Senate Bill No. 171

(By Senator Plymale)


[Introduced January 24, 1995; referred to the Committee
on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact sections three and four, article twenty-four, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to increasing by two the number of members on the West Virginia forest management review commission; and authorizing commission to review certain land use plans and make recommendations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections three and four, article twenty-four, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§5-24-3. Commission continued; composition; appointment of


The West Virginia forest management review commission is hereby created heretofore created is hereby continued for the purposes set forth in this article. This commission shall be comprised of four five members from the West Virginia Senate, a cochairman and three four members to be appointed by the Senate president, and four five members of the House of Delegates, a cochairman and three four members to be appointed by the speaker; four members to be representatives from the commercial forest industry in the state, and three members of the public-at-large. The seven nonlegislative members shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Two members shall be appointed to serve a term of two years; three members shall be appointed to serve a term of four years; two members shall be appointed to serve a term of six years. The successor of each such appointed member shall be appointed for an overlapping term of six years, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only to the remainder of such the term. Each board member shall serve until the appointment of his or her successor.
§5-24-4. Powers, duties and responsibilities.
The commission shall have the power, duty and responsibility to:
(a) Generally assist in the retention, expansion and attraction of forestry and forestry related industries by creating a climate for the development and support of the industry.
(b) Coordinate the current efforts to enhance and promote the expansion of the forestry industry among the several state and federal agencies, commissions, boards, committees, associations and other entities.
(c) Urge the development of multiple-use sustained-yield management plans for nonindustrial timber tracts.
(d) Develop products and markets for the grade of materials that currently comprise a majority of the state's resources.
(e) Recommend a stable and predictable tax program for both new and existing firms in the state.
(f) Develop a centralized and enhanced protection program that will reduce risks from fire and pestilence.
(g) Develop financial assistance for the attraction and expansion of new and existing secondary manufacturing facilities, with special emphasis on assistance for smaller firms employing less than twenty persons.
(h) Analyze, prior to implementation, all proposals for use of state or federal lands impacting upon silviculture, woodland management, forest management, or the present or future potential of the land for forest industry development; and provide advice or comment to the commissioner of the bureau of commerce, the governor or appropriate federal authorities as to the cost, soundness and economic or environmental impact of the proposal. Any such proposal originating from, sponsored by or requiring approval by any agency or instrumentality of the state shall be referred to the commission for review prior to implementation or approval, except that no delay in implementation or approval of a proposal is required if the commission fails to review the proposal and make recommendations at its next regular meeting.
(h) (i) Utilize recognized research expertise of appropriate existing educational, public and industrial institutions or agencies of the state. Research shall include economic development efforts in West Virginia, including silviculture, woodland management, forest management, the development of new products as well as other products designed to aid forestry development.
(i) (j) Employ, if needed, and only with prior approval of the West Virginia Legislature's joint committee on government and finance, such staff as may be necessary. In the event an executive director may be necessary, such individual shall be a forestry graduate of a four-year college of forestry and shall, in addition, have administrative and research experience, preferably, but not mandatorily, with at least five years' experience in government.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase membership of the West Virginia Forest Management Review Commission by adding one senator and one delegate and to authorize the commission to review proposals by state and federal agencies which impact upon forest management on public lands throughout the state.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

This bill is recommended by the Forest Management Review Committee for passage at the 1995 legislative session.