Maine Revised Statutes

§8003. Director of the Bureau of Forestry

1. Director.  The executive head of the bureau shall be the director, who shall be qualified by training, experience and skill in forestry.
[ 1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV) .]
2. Conflict of interest.  The director shall not, when appointed nor while in office, be directly or indirectly concerned in the purchase of state-owned lands, or the timber or grass growing or cut on these lands, except in an official capacity.
[ 1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW) .]
3. Powers and duties.  The director shall exercise the powers of the office and be responsible for the execution and enforcement of the duties of the bureau as set forth in chapters 801 -- 809.
A. The director shall administer the bureau in an efficient manner and, with the consent of the commissioner, shall organize the bureau as necessary to carry out the purposes of this Part. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
C. The director may, with the consent of the commissioner, accept grants and funds from and enter into contracts with federal, state, local or other public and private organizations to carry out the purposes of this Part. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
D. The director may, with the consent of the commissioner, employ or retain expert and professional consultants to assist in the duties of the bureau to the extent of funds available. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
E. The director may take measures to encourage an interest in forestry and shade trees in the schools, colleges and among the general public and to encourage some degree of elementary instruction in forestry and conservation of natural resources. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
F. The director shall on or before September 1st, annually, submit to the commissioner a report of the bureau's activities during the preceding fiscal year ending June 30th. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
G. The director shall biennially prepare a budget for the bureau and submit it to the commissioner. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
H. The director shall have prepared annually a forest fire plan for each administrative unit established according to the authority of section 8906, subsection 1. The plans shall incorporate the annual forest fire plans of municipalities. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
I. The director is authorized to collect and classify statistics relating to the forests and connected interests of the State and research the extent to which the forests of the State are being destroyed by fires, insects, diseases and by wasteful cutting. The director may also ascertain, to the extent possible, the effect of the diminution of the wooded surface of the land upon the watersheds of the lakes, rivers, water powers and other natural resources of the State. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
J. The director is authorized to conduct inspections and investigations on any lands to survey and inspect shade, ornamental or forest trees pursuant to the authority and procedures set forth in chapter 803. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
K. The director may issue and enforce any license or permit authorized by this Part. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
L. The director may, with the consent of the commissioner, acquire and hold any right or interest in real or personal property on behalf of the State. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
M. Except for lands acquired under the authority of paragraph N, the director is authorized, with the consent of the commissioner, to sell, grant, lease, transfer or otherwise convey any real or personal property under the jurisdiction of the bureau. The director shall deposit the proceeds from the sale or lease of property into the forest protection unit account. At least 60 days prior to offering any surplus property for sale under this paragraph, the director shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over forest resources of the director's intent to sell the property. [2011, c. 657, Pt. X, §5 (AMD); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
M-1. The proceeds under paragraph M may be used only to upgrade existing structures owned by the forest protection unit within the bureau, to consolidate operations of the unit through the improvement, repair, replacement, purchase or construction of structures and to purchase land upon which to build structures. Ownership of any land purchased under this paragraph or structures purchased or constructed under this paragraph must be held in the name of the unit. Ownership of land or property purchased under this paragraph may also be held in the name of the Bureau of General Services when the unit participates in the consolidation of facilities with other state agencies. Any purchase of land or a structure pursuant to this paragraph must be approved by the Director of the Bureau of General Services. [2011, c. 657, Pt. X, §6 (AMD); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
N. The director may, with the advice and consent of the Governor, purchase, when funds are available from bequests or trusts other than bequests made or inter vivos trusts created by the late Percival Proctor Baxter, or accept on the part of the State gifts of parcels or tracts of land to the State, or may purchase land in the name of the State for state forest purposes and may also designate and set aside such lands or portions thereof as natural areas. The director shall not under this section acquire title by purchase to more than 4% of the land area within any one municipality without the written consent of the municipal officer thereof. The title to lands acquired under this section shall be investigated and approved by the Attorney General.
