Bill S995-2013

Authorizes state residents to gather fallen timber from the floor of the state forest preserve when such timber is within 50 feet of a public highway

Authorizes state residents to gather fallen timber from the floor of the state forest preserve when such timber is within 50 feet of the center line of a public highway.

Details

Actions

  • Feb 19, 2014: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 13, 2014: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 11, 2013: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S995

TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the constitution, in relation to the gathering of fallen timber from the lands of the state forest preserve

PURPOSE: To permit the taking of fallen timber from the forest preserve lands along the side of public highways.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1- Amends section 1 of article 14 of the constitution to allow residents of the state to gather fallen timber lying on the forest floor on state-owned lands when such timber is within fifty feet of the center line of a public highway, except lands the commissioner of environmental conservation may designate by rule and regulation where such gathering shall be prohibited. Every person gathering fallen timber pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall do so at his or her own risk without disturbing the surrounding vegetation.

EXISTING LAW: The State Constitution prohibits the selling, removal or destruction of timber on forest preserve lands.

JUSTIFICATION: The prohibition on the removal of fallen timber in the forest preserve has been an issue of concern with some residents of the Adirondack Park for many years. During the Ice Storm of 1998, thousands of downed trees were left to rot while residents without power searched for ways to heat their homes by other means such as a wood stove. Many people wanted to use the woods they say laying by the roadside, but were prohibited from doing so.

In light of the rising home heating costs it is even more important to change constitution to allow for the gathering of fallen timber from the forest preserve.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: S. 506-A Judiciary; A. 153-A Environmental Conservation 2009-10: S. 272 Judiciary; A. 445 Environmental Conservation 2007-08: S. 1123 3rd Reading; A. 10608 Environmental Conservation 2006: S. 6389 3rd Reading; A. 10601 Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE;us off;: Resolved if the Assembly concur, that the forgoing be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the Assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.

