senate Bill S995

Authorizes state residents to gather fallen timber from the floor of the state forest preserve when such timber is within 50 feet of a public highway

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 11 / Jan / 2013
    • TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • 19 / Feb / 2014
    • OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Authorizes state residents to gather fallen timber from the floor of the state forest preserve when such timber is within 50 feet of the center line of a public highway.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4523
Versions:
S995
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Constitution, Concurrent Resolutions to Amend
Laws Affected:
Amd Art 14 ยง1, Constn
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S506A, A153A
2009-2010: S272, A445
2007-2008: A10608

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S995

TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the constitution,
in relation to the gathering of fallen
timber from the lands of the state
forest preserve

PURPOSE:
To permit the taking of fallen timber from the forest preserve lands
along the side of public highways.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1- Amends section 1 of article 14 of the constitution to allow
residents of the state to gather fallen timber lying on the forest
floor on state-owned lands when such timber is within fifty feet of
the center line of a public highway, except lands the commissioner of
environmental conservation may designate by rule and regulation where
such gathering shall be prohibited. Every person gathering fallen
timber pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall do so at
his or her own risk without disturbing the surrounding vegetation.

EXISTING LAW:
The State Constitution prohibits the selling, removal or destruction
of timber on forest preserve lands.

JUSTIFICATION:
The prohibition on the removal of fallen timber in the forest preserve
has been an issue of concern with some residents of the Adirondack
Park for many years. During the Ice Storm of 1998, thousands of
downed trees were left to rot while residents without power searched
for ways to heat their homes by other means such as a wood stove.
Many people wanted to use the woods they say laying by the roadside,
but were prohibited from doing so.

In light of the rising home heating costs it is even more important to
change constitution to allow for the gathering of fallen timber from
the forest preserve.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-2012: S. 506-A Judiciary; A. 153-A Environmental Conservation
2009-10: S. 272 Judiciary; A. 445 Environmental Conservation
2007-08: S. 1123 3rd Reading; A. 10608 Environmental Conservation
2006: S. 6389 3rd Reading; A. 10601 Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE;us off;:
Resolved if the Assembly concur, that the forgoing be referred to the
first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding
general election of members of the Assembly, and, in conformity with
section 1 of article 19 of the constitution be published for 3
months previous to the time of such election.


***END DOCUMENT***


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   995

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

            CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of  the  constitution,
  in  relation  to  the gathering of fallen timber from the lands of the
  state forest preserve

  Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 1 of  arti-
cle 14 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
  Section 1. A. The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired,
constituting  the  forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever
kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or  exchanged,
or  be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber
thereon be sold, removed or destroyed. Nothing  herein  contained  shall
prevent  the  state  from  constructing,  completing and maintaining any
highway heretofore specifically authorized by constitutional  amendment,
nor  from  constructing and maintaining to federal standards federal aid
interstate highway route five hundred two from a point in  the  vicinity
of  the  city  of  Glens  Falls, thence northerly to the vicinity of the
villages of Lake George and Warrensburg, the hamlets  of  South  Horicon
and  Pottersville  and  thence northerly in a generally straight line on
the west side of Schroon Lake to the vicinity of the hamlet of  Schroon,
then  continuing  northerly  to  the  vicinity of Schroon Falls, Schroon
River and North Hudson, and to the east of Makomis Mountain, east of the
hamlet of New Russia, east of the village of Elizabethtown and  continu-
ing northerly in the vicinity of the hamlet of Towers Forge, and east of
Poke-O-Moonshine  Mountain  and  continuing northerly to the vicinity of
the village of Keeseville and the city of Plattsburgh, all of the afore-
said taking not to exceed a total of three hundred acres of state forest
preserve land, nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twen-
ty-five miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred  feet  wide,  together
with  appurtenances  thereto,  provided  that no more than five miles of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD89011-01-3

