WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
Senate Bill 402
By Senators Sypolt, Beach, Stollings, Hamilton, Boso, Cline, Baldwin, Maroney, and Prezioso
[Originating in the Committee on Natural Resources; Reported on February 7, 2019]
A BILL to amend and reenact §19-1A-3b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing the Division of Forestry to investigate and enforce timber theft violations on all lands; and directing the penalties for timber theft to the criminal statute.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 1A. DIVISION OF FORESTRY.
§19-1A-3b. Timber theft;
on state forests investigations; criminal and civil penalties.
(a) Timber theft is the misappropriation or taking of timber belonging to another, or proceeds derived from the sale of timber, either taken without the consent of the owner, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices or representations, with the intent to deprive the owner permanently of the timber or proceeds derived therefrom.
(b) The Division of
Forestry has the primary responsibility for the collection, preparation, and
central registry of information relating to timber theft.
in state forests
The division has the authority to investigate and enforce the provisions of
this section when violations occur in state forests. The division may assist
law-enforcement agencies in investigations of violations of the provisions
of §61-3-52 of this code when requested occur. (c) Criminal and
civil penalties. -- A person who commits timber theft in a state forest
where the timber taken is of a value of $25,000 or less is guilty of a
misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $5,000 or confined in jail for not
more than one year, or both. A person who commits timber theft in a state forest
where the timber taken is of a value of $25,000 or more is guilty of a felony
and shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional
facility for not more than five years, or both. In addition to any fines and
costs that may be assessed by the court, a person convicted of a violation of
this section shall be ordered to pay a $500 civil penalty to the division
within 60 days of the entry of a final order of conviction. The civil penalty
shall be collected by the court in which the person is convicted and forwarded
to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Division of Forestry Fund (3081) for
use in administering the provisions of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Division of Forestry to investigate and enforce timber theft violations on all lands.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.