***END DOCUMENT***


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 995 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the constitution, in relation to the gathering of fallen timber from the lands of the state forest preserve Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 1 of arti- cle 14 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: Section 1. A. The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the state from constructing, completing and maintaining any highway heretofore specifically authorized by constitutional amendment, nor from constructing and maintaining to federal standards federal aid interstate highway route five hundred two from a point in the vicinity of the city of Glens Falls, thence northerly to the vicinity of the villages of Lake George and Warrensburg, the hamlets of South Horicon and Pottersville and thence northerly in a generally straight line on the west side of Schroon Lake to the vicinity of the hamlet of Schroon, then continuing northerly to the vicinity of Schroon Falls, Schroon River and North Hudson, and to the east of Makomis Mountain, east of the hamlet of New Russia, east of the village of Elizabethtown and continu- ing northerly in the vicinity of the hamlet of Towers Forge, and east of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and continuing northerly to the vicinity of the village of Keeseville and the city of Plattsburgh, all of the afore- said taking not to exceed a total of three hundred acres of state forest preserve land, nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twen- ty-five miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more than five miles of EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89011-01-3 S. 995 2 such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the north, east and northwest slopes of Whiteface Mountain in Essex county, nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twenty-five miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more than two miles of such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Belleayre Moun- tain in Ulster and Delaware counties and not more than forty miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more than eight miles of such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Gore and Pete Gay mountains in Warren county, nor from relocating, reconstructing and maintaining a total of not more than fifty miles of existing state highways for the purpose of eliminating the hazards of dangerous curves and grades, provided a total of no more than four hundred acres of forest preserve land shall be used for such purpose and that no single relocated portion of any highway shall exceed one mile in length. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the state may convey to the village of Saranac Lake ten acres of forest preserve land adjacent to the boundaries of such village for public use in providing for refuse disposal and in exchange [therefore] THEREFOR the village of Saranac Lake shall convey to the state thirty acres of certain true forest land owned by such village on Roaring Brook in the northern half of Lot 113, Township 11, Richards Survey. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the state may convey to the town of Arietta twenty-eight acres of forest preserve land within such town for public use in providing for the extension of the runway and landing strip of the Piseco airport and in exchange therefor the town of Arietta shall convey to the state thirty acres of certain land owned by such town in the town of Arietta. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legislative approval of the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of title, the state, in order to consolidate its land holdings for better management, may convey to International Paper Company approximately eight thousand five hundred acres of forest preserve land located in townships two and three of Totten and Crossfield's Purchase and township nine of the Moose River Tract, Hamilton county, and in exchange [there- fore] THEREFOR International Paper Company shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve approximately the same number of acres of land located within such townships and such County on condition that the legislature shall determine that the lands to be received by the state are at least equal in value to the lands to be conveyed by the state. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legisla- tive approval of the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of title and the conditions herein set forth, the state, in order to facilitate the preservation of historic buildings listed on the national register of historic places by rejoining an historic grouping of build- ings under unitary ownership and stewardship, may convey to Sagamore Institute Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, approximately ten acres of land and buildings thereon adjoining the real property of the Sagamore Institute, Inc. and located on Sagamore Road, near Racquette Lake Village, in the Town of Long Lake, county of Hamilton, and in exchange therefor; Sagamore Institute, Inc. shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve approximately two hundred acres of wild forest land located within the Adirondack Park on condition that the legislature shall determine that the lands to be received by the state are at least equal in value to the lands and buildings to be conveyed by the state and that the natural and historic S. 995 3 character of the lands and buildings conveyed by the state will be secured by appropriate covenants and restrictions and that the lands and buildings conveyed by the state will reasonably be available for public visits according to agreement between Sagamore Institute, Inc. and the state. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions the state may convey to the town of Arietta fifty acres of forest preserve land within such town for public use in providing for the extension of the runway and landing strip of the Piseco airport and providing for the maintenance of a clear zone around such runway, and in exchange therefor, the town of Arietta shall convey to the state fifty-three acres of true forest land located in lot 2 township 2 Totten and Crossfield's Purchase in the town of Lake Pleasant. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legislative approval prior to actual transfer of title, the state may convey to the town of Keene, Essex county, for public use as a cemetery owned by such town, approximately twelve acres of forest preserve land within such town and, in exchange therefor, the town of Keene shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve approximately one hundred forty-four acres of land, together with an easement over land owned by such town including the riverbed adjacent to the land to be conveyed to the state that will restrict further development of such land, on condition that the legislature shall determine that the proper- ty to be received by the state is at least equal in value to the land to be conveyed by the state. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legislative approval prior to actual transfer of title, because there is no viable alternative to using forest preserve lands for the siting of drinking water wells and necessary appurtenances and because such wells are necessary to meet drinking water quality standards, the state may convey to the town of Long Lake, Hamilton county, one acre of forest preserve land within such town for public use as the site of such drinking water wells and necessary appurtenances for the municipal water supply for the hamlet of Raquette Lake. In exchange therefor, the town of Long Lake shall convey to the state at least twelve acres of land located in Hamilton county for incorporation into the forest preserve that the legislature shall determine is at least equal in value to the land to be conveyed by the state. The Raquette Lake surface reservoir shall be abandoned as a drinking water supply source. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legislative approval prior to actual transfer of title, the state may convey to National Grid up to six acres adjoining State Route 56 in St. Lawrence County where it passes through Forest Preserve in Township 5, Lots 1, 2, 5 and 6 that is necessary and appropriate for National Grid to construct a new 46kV power line and in exchange [therefore] THEREFOR National Grid shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve at least 10 acres of forest land owned by National Grid in St. Lawrence county, on condition that the legislature shall determine that the prop- erty to be received by the state is at least equal in value to the land conveyed by the state. B. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL PROHIBIT RESIDENTS OF THE STATE FROM GATHERING FALLEN TIMBER LYING ON THE FOREST FLOOR ON STATE-OWNED LANDS WHEN SUCH TIMBER IS WITHIN FIFTY FEET OF THE CENTER LINE OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY, EXCEPT LANDS THE COMMIS- SIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION MAY DESIGNATE BY RULE AND REGU- LATION WHERE SUCH GATHERING SHALL BE PROHIBITED. EVERY PERSON GATHERING FALLEN TIMBER PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL DO SO S. 995 4 AT HIS OR HER OWN RISK AND WITHOUT DISTURBING THE SURROUNDING VEGE- TATION. S 2. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conform- ity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.

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