S. 995                              2

such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide,  on  the
north,  east and northwest slopes of Whiteface Mountain in Essex county,
nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twenty-five miles of
ski  trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances
thereto, provided that no more than two miles of such trails shall be in
excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Belleayre Moun-
tain in Ulster and Delaware counties and not more than  forty  miles  of
ski  trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances
thereto, provided that no more than eight miles of such trails shall  be
in  excess  of  one  hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Gore and
Pete Gay mountains in Warren county, nor from relocating, reconstructing
and maintaining a total of not more than fifty miles of  existing  state
highways  for the purpose of eliminating the hazards of dangerous curves
and grades, provided a total of no  more  than  four  hundred  acres  of
forest  preserve  land shall be used for such purpose and that no single
relocated portion of any  highway  shall  exceed  one  mile  in  length.
Notwithstanding  the  foregoing  provisions, the state may convey to the
village of Saranac Lake ten acres of forest preserve  land  adjacent  to
the  boundaries  of  such village for public use in providing for refuse
disposal and in exchange [therefore] THEREFOR  the  village  of  Saranac
Lake  shall convey to the state thirty acres of certain true forest land
owned by such village on Roaring Brook in the northern half of Lot  113,
Township  11, Richards Survey. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions,
the state may convey to the town of Arietta twenty-eight acres of forest
preserve land within such town for  public  use  in  providing  for  the
extension  of  the runway and landing strip of the Piseco airport and in
exchange therefor the town of Arietta shall convey to the  state  thirty
acres  of  certain  land  owned  by  such  town  in the town of Arietta.
Notwithstanding the foregoing  provisions  and  subject  to  legislative
approval  of  the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of
title, the state, in order to consolidate its land holdings  for  better
management,  may  convey  to  International  Paper Company approximately
eight thousand five hundred acres of forest  preserve  land  located  in
townships two and three of Totten and Crossfield's Purchase and township
nine  of the Moose River Tract, Hamilton county, and in exchange [there-
fore] THEREFOR International Paper Company shall convey to the state for
incorporation into the forest preserve approximately the same number  of
acres of land located within such townships and such County on condition
that  the  legislature  shall determine that the lands to be received by
the state are at least equal in value to the lands to be conveyed by the
state. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to  legisla-
tive approval of the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer
of  title  and  the  conditions herein set forth, the state, in order to
facilitate the preservation of historic buildings listed on the national
register of historic places by rejoining an historic grouping of  build-
ings  under  unitary  ownership  and stewardship, may convey to Sagamore
Institute Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, approximately
ten acres of land and buildings thereon adjoining the real  property  of
the  Sagamore  Institute,  Inc.  and  located  on  Sagamore  Road,  near
Racquette Lake Village, in the Town of Long Lake,  county  of  Hamilton,
and  in exchange therefor; Sagamore Institute, Inc.  shall convey to the
state for incorporation  into  the  forest  preserve  approximately  two
hundred  acres of wild forest land located within the Adirondack Park on
condition that the legislature shall determine  that  the  lands  to  be
received  by  the  state  are  at  least equal in value to the lands and
buildings to be conveyed by the state and that the natural and  historic

S. 995                              3

character  of  the  lands  and  buildings  conveyed by the state will be
secured by appropriate covenants and restrictions and that the lands and
buildings conveyed by the state will reasonably be available for  public
visits  according to agreement between Sagamore Institute, Inc.  and the
state. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions the state may convey  to
the town of Arietta fifty acres of forest preserve land within such town
for  public use in providing for the extension of the runway and landing
strip of the Piseco airport and providing for the maintenance of a clear
zone around such runway, and in exchange therefor, the town  of  Arietta
shall  convey to the state fifty-three acres of true forest land located
in lot 2 township 2 Totten and Crossfield's Purchase in the town of Lake
Pleasant.
  Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and  subject  to  legislative
approval  prior to actual transfer of title, the state may convey to the
town of Keene, Essex county, for public use as a cemetery owned by  such
town,  approximately  twelve  acres  of forest preserve land within such
town and, in exchange therefor, the town of Keene shall  convey  to  the
state  for  incorporation  into  the  forest  preserve approximately one
hundred forty-four acres of land, together with an  easement  over  land
owned  by  such  town  including the riverbed adjacent to the land to be
conveyed to the state that will restrict  further  development  of  such
land, on condition that the legislature shall determine that the proper-
ty to be received by the state is at least equal in value to the land to
be conveyed by the state.
  Notwithstanding  the  foregoing  provisions and subject to legislative
approval prior to actual transfer of title, because there is  no  viable
alternative  to  using  forest preserve lands for the siting of drinking
water wells and necessary  appurtenances  and  because  such  wells  are
necessary to meet drinking water quality standards, the state may convey
to  the  town of Long Lake, Hamilton county, one acre of forest preserve
land within such town for public use as the site of such drinking  water
wells and necessary appurtenances for the municipal water supply for the
hamlet  of  Raquette  Lake.  In exchange therefor, the town of Long Lake
shall convey to the state at least  twelve  acres  of  land  located  in
Hamilton  county  for  incorporation  into  the forest preserve that the
legislature shall determine is at least equal in value to the land to be
conveyed by the state. The Raquette  Lake  surface  reservoir  shall  be
abandoned as a drinking water supply source.
  Notwithstanding  the  foregoing  provisions and subject to legislative
approval prior to actual transfer of title,  the  state  may  convey  to
National  Grid up to six acres adjoining State Route 56 in St.  Lawrence
County where it passes through Forest Preserve in Township 5, Lots 1, 2,
5 and 6 that is necessary and appropriate for National Grid to construct
a new 46kV power line and in exchange [therefore] THEREFOR National Grid
shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve  at
least  10  acres  of  forest land owned by National Grid in St. Lawrence
county, on condition that the legislature shall determine that the prop-
erty to be received by the state is at least equal in value to the  land
conveyed by the state.
  B.  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT  NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL
PROHIBIT RESIDENTS OF THE STATE FROM GATHERING FALLEN  TIMBER  LYING  ON
THE  FOREST  FLOOR ON STATE-OWNED LANDS WHEN SUCH TIMBER IS WITHIN FIFTY
FEET OF THE CENTER LINE OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY, EXCEPT  LANDS  THE  COMMIS-
SIONER  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION  MAY DESIGNATE BY RULE AND REGU-
LATION WHERE SUCH GATHERING SHALL BE PROHIBITED. EVERY PERSON  GATHERING
FALLEN TIMBER PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL DO SO

S. 995                              4

AT  HIS  OR  HER  OWN  RISK AND WITHOUT DISTURBING THE SURROUNDING VEGE-
TATION.
  S 2. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing be referred
to  the  first  regular  legislative  session  convening  after the next
succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conform-
ity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3
months previous to the time of such election.

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