5723.08 Appropriation of forfeited lands for conservation purposes.

After any county auditor has compiled a list of forfeited lands as provided for in section 5723.04 of the Revised Code, the auditor shall furnish and deliver to the director of natural resources an authenticated copy of such list within ten days after its completion. The director of natural resources, in behalf of the state, may select and designate tracts of land so forfeited which are situated within the boundaries of any legally established state forest or park purchase area, which in the director's opinion are suitable for reforestation, public recreation, wildlife habitat, water impoundment, or other uses incident to the conservation of natural resources. Whereupon, said director shall notify the auditor in writing, within thirty days after receipt of such list, of the intention of the state to take and hold such forfeited lands as the director has designated for such use.

Due notice in writing, sent by certified mail, of the intention of the state to take and hold such lands shall be given to known holders of title thereto, and to holders of liens or mortgages of record, at their last known addresses, by the auditor within fifteen days after the auditor has been notified by the director that the state intends to take and hold such lands for conservation purposes. Such notice shall contain a recapitulation showing the total amount of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, and costs, due and unpaid, for which the land had been forfeited to the state.

Holders of title to such lands, together with holders of liens or mortgages of record, individually or collectively, shall file with the auditor a written exception to the intent of the state to take and hold such lands for conservation purposes within fifteen days after such notice has been delivered to them. Upon failure to file such exception and to pay the total amount of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due and payable, prior to the time of the general sale of tax forfeited lands, the auditor shall not offer said lands for sale in accordance with section 5723.05 of the Revised Code. On or after the date of general sale of forfeited lands, the auditor shall execute a deed for such lands to the state. Thereafter the title of the state in such lands is incontestable, section 5723.03 of the Revised Code notwithstanding.

The department of natural resources, upon receipt of the deed of such lands to the state from the auditor, and upon approval of title to such lands by the attorney general, shall pay to the auditor from moneys appropriated or available for such purposes, an amount equal to the taxes, assessments, penalties, interest, and costs due and payable to the county at the time such lands were declared forfeited, and such moneys shall be disbursed by the auditor in the manner provided in section 5723.18 of the Revised Code.

Lands acquired by the state pursuant to this section are subject to the same laws and policies relating to other lands under the control of the department, or said department may assign custody, management, and use of such lands for the purposes defined in this section to any agency or subdivision of government.

If the department of natural resources and a county land reutilization corporation organized under Chapter 1724. of the Revised Code request title to the same parcel, the one that first requested the parcel in writing shall be entitled to acquire the title thereto.

Effective Date: 09-21-1982; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009