ARIZONA STATE SENATE
Fifty-Fifth Legislature, First Regular Session
hazardous vegetation removal; state forester
Expands the program to remove vegetative natural products to include lands other than state lands. Outlines requirements and permissions for the State Forester and entities participating in the program to remove vegetative natural products where vegetation is hazardous.
The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) is statutorily established to provide for land management and the prevention and suppression of wildland fires on state land and private property outside of the jurisdiction of a city or town. The Governor appoints the State Forester, who serves as the Director of DFFM and is responsible for the direction, operation and control of DFFM (A.R.S. § 37-1301).
Current statute directs the State Land Commissioner and the State Forester to establish a program to remove vegetative natural products from state trust land for the purposes of fire suppression and forest and watershed management on state lands and to facilitate the development of wood products industries in Arizona. The program terminates on July 1, 2027 (A.R.S. § 37-483).
There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.
1. Authorizes the State Forester, in implementing the program to remove vegetative natural products where vegetation is hazardous, to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a public agency to identify and remove the hazardous vegetation for fire prevention, forest and watershed restoration and critical infrastructure protection.
2. Expands the program to remove the limitation to vegetation on state land and applies existing program requirements to the removal of vegetative natural products from state land.
3. Authorizes the State Forester to use legislative appropriations and accept and spend monies from public agencies, gifts, donations and grants for the costs of implementing hazardous vegetation removal and requires monies to be deposited into the Cooperative Forestry Fund.
4. Limits monies received and deposited for the purposes of removal of hazardous vegetation to the removal of hazardous vegetation and as outlined in the applicable IGA or MOU.
5. Requires an IGA or MOU for the removal of vegetative natural product where vegetation is hazardous on land that is not state trust land to state the implementation responsibilities of each party included in the IGA or MOU.
6. Specifies that consent of the property owner is required to remove hazardous vegetation on private property.
7. Defines public agency.
8. Makes technical and conforming changes.
9. Becomes effective on the general effective date.
Prepared by Senate Research
February 1, 2021