SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5612
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Environment & Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Senators Bluechel, Snyder, Metcalf and Stratton; by request of Department of Natural Resources).
Read first time February 25, 1991.
AN ACT Relating to natural resources conservation areas; amending RCW 79.71.010, 79.71.020, 79.71.030, 79.71.050, 79.71.060, 79.71.070, 79.71.080, 79.71.090, and 43.84.090; creating new sections; and repealing RCW 79.71.110.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 79.71.010 and 1987 c 472 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
legislature finds that: (1) ((
That)) There is an
increasing and continuing need by the people of Washington for certain areas of
the state to be conserved, in rural as well as urban settings, for the benefit
of present and future generations; (2) (( that)) such areas are
worthy of conservation for their outstanding scenic and ecological values and
provide opportunities for (( dispersed)) low impact public (( recreation))
use; (3) (( that)) in certain cases acquisition of property or
rights in property is necessary to protect these areas for public purposes; and
(4) (( that)) there is a need for (( an)) a state agency to
act in an effective and timely manner to acquire interests in such areas and to
develop appropriate management strategies for conservation purposes.
Sec. 2. RCW 79.71.020 and 1987 c 472 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
Lands possessing the following characteristics are considered by the legislature to be worthy of consideration for conservation purposes:
Lands identified as having high priority for conservation, natural systems,
wildlife, and ((
dispersed recreational)) low-impact public use
natural features of the Washington landscape or portions thereof, inland or
coastal wetlands, significant littoral, estuarine, or aquatic sites, or
important geological features)) An area of land or water, or land and
water, that has flora, fauna, geological, archaeological, scenic, or similar
features of critical importance to the people of Washington and that has
retained to some degree or has reestablished its natural character;
(3) Examples of native ecological communities; and
(4) Environmentally significant sites threatened with conversion to incompatible or ecologically irreversible uses.
Sec. 3. RCW 79.71.030 and 1987 c 472 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter:
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of public lands.
"Department" means the department of natural resources.
"Conservation purposes" include but are not limited to: (1) Maintaining, enhancing, or restoring ecological systems, including but not limited to aquatic, coastal, riparian, montane, and geological systems, whether such systems be unique or typical to the state of Washington; (2) maintaining exceptional scenic landscapes; (3) maintaining habitat for threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; (4) enhancing sites for primitive recreational purposes; and (5) outdoor environmental education.
"Low-impact public use" includes public recreation uses and improvements that do not adversely affect the resource values, are appropriate to the maintenance of the site in a relatively unmodified natural setting, and do not detract from long-term ecological processes.
for conservation purposes)) activities" may include
limited production of income from forestry, agriculture, or other resource
management activities, if such actions are consistent with the other purposes
and requirements of this chapter.
natural resources conservation area" is an area of land and/or water which
retains to some degree or has reestablished its natural character, although it
need not be completely undisturbed, or has flora, fauna, geological,
archaeological, scenic, or similar features of critical importance to the
people of Washington.))
"Natural resources conservation area" or "conservation area" means an area having the characteristics identified in RCW 79.71.020.
Sec. 4. RCW 79.71.050 and 1987 c 472 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
department is authorized to transfer fee simple interest or less than fee
interests in trust land, as defined by Article XVI of the Washington
Constitution, for the creation of natural resources conservation ((
areas, (( providing there is)) provided the owner of the trust land
receives full fair market value compensation for all rights transferred.
The proceeds from such transfers shall be used for the exclusive purpose of
acquiring real property to replace those interests utilized for the conservation
area in order to meet the department's fiduciary obligations and to maintain
the productive land base of the various trusts.
Sec. 5. RCW 79.71.060 and 1987 c 472 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
department shall hold a public hearing in the county where the majority of the
land in the proposed natural resources conservation area is located prior
to establishing the boundary. An area proposed for designation must
contain resources consistent with ((
the purposes of this chapter)) characteristics
identified in RCW 79.71.020.
Sec. 6. RCW 79.71.070 and 1987 c 472 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
department shall develop a management plan for each designated area. The plan
shall identify the significant resources to be conserved consistent with the
purposes of this chapter and identify the areas with potential for ((
recreation)) low-impact public and environmental educational
uses. The plan shall specify what types of management activities (( will be))
and public uses that are permitted, consistent with the conservation
purposes of this chapter. The department shall make such plans available for
review and comment by the public and other state, tribal, and local agencies,
prior to final approval by the commissioner.
Sec. 7. RCW 79.71.080 and 1987 c 472 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:
department is authorized to administer natural ((
conservation areas and may enter into management agreements for these areas
with (( other)) federal agencies, state agencies, local
governments, and private nonprofit conservancy corporations, as defined in RCW
64.04.130, when such agreements are consistent with the purposes of acquisition
as defined in the adopted (( site)) management plan. All management
activities within a Washington natural resources conservation area will conform
with the plan. Any moneys derived from the management of these areas in conformance
with the adopted plan shall be deposited in the natural resources
conservation areas stewardship account (( established in RCW 79.71.090)).
Sec. 8. RCW 79.71.090 and 1987 c 472 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:
There is hereby created the natural resources conservation areas stewardship account in the state treasury to ensure proper and continuing management of land acquired or designated pursuant to this chapter. Funds for the stewardship account shall be derived from appropriations of state general funds, federal funds, grants, donations, gifts, bond issue receipts, securities, interest, and other monetary instruments of value. Income derived from the management of natural resources conservation areas and all earnings from investments of balances in the account shall also be deposited in this stewardship account. The state treasurer may not deduct a fee for managing the funds in the stewardship account.
Appropriations from this account to the department shall be expended for no other purpose than to manage the areas approved by the legislature in fulfilling the purposes of this chapter, property acquired as natural area preserves under chapter 79.70 RCW, and property transferred under the authority and appropriation provided by the legislature to be managed under chapters 79.70 and 79.71 RCW or acquired under chapter 43.98A RCW.
Sec. 9. RCW 43.84.090 and 1990 2nd ex.s. c 1 s 203 are each amended to read as follows:
Except as otherwise provided by RCW 43.250.030, 67.40.025, 79.71.090, and 82.14.050, twenty percent of all income received from such investments shall be deposited in the state general fund.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10. The balance in the conservation area account is transferred to the natural resources conservation areas stewardship account under RCW 79.71.090.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. Two million dollars from the existing stewardship account balance shall remain in the account to create an endowment. Only the interest from this endowment may be appropriated to the department for management purposes as provided in RCW 79.71.090.