Z-0709.1/91       _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5264



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Oke, Bailey, Rinehart, Stratton and Bauer.


Read first time January 25, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Environment & Natural Resources.Authorizing the department of natural resources to establish a program in community and urban forestry.

     AN ACT Relating to community and urban forestry; and adding a new chapter to Title 76 RCW.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature hereby finds and declares that:

     (1) Trees and other woody vegetation are a necessary and important part of community and urban environments.  Community and urban forests have many values and uses including conserving energy, reducing air and water pollution and soil erosion, contributing to property values, attracting business, reducing glare and noise, providing aesthetic and historical values, providing wood energy, and affording comfort and protection for humans and wildlife.   

     (2) As urban and community areas in Washington state grow, the need to plan for and protect community and urban forests increases.  Cities and communities benefit from assistance in developing and maintaining community and urban forestry programs that also address future growth.

     (3) Assistance and encouragement for establishment, retention, and enhancement of these forests and trees by local governments, citizens, organizations, and professionals are declared to be in the interest of the state by preserving and enhancing the quality of life of Washington's municipalities and counties while providing opportunities for economic development.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.      The purpose of this chapter is to:

     (1) Encourage planting and maintaining of trees in the state's municipalities and counties and maximize the potential of tree and vegetative cover in improving the quality of the environment.

     (2) Encourage the coordination of state and local agency activities and maximize citizen participation in the development and implementation of community and urban forestry-related programs.

     (3) Foster healthy economic activity for the state's community and urban forestry-related businesses through cooperative and supportive contracts with the private business sector.

     (4) Facilitate the creation of employment opportunities related to community and urban forestry activities including opportunities for inner city youth to learn teamwork, resource conservation, environmental appreciation, and job skills.

     (5) Provide meaningful voluntary opportunities for the state's citizens and organizations interested in community and urban forestry activities.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.      Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Department" means the department of natural resources.

     (2) "Person" means an individual, partnership, private or public municipal corporation, Indian tribe, state entity, county or local governmental entity, or association of individuals of whatever nature.

     (3) "Community and urban forest" is that land in and around human settlements ranging from small communities to metropolitan areas, occupied or potentially occupied by trees and associated vegetation.  Community and urban forest land may be planted or unplanted, used or unused, and includes public and private lands, lands along transportation and utility corridors, and forested watershed lands within populated areas.

     (4) "Urban and community forestry" means the planning, establishment, protection, care, and management of trees and associated plants individually, in small groups, or under forest conditions within municipalities and counties.

     (5) "Municipality" means a city, town, port district, public school district, community college district, irrigation district, weed control district, park district, or other political subdivisions of the state.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.      (1)  The department may establish and maintain a program in community and urban forestry to assist municipalities and counties in establishing and maintaining urban and community forestry programs and encourage persons to engage in appropriate and improved tree management and care.

     (2) The department shall advise, encourage, and assist municipalities, counties, and other public and private entities in the development and coordination of policies, programs, and activities for the promotion of community and urban forestry. 

     (3) Any person may request financial or technical assistance from the department for activities undertaken as allowed under the provisions of this chapter.

     (4) The department may appoint an advisory committee or council to advise and assist it in more effectively discharging its powers and duties under this chapter.

     (5) The department is authorized to assist municipal and county tree maintenance programs by making surplus equipment available on loan where feasible for community and urban forestry programs and cooperative projects.

     (6) The department shall take such other steps as are necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.      The department may:

     (1) Receive and disburse any and all moneys contributed, allotted or paid by the United States under authority of any act of congress for the purposes of this chapter. 

     (2) Receive such gifts, grants, bequests, and endowments and donations of labor, material, seedlings, and equipment from public or private sources as may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter and may spend the gifts, grants, bequests, endowments, and donations as well as any income from the public or private sources according to their terms.

     (3) Charge fees for attendance at workshops and conferences, for various publications and other materials that the department is authorized to prepare and distribute under this chapter.

     (4) Enter into agreements and contracts with persons having community and urban forestry-related responsibilities.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.      The department shall assume the primary responsibility of carrying out the intent of this chapter and shall cooperate with other private and public, state and federal persons, any agency of another state, the United States, any agency of the United States, or any agency or province of Canada.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.      Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 76 RCW.