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.
Effective Date: 09-05-2001