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SECTION 9-0105
General powers and duties
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 9, TITLE 1
§ 9-0105. General powers and duties.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this article, the
department shall have the power, duty and authority to:

1. Exercise care, custody and control of the several preserves, parks
and other state lands described in this article.

2. Consistent with the provisions of section 9-0109 of this chapter,
establish, acquire, control and manage state parks, historic sites and
parkways in the forest preserve counties within the sixth park region as
defined in section 41-0101 and to acquire lands for such purposes when
moneys have been appropriated therefor.

3. Make necessary rules and regulations to secure proper enforcement
of the provisions hereof. In particular, the department shall have
authority to make rules and regulations prohibiting any person or
persons from entering upon any state-owned lands, or restricting the
activities of the public on such lands, whenever it determines that a
serious fire hazard exists thereon, and with the consent of the owner to
extend the applicability of such rules and regulations, in whole or in
part, to privately-owned forest lands.

4. Establish, operate and maintain nurseries for the production of
trees to be used in reforestation. Such trees may be used to reforest
any land owned by the state, supplied to owners of private land at a
price not exceeding cost of production, or used for planting on public
lands under such terms as may be deemed to be for the public benefit.

5. Prepare, print, post or distribute printed matter relating to
forestry and make investigations or experiments with regard to forestry

6. Receive and accept, in the name of the people of the state, by
gift, devise, or otherwise, the fee or other interest or estate therein
of lands or timber or both, for general conservation purposes, including
but not limited to water-shed protection, forest management, production
of timber or other forest products, silviculture, forest and outdoor
recreation and kindred purposes.

7. Acquire, when moneys therefor have been appropriated by the
legislature or are otherwise available, real property or any interest in
any timber thereon, situated within the Adirondack or the Catskill parks
or contiguous, connected with or adjacent to either park, deemed
necessary for the enlargement of the forest preserve or for the
conservation of the lands, forests and waters within the state, and real
property deemed necessary for the purpose of protecting the forests
within the state from fire.

7-a. Acquire, with the approval of the director of the budget and
within such appropriations as may be made available therefor by the
legislature, such abandoned railroad rights-of-way and other real
property pursuant to subdivision seven of this section as may be
necessary to develop a system of trails in the Adirondack and Catskill
parks which shall mesh, where possible, with the comprehensive statewide
trails system promulgated by the commissioner of parks and recreation;
and promulgate, develop and improve such trails systems within said
parks in order to make such trails suitable and available for use. For
the purposes of this subdivision "trails" shall include footpaths,
bikeways, snowmobile trails, horse trails, cross country ski trails,
roads and other rights-of-way suitable for hiking, strolling, cycling,
horseback riding, skiing and other means of motorized and non-motorized
travel for recreational purposes and shall include combinations and
systems of trails, including connecting and side trails, and trails
leading to scenic and recreational areas.

8. Examine the forest lands under the charge of the several state
institutions, boards or other management for the purpose of advising and
cooperating in securing proper forest management of such lands.

9. Bring any action or proceeding for the following purposes:

a. to enforce the state's rights or interests in real property which
an owner of land would be authorized to bring in like cases;

b. to insure the enforcement of the provisions of this article;

c. to determine in trespass, ejectment or other suitable actions, the
title to any land claimed adversely to the state;

d. to cancel tax sales or to set aside cancellations of tax sales.

10. Compromise or adjust any judgment or claims arising out of
violations of any provisions of this article, except where title to land
is involved.

11. Have custody of all abstracts of title, papers, contracts or
memoranda relating thereto, except original deeds to the state, for any
lands purchased or conveyed to the state for forest preserve purposes.

12. Enter into cooperative agreement with the United States Department
of Agriculture, the United States Department of Labor, the United States
Office of Economic Opportunity, municipalities or persons for the
purpose of better protecting the forests of the state from fire and
pests and promoting the practice of forestry. Moneys received from the
United States government, municipalities or persons in accordance with
such agreements shall be deposited with the Division of Finance in the
Department of Taxation and Finance, and may be withdrawn by the Division
of Finance upon the warrant or order of the Commissioner of
Environmental Conservation. The provisions of section 121 of the State
Finance Law shall not apply to any moneys received pursuant to the
provisions of this subdivision if used for the purposes indicated.

13. When an honest dispute arises as to the location of the boundary
line between land owned by the state, over which the department has
control and supervision, and land privately owned, execute a boundary
line agreement between the owners of such private lands and the state,
subject to the approval of the Commissioner of General Services.

14. Designate or approve, whenever the Commissioner of Correction or
the director of the division for Youth so requests, sites on land under
its control for the establishment of work camps to which persons
transferred to the correctional camps for youth, or to youth opportunity
or youth rehabilitation centers may be sent; designate and approve work
for such persons in conservation projects on publicly owned lands or
lands over which the State has a permanent easement for fishing right
purposes, and provide technical supervision for such work; and designate
and approve work for such persons in conservation projects on lands
owned by Cornell University for the use of the State University College
of Agriculture, and by Syracuse University for the use of the State
University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

15. Make rules and regulations and issue permits for the temporary use
of the forest preserve.

16. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as extending the
jurisdiction of the department over the real or personal property now or
hereafter under the control or in the custody of Palisades Interstate
Park Commission, but the department, subject to the powers of the
commissioner, is authorized to cooperate with Palisades Interstate Park
Commission by the joint employment of wardens, foresters and keepers for
the mutual protection of the lands under their respective jurisdiction
and other commissions and the preservation of the forests thereon and of
the fish and game therein.

17. Refund, to the persons entitled thereto, moneys heretofore or
hereafter received by the department pursuant to any law or to an order,
rule or regulation made and prescribed by the commissioner regulating
the discharge of the functions, powers and duties of the department and
deposited to the general fund, upon satisfactory proof of entitlement.
Such refunds shall, upon approval of the commissioner and after audit by
the Comptroller, be paid from any moneys available to the department in
the general fund.

18. Establish, operate and maintain a search and rescue program in
fire towns and fire districts of the state. For the purposes of this
section fire towns shall mean such towns provided for in section 9-1107
of this chapter and fire districts shall be deemed to be the fire
protection areas provided for in section 9-1109 of this chapter and
regulations promulgated pursuant to the authority of such sections.
Pursuant to such program the forest ranger force of the department shall
have the authority to organize, direct and execute search operations for
lost persons or civilian aircraft and conduct rescue operations for
persons injured or in serious danger of injury in the wild, remote and
forested areas of fire towns and fire districts of the state; provided
that, where criminal conduct is suspected or fugitive search is involved
such search or rescue operations shall be conducted under the
jurisdiction of the appropriate law enforcement agency. Search and
rescue operations outside of fire towns and fire districts may be
conducted by the forest ranger force upon request of the agency
conducting such operation.

19. Identify, manage and conserve plants and ecological communities
that are rare in New York state, located on state-owned lands under the
jurisdiction of the department, and participate in the New York natural
heritage program, created pursuant to section 11-0539 of this chapter,
to identify rare plants, animals and ecological communities.

20. Exercise such other powers and duties as are provided by law.