The purpose of acquisition of land under this paragraph is the preservation of scenic beauty and recreation as nearly unrestricted and general as is practicable for the people of the State and those whom they admit to the privilege, the production of timber for watershed protection, as a crop, as state forest demonstration areas for research purposes and for the application of model forestry techniques under a well defined criteria of full-use management. The lands acquired by the Bureau of Forestry and designated by it as state forests or natural areas shall never be sold, but may be exchanged for other land to permit consolidation, better access or more efficient administration. Net revenues including, but not limited to, stumpage shall be paid to the Treasurer of State by the director and constitute a fund to be applied to the care and improvement of these lands or for the acquisition of other lands for similar purposes, except that 25% of such revenues shall be returned by the Treasurer of State to the municipality wherein the land is located to be used for municipal purposes.
"Natural areas" means limited areas of land which have retained their wilderness character, although not necessarily completely natural and undisturbed, or have rare or vanishing species of plant or animal life or similar features of interest which are worthy of preservation for the use of present and future residents of the State. Natural areas held by the State shall include and be designated as one or more of the following 3 types and the location of each shall be described in the designation:
Type 1. Semiwilderness areas which by their size or location offer the experience of solitude and self-reliance. Whereas, lands at the higher elevations are important for protection of watersheds, are ecologically vulnerable if unwisely altered by human interference and often may be uneconomic for logging or construction, it is hereby found that such lands generally may be suitable for this classification;
Type 2. Units of importance for all the natural sciences, especially ecology, and with outstanding value for education and research and for the appreciation of natural processes. Preservation in the desired condition shall be the prevailing purpose of such holdings. Visitation shall be regulated so as to ensure this preservation on a permanent basis; and
Type 3. Areas which are not of ecological or semiwilderness stature but which have the appearance of being in an untouched natural state or which are capable of attaining that appearance if held and managed for this purpose.
Relating to natural areas of Type 1, 2 or 3, all land uses and practices shall be subject to regulations of the bureau, promulgated pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II, in carrying out the purposes of this paragraph to manage or maintain the areas for the preservation of their natural condition. Areas designated under these classifications can be removed from such designation only by approval of the director, with the advice and consent of the Governor, following public notice and hearing. All lands acquired and administered under this paragraph and all other state forests shall be managed under the same principles which govern the management of the public reserve lands, to the extent not inconsistent with this section and management of such state forests shall, in any event, be coordinated with the management of the public reserved lands in order to facilitate the accomplishment of applicable management objectives. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).]
O. The director may delegate the powers and duties of this Part to the director's agents and representatives, including municipal forest fire wardens appointed by the director. [1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW).]
P. The director shall act as a liaison with the Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Cooperative Extension Service on forestry issues. [1991, c. 722, §1 (AMD); 1991, c. 722, §11 (AFF); 2011, c. 682, §38 (REV).]
Q. The director, in cooperation with public and private landowners, shall actively pursue creating experimental areas on public and private land where the principles and applicability of outcome-based forest policy, as defined in section 8868, can be applied and tested. No more than 6 such areas may be designated. The director shall seek to designate areas representing differing forest types and conditions and from different geographic regions of the State. The term of initial agreements may not exceed 5 years. [2011, c. 488, §1 (AMD).]
[ 2011, c. 488, §1 (AMD); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV); 2011, c. 657, Pt. X, §§5, 6 (AMD); 2011, c. 682, §38 (REV); 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1979, c. 545, §3 (NEW). 1979, c. 663, §69 (AMD). 1983, c. 819, §A35 (AMD). 1985, c. 785, §B73 (AMD). 1987, c. 308, §§9,10 (AMD). 1989, c. 555, §6 (AMD). 1991, c. 722, §1 (AMD). 1991, c. 722, §11 (AFF). RR 1993, c. 1, §150 (COR). 1993, c. 335, §1 (AMD). 1997, c. 536, §§1,2 (AMD). 1999, c. 155, §§A2,3 (AMD). 2001, c. 339, §1 (AMD). 2005, c. 550, §2 (AMD). 2007, c. 271, §1 (AMD). 2011, c. 488, §1 (AMD). 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §7 (REV). 2011, c. 657, Pt. X, §§5, 6 (AMD). 2011, c. 682, §38 (REV). 2013, c. 405, Pt. A, §23 (REV).

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