Directs the wood products development council to work to improve public understanding of the timber industry and authorizes the department of environmental conservation to execute contracts for timber or other forest products valued at under $50,000 without approval from the state comptroller.
Ayes (41): Adams, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hassell-Thomps, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (21): Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Gianaris, Hoylman, Kennedy, Krueger, Peralta, Perkins, Rivera, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk
Excused (1): Hannon
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the wood products development council; and to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to contracts for timber or other forest products
PURPOSE: This bill would ease burdensome contracting requirements currently required in order to gain permission from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to harvest timber on state lands.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1- Amends subdivision 2 of section 225 of the agriculture and markets law is amended to clarify that the New York State Wood Products Council should work to enhance the timber industry in New York State
Section 2- Amends section 9-0505 of the environmental conservation law to allow the DEC to have sole contract authority over forestry projects on non-protected state lands that have a timber value under $50,000.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, any contract of more than $10,000 to harvest timber on non-protected state lands must be approved by DEC and the State Comptroller's office. This dual review procedure can be overly time consuming and many times pushes the date for project initiation back by months as the contract wends its way through the bureaucracy of two state agencies. This frustration is compounded by the fact that the current contract threshold is very low and requires extremely small forestry projects to be held up without need
This new legislation would provide breathing room for the forestry industry and DEC by increasing the threshold for dual oversight over forestry projects from $10,000 to $50,000. As a result, any project with a contract of under $50,000 would be needed to be approved by only DEC
This proposal essentially mirrors language put forth by DEC in the Governor's 2010/2011 Executive Budget proposal
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S. 2485 Passed Senate; A. 444 Referred to Agriculture
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1361 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. LITTLE, RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the wood products development council; and to amend the environmental conserva- tion law, in relation to contracts for timber or other forest products THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 225 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 325 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 2. The council shall work with wood-using manufacturers to increase the economic contributions and employment opportunities related to the practice of forestry and manufacture of wood products in New York state. The council shall give priority to increasing private investment in working forests; maintaining access to working and family forests; coor- dinating policy and permitting issues with state agencies, academia and the private sector; working to improve public understanding of and appreciation for forestry, THE TIMBER INDUSTRY and forest products; and increasing export and market opportunities for New York forest products. The council shall deliver an annual report outlining its work and making recommendations with regard to economic development and marketing initi- atives and research and development initiatives consistent with the purposes of the council. The report shall be delivered to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, the temporary president of the senate, the minority leader of the assembly and the minority leader of the senate. S 2. Section 9-0505 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 5. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, IF THE VALUE OR ESTIMATED VALUE OF THE TREES, TIMBER OR OTHER FOREST PRODUCTS DOES NOT EXCEED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01124-01-3 S. 1361 2
THE CONTRACT MAY BE EXECUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL BE VALID AND ENFORCEABLE WITHOUT FIRST BEING APPROVED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND FILED IN HIS OR HER OFFICE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.