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§19-1A-3. Division of Forestry; Division Director; duties, powers, dedication of certain moneys; creation of a special revenue account.

The Division of Forestry heretofore created is hereby continued. And, except as otherwise provided in this article, all powers and duties previously exercised by the Director of Natural Resources under subsection (13), section seven, article one and article three, chapter twenty of this code, except those powers and duties relating solely to wildlife areas as described in section three, article three, chapter twenty of this code, heretofore transferred to the Division of Forestry, are hereby continued in the Division of Forestry, except Kanawha State Forest as hereinafter provided. The Division of Forestry has within its jurisdiction and supervision the state forests, other forests and woodland areas, the protection of forest areas from injury and damage by fire, disease, insects and other pestilences and forces, the management of forest areas for natural resources, conservation and undeveloped recreational activities, administration of the southeastern interstate forest fire protection compact and other compacts and agreements relating to forest management and husbandry, and the administration and enforcement of laws relating to the conservation, development, protection, use and enjoyment of all forest land areas of the state consistent with the provisions of sections one and two of this article. All moneys collected from the sale of timber realized through management of the state-owned forests and the sale of seedlings from the tree nurseries shall be paid into the state Treasury and shall be credited to a special account within the Division of Forestry and used exclusively for the purposes of this article and article three, chapter twenty of this code.

The Division of Forestry has jurisdiction to regulate the growing, digging, collecting, gathering, possession and sale of ginseng as provided in section three-a, of this article.

The chief of the Division is the Director of the Division of Forestry who shall be appointed and qualified as provided in section five of this article.

The Director of the Division of Forestry shall study means and methods of implementing the provisions of section fifty-three, Article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia, relating to forest lands, and shall prepare and recommend legislation thereon.

The Division lines within the state Forests between improved recreation areas under the management of the Division of Natural Resources and the demonstration forests under the management of the Division of Forestry, heretofore established by agreement, are hereby continued with the exception of Kanawha State Forest where the entire forest will be managed by and under the jurisdiction of the Division of Natural Resources for multiple uses and the Division of Natural Resources shall continue to provide recreational opportunities, including, but not limited to, mountain-biking trails, hiking trails, horseback-riding trails and hunting, fishing and trapping lands. The forest may not be designated as a state park or state recreation area; however, any sale of timber from Kanawha State Forest shall continue to be prohibited.

In the event of disagreement over the placement of a Division line or dual occupancy of a building, the disposition shall be decided by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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