Bill to Aid Removal of Damaged and Diseased Timber from State-owned Lands

The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill that will make it easier for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to sell diseased, damaged or right-of-way timber, and timber around state lakes. Representative Allen Layson, who is a registered forester, sponsored the bill. The Senate is now considering the bill, which is sponsored by Senators Jim Preuitt and Tommy Ed Roberts.

Under the current law, certain timber not exceeding $500 in value can be sold on a negotiated basis. The new law will increase that amount to $50,000. This will help expedite the removal of the timber before more of it is damaged. In the case of timber affected by the Southern pine beetle, this is significant because it will keep the damage to a minimum.

Layson has worked tirelessly to get this legislation passed for several years. “I believe that this is an important piece of legislation, which is why I’ve tried so hard to see it passed. It has a direct effect on the beauty of our state parks and other state lands, as well as a monetary effect on the budgets of several state agencies,” he said. “In addition, hurricane damaged timber, such as that affected by Hurricane Katrina, can be removed in a more efficient manner.”

Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley expressed appreciation to Layson for his efforts. “This bill has been one of our legislative priorities for this year,” he said. “It is important because of the loss that can be associated with this type of timber if it is not removed in a timely manner. I want to thank Representative Layson and the others who have shown support for this legislation.”

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com.

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