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Section 1503.03 | Acquisition of forest areas.

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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.

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