporary road.

(E)

(1) The following areas, which now are necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest and the state forest system, are not subject to the prohibitions of division (D) of this section:

(a) The Buena Vista manager's residence;

(b) The Buena Vista walnut seed orchard

.

(2) The following areas, which now are necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest and the state forest system, are not subject to the prohibition established in division (D)(7)(b) of this section for the purpose of trail maintenance:

(a) The hiking trail west of upper Twin Creek road known as the wilderness loop;

(b) Buckhorn ridge bridle trail;

(c) Cabbage patch bridle trail.

(3) At any time that the chief makes a determination that it is no longer necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest or the state forest system for an area excluded in division (E)(1) or (2) of this section to be excluded, the area shall become subject to the prohibitions established in division (D) of this section or the prohibition established in division (D)(7)(b) of this section, as applicable.

(F) The chief, in developing a management plan under division (C) of this section, may not prohibit any hunting, fishing, or trapping that is done in conformity with Chapters 1531. and 1533. of the Revised Code or any rules adopted under those chapters.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.43

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 03-18-1999

1503.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 1503.01 or 1503.12 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B) Whoever violates section 1503.18 or 1503.43 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Cite as R.C. § 1503.99

Effective Date: 10-20-1994