Law:Title 6. Timber (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 151. Provisions Generally Applicable

Subchapter A. Bill Of Sale For Purchase Of Trees And Timber

Section  151.001.  Required Bill Of Sale.

Before purchasing or accepting delivery of any trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips, a seller shall provide and a purchaser shall require a bill of sale for the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips executed by the seller. The bill of sale may be a part of, a compilation of information taken from, or an addendum to, by way of example, a timber deed, scale ticket, weight ticket, cutting contract, harvest agreement, wood purchase agreement, or other records of the sale and purchase made at the time if all the information required by Section 151.002 is included.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2645, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.041 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.002.  Information In Bill Of Sale.

(a) The bill of sale, which may be filed of record in the appropriate real property records, shall at a minimum include:

(1)  the name of the:

(A)  owner of the land from which the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips were or are to be obtained;

(B)  seller, if the seller is not the owner of the land; and

(C)  purchaser;

(2)  a description of the survey or tract of land from which the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips were or are to be obtained, or information from which the identity of that tract of land may be ascertained, but in any event including the county name;

(3)  a general description of the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips conveyed in the bill of sale; and

(4)  representations and a warranty from the seller that the seller is the lawful owner of all the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips conveyed in the bill of sale and that the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips are free and clear of all liens, security agreements, encumbrances, claims, demands, and charges.

(b)  The purchaser of trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips conveyed in the bill of sale may, and is entitled to, rely on the information required to be provided by the seller to be incorporated into the bill of sale, as well as on the representations and warranty of the seller.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2645, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.042 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.003.  Retention Of Bill Of Sale.

A person that purchases trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips shall retain the bill of sale for not less than two years following the later of the date of execution of the bill of sale or the expiration date referenced in the bill of sale.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2645, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.043 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.004.  Notice Concerning Sale Or Purchase Of Trees Or Timber.

At each designated point of delivery for trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips, a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard shall post the following written notice in lettering not less than one inch:

NOTICE CONCERNING SALE OR PURCHASE OF TREES OR TIMBER

1. A seller or purchaser of trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips who knowingly fails to provide, obtain, or retain a bill of sale as provided in Chapter 151, Natural Resources Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense.

2. A person, firm, partnership, or corporation adjudged guilty of theft or fraud in connection with the sale or purchase of trees or timber will be punished as provided by the Penal Code.

3. The Texas Forest Service Timber Theft Hotline is 1-800-364-3470.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2645, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st. Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 85(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Sec. 151.044 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.005.  Penalty. (a) A S

eller or purchaser who knowingly fails to provide, obtain, or retain a bill of sale as required by Sections 151.001, 151.002, and 151.003 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense.

(b)  A wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard that knowingly fails to post the notice concerning sale or purchase of trees or timber as required by Section 151.004 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2646, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.045 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.006.  Applicability.

This subchapter does not apply to the sale of:

(1)  finished wood products;

(2)  logs or pulpwood from a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard;

(3)  trees from a nursery; or

(4)  trees, logs, or pulpwood with a commercial value of less than $250.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2646, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.046 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.007.  Penalties Cumulative.

A penalty provided by this subchapter is in addition to a penalty provided under other law.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.008.  Civil Liability.

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to affect the liability under any other statute or under common law, provided that failure to comply with the provisions of this subchapter shall not, by itself, create civil liability.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter B. Unauthorized Harvesting Of Timber

Section  151.051.  Damages For Unauthorized Harvesting.

(a) A person who harvests standing timber with knowledge that the harvesting is without the permission of the owner of the standing timber and a person who causes another person to harvest standing timber without the permission of the owner of the standing timber are jointly and severally liable to the owner for damages in an amount equal to three times the market price of the timber harvested without permission.

(b)  Payment of damages by a person under this section does not preclude a prosecution of the person under Section 151.005.

(c)  This section does not apply to the trimming or clearing of trees in the vicinity of a utility line or right-of-way.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.101 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter C. Payment For Timber Purchased

Section  151.101.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "timber purchaser" means a person who purchases standing timber for harvest.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.151 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.102.  Money Collected For Timber As Trust Money.

Money a timber purchaser collects for harvested timber is trust money.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.152 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.103.  Timber Purchaser As Trustee.

A timber purchaser and each officer, director, partner, or agent of a timber purchaser are trustees of trust money.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.153 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.104.  Beneficiary Of Trust.

Each seller of standing timber is a beneficiary of trust money to the extent of the beneficiary's share of the purchase price for the timber.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.154 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.105.  Offense.

(a) A trustee commits an offense if the trustee, knowingly or with intent to defraud, directly or indirectly retains, uses, disperses, or otherwise diverts more than $500 of trust money without first fully paying all of the beneficiaries the purchase price for the timber.

(b)  A trustee acts with intent to defraud if the trustee retains, uses, disperses, or diverts trust money with the intent to deprive a beneficiary of trust money.

(c)  A trustee is presumed to have acted with intent to defraud if the trustee does not pay all of the beneficiaries the purchase price for the timber not later than the 45th day after the date the trustee collects money for the timber.

