A. Except in an emergency, if a state agency proposes to remove or destroy protected native plants over an area of state land exceeding one-fourth acre, the agency shall notify the department in writing as provided in section 3-904 at least sixty days before the plants are destroyed, and any such destruction must occur within one year of the date of destruction disclosed in the notice. The department shall post and disseminate copies of the notice as provided in section 3-904, subsection E. This state and its agencies and political subdivisions are exempt from any fees established for salvaged plants.
B. If the director determines that the proposed action by the state agency may affect a highly safeguarded plant, he shall consult with the state agency and other appropriate parties and use the best scientific data available to issue a written finding as to whether the proposed action would appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival or recovery of the plant taxon in this state. If the determination is affirmative, the director shall also specify reasonable, prudent and distinct alternatives to the proposed project that can be implemented and are consistent with conserving the plant taxon.
C. The director shall adopt rules for the disposal and salvage of native plants subject to removal or destruction by a state agency either under permit to other government agencies or nonprofit organizations or sale to the general public or commercial dealers. The department may issue permits to donate, sell, salvage or harvest the plants after the it ascertains the validity of the request and determines the kinds and approximate number of the plants involved. The permit shall specify the number and species of protected native plants and the area from which they may be taken.