(d)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.155 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.106.  Defenses To Prosecution.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the trustee paid the beneficiaries all trust money to which the beneficiaries were entitled not later than the 15th day after the date written notice was given to the trustee at the trustee's most recent address known that a criminal complaint has been filed against the trustee or that a criminal investigation of the trustee is pending; or

(2)  two or more persons claim to be beneficiaries of the same trust money, and the trustee has deposited the amount of the disputed trust money into the registry of the district court of the county in which the standing timber was located by action in interpleader or other appropriate legal proceeding for the benefit of persons the district court determines to be entitled to the trust money.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.156 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  151.107.  Election Of Offenses.

If conduct constituting an offense under Section 151.105 is an offense under another law of this state, the state may elect the offense for which it prosecutes the trustee.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.157 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Chapter 152. Forest Pest Control

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  152.001.  Policy.

It is the public policy of the State of Texas to control forest pests in or threatening forests in this state in order to protect forest resources, enhance the growth and maintenance of forests, promote stability of forest-using industries, protect recreational wildlife uses, and conserve other values of the forest.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.002.  Public Nuisance.

Forest pests are declared to be a public nuisance.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.003.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Service" means the Texas Forest Service.

(2)  "Forest pests" means insects and diseases that are harmful, injurious, or destructive to forests and whose damage, if uncontrolled, is of considerable economic importance, and includes:

(A)  pine bark beetles of the genera Dendroctonus, Ips, Pissodes, and Hylobius;

(B)  sawflies of the genus Neodiprion;

(C)  defoliators in the genera Datana, Malacosoma, Hyphantria, Diapheromera, and Galerucella;

(D)  pine shoot moth of the genus Rhyacionia;

(E)  wilt of the genus Chalora; and

(F)  rots of the genera Fomes and Polyporus.

(3)  "Forest land" means land on which the trees are potentially valuable for timber products, protection of watersheds, wildlife habitat, recreational uses, or for other purposes, but does not include land within the incorporated limits of a village, town, or city.

(4)  "Forest" means the standing trees on forest land.

(5)  "Control" means prevent, retard, suppress, eradicate, or destroy.

(6)  "Infestation" means actual infestation or infection at conditions beyond normal proportion causing abnormal epidemic loss to present or future commercial timber supply or both.

(7)  "Landowner" and "owner" mean a person who owns forest land or has forest land under his direction irrespective of ownership.

(8)  "Forest owner" means a person who owns the standing trees on forest land, either by a present right or by a future right under the terms of a valid existing contract.

(9)  "Tract" means all contiguous land in common ownership.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Subchapter B. Powers And Duties Of The Texas Forest Service

Section  152.011.  In General.

The Texas Forest Service shall administer the provisions of this chapter and make all relevant determinations.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.012.  Surveys And Investigations.

(a) The service shall make surveys and investigations to determine the existence of infestations of forest pests and means practical for their control by landowners.

(b)  Duly delegated representatives of the service may enter private land and public land, including that held by the United States if permission is obtained, for the purpose of conducting surveys and investigations.

(c)  All the service's information shall be available to all interested landowners.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.013.  Determination Of Area Control Measures.

If the service finds an infestation existent or threatened in the state, it shall determine:

(1)  when control measures are needed;

(2)  the nature of the control measures;

(3)  availability of control measures; and

(4)  the techniques by which the control measures shall be applied.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.014.  Notice Of Finding Of Infestation.

After determining that an infestation exists, the service shall give notice of the fact by:

(1)  placing a notice in a newspaper or newspapers in the county or counties in which any infested land is located, or, if there is no newspaper in the county, placing a notice in a newspaper or newspapers with general circulation in the county or counties in which any infested land is located, stating its findings and setting a time and place for a hearing on the need for the control of the pest, to be held not less than 10 days from the date of the notice;

(2)  mailing copies of the notice to owners of forest land known to the service to have holdings in the affected area; and

(3)  arranging for publicity on the subject by all news media serving the affected area.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.015.  Hearing.

At the hearing, the agent of the service who presides shall:

(1)  describe the conditions that have been found;

(2)  explain the measures needed to control the pest infestation;

(3)  hear all suggestions and protests; and

(4)  record the proceedings.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.016.  Procedures For Control.

(a) As soon as practicable after the hearing, the service shall promulgate procedures to be followed for the control of the infestation and shall:

(1)  mail a copy to all appearing at the hearing and to all to whom notices were originally sent; and

(2)  publish a copy in a newspaper circulated in the affected area in the same manner as publication of preliminary notice.

(b)  Publication as provided in Subsection (a) of this section is notice to each landowner and each tract of land in the affected area on the date of publication.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.017.  Specific Control Measures.

If the provisions of Sections 152.013 through 152.016 of this code have not been applied and control measures are needed to check the spread of the forest pests on forest land owned or controlled by any person, written notice, signed by a duly authorized representative of the service whose mailing address is shown on the notice, shall be given to the person owning or controlling the forest land.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.018.  Notice To Specific Landowner.

(a) The notice required by Section 152.017 of this code shall inform the landowner of:

(1)  the facts found to exist;

(2)  his responsibilities for the control measures;

(3)  the control technique recommended;

(4)  the law under which control must be accomplished; and

(5)  the authority of the service in the event the landowner takes no action toward controlling the pest.

(b)  The notice may be given by:

(1)  personal service on the landowner or on the person having control of the forest land;

(2)  registered or certified mail directed to the landowner or person having control of the forest land at his last known address; or

(3)  if the person or his address is unknown, publication in one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located.

(c)  A published notice under Subsection (b) of this section shall include the information specified in Subsection (a) of this section, state the name of the owner, if known, and briefly describe the land to which the notice applies.

(d)  No other notice is necessary under the provisions of this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.019.  Notice To Forest Owner.

If the landowner has given notice to the service of an interest in the forest on his land owned by another, as provided for in Section 152.064 of this code, the service shall furnish the same information to the forest owner that it is required by the provisions of this chapter to give to the landowner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.020.  Supervision.

(a) The service shall keep informed of what is done by the landowner to take measures to control the infestation and the result of it.

(b)  The service may change its prescribed procedures as conditions or new information may require.

(c)  On request, the service shall certify when all reasonably practicable measures to be done by the landowner, pursuant to its prescribed procedures, have been completed.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.021.  Control Measures Applied By Forest Service.

If pest control measures prescribed by the service are not applied by the landowner or any other person within 10 days from the time notice is given as provided in this chapter, exclusive of the date the notice is given, representatives of the service shall enter the land and have the forest pests controlled or destroyed.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.022.  Expense Of Control Measures Taken By Service.

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b) of this section, all charges and expenses of destruction or control measures taken by the service shall be paid by the owner of the land on which the infestation occurred.

(b)  If the tract with respect to which the service conducted control measures contains 50 acres of forest land or less and the landowner in whose name the record title to the land stands owns no more than 50 acres of forest land in the county in which the infestation occurred, the cost of control shall be borne by the service.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.023.  Claim Against Landowner.

If control is undertaken by the service, the cost, not to exceed $10 for each infested acre or part of an acre on which control measures have been employed, constitutes a legal claim against the landowner, but does not constitute a lien on any land owned by the landowner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.024.  Suit.

The attorney general may bring suit on behalf of the service in the county in which the infestation occurred to recover the claim against the landowner, together with all costs incurred in the suit.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.025.  Landowner Reimbursement.

If the landowner has given the service notice of an interest owned by another in the forest on his land and the landowner has made expenditures for pest control purposes as provided in Section 152.062 of this code, or has paid a legal claim against him under the provisions of Sections 152.022 through 152.024 of this code, the landowner is entitled to a reasonable reimbursement for the expenses from the forest owner. The reimbursement shall be proportional to the interest owned in the forest by the forest owner.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.026.  Cooperative Agreements.

The service may enter into cooperative agreements with private landowners or forest owners, the federal government, or other public or private agencies to accomplish the control of forest pests.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Subchapter C. Powers And Duties Of The Landowner

Section  152.061.  General Duty Of Landowner.

Each owner of forest land shall control the forest pests on land owned by him or under his direction as provided in this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.062.  Duty To Apply Control Measures.

Within 10 days after notice is given as provided in Section 152.014 or 152.018 of this code, exclusive of the date the notice is given, each affected landowner shall commence diligently to take measures to control the infestation as prescribed and continue this activity with all practical expedition and efficiency under the direction of the service.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.063.  Reports And Consultation With Service.

(a) The landowner shall notify the service of his actions and the result of his actions.

(b)  The landowner may report to and consult with a representative of the service as often as necessary.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.064.  Notifying Service Of Forest Owner.

If all or part of the standing trees are owned by someone other than the landowner, either by a present right or by a future right under the terms of a valid existing contract, the landowner shall notify the service of that fact and furnish the names and addresses of the forest owner within 10 days after receiving the notice from the service as provided for in Section 152.014 or 152.018 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Subchapter D. Judicial Review

Section  152.101.  Judicial Review Of Service Notice.

A landowner or person having control of forest land who is aggrieved by the notice given by the service is entitled to seek relief but only if the proceedings to obtain the relief are initiated within 10 days from the time notice is given, exclusive of the date the notice is given.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.102.  Venue.

The proceeding to obtain relief shall be in the district court of the county in which the land is located.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.103.  Control Measures Pending Litigation.

The service shall not proceed with any control measures while the litigation is pending unless permission to do so is given by the court on a showing of probable harm due to a delay in using the control measures.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.105.  Injunctive Relief For Landowner.

If the final judgment in an action seeking relief from a notice is in favor of the landowner, the landowner may be entitled to injunctive relief against the use of any control measures on his forest land by the service until such time as the court may determine.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.



Section  152.106.  Notice Final.

If the final judgment is against the landowner, or if the landowner fails to seek relief in the district court of the county in which the land is located, the notice from the service is final, and the service shall summarily take the measures necessary to control the infestation.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.


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