61st Legislature
2009 Regular Session

Passed by the House April 18, 2009
  Yeas 97   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 7, 2009
  Yeas 44   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 1137 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington




Passed Legislature - 2009 Regular Session
State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Representatives Finn, Blake, Orcutt, Ormsby, McCune, Morrell, VanDeWege, Sullivan, and Herrera

Read first time 01/14/09.   Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.

     AN ACT Relating to protecting landowners' investments in Christmas trees; amending RCW 79.02.300, 79.02.310, 79.02.320, and 64.12.030; and repealing RCW 79.02.340 and 79.02.350.


Sec. 1   RCW 79.02.300 and 2004 c 199 s 207 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) Every person who, without authorization, uses or occupies public lands, removes any valuable material as defined in RCW 79.02.010 from public lands, or causes waste or damage to public lands, or injures publicly owned personal property or publicly owned improvements to real property on public lands, is liable to the state for treble the amount of the damages. However, liability shall be for single damages if the department determines, or the person proves upon trial, that the person, at time of the unauthorized act or acts, did not know, or have reason to know, that he or she lacked authorization. Damages recoverable under this section include, but are not limited to, the market value of the use, occupancy, or things removed, had the use, occupancy, or removal been authorized; and any damages caused by injury to the land, publicly owned personal property or publicly ownedimprovement, including the costs of restoration. In addition, the person is liable for reimbursing the state for its reasonable costs((,)) including, but not limited to, its administrative costs, survey costs to the extent they are not included in damages awarded for restoration costs, and its reasonable attorneys' fees and other legal costs.
     (2) This section does not apply in any case where liability for damages is provided under RCW ((64.12.030,)) 4.24.630, 64.12.030, or 79.02.320((, or 79.02.340)).
     (3) The department is authorized and directed to investigate all trespasses and wastes upon, and damages to, public lands of the state, and to cause prosecutions for, and/or actions for the recovery of the same, to be commenced as ((is)) provided by law.

Sec. 2   RCW 79.02.310 and 2003 c 53 s 379 are each amended to read as follows:
     Every person who willfully commits any trespass upon any public lands of the state and cuts down, destroys, or injures any timber, or any tree, including a Christmas tree as defined in RCW 76.48.020, standing or growing thereon, or takes, or removes, or causes to be taken, or removed, therefrom any wood or timber lying thereon, or maliciously injures or severs anything attached thereto, or the produce thereof, or digs, quarries, mines, takes or removes therefrom any earth, soil, stone, mineral, clay, sand, gravel, or any valuable materials, is guilty of theft under chapter 9A.56 RCW.

Sec. 3   RCW 79.02.320 and 1927 c 255 s 199 are each amended to read as follows:
     Every person who shall cut or remove, or cause to be cut or removed, any timber growing or being upon any public lands of the state, including a Christmas tree as defined in RCW 76.48.020, or who shall manufacture the same into logs, bolts, shingles, lumber or other articles of use or commerce, unless expressly authorized so to do by a bill of sale from the state, or by a lease or contract from the state under which he or she holds possession of such lands, or by ((the)) provisions of law under ((and by virtue of)) which ((such)) the bill of sale, lease or contract was issued, shall be liable to the state ((in)) for treble the value of the timber or other articles ((so)) cut,removed, or manufactured, to be recovered in a civil action, and shall forfeit to the state all interest in ((and to)) any article into which ((said)) the timber is manufactured.

Sec. 4   RCW 64.12.030 and Code 1881 s 602 are each amended to read as follows:
     Whenever any person shall cut down, girdle, or otherwise injure, or carry off any tree, including a Christmas tree as defined in RCW 76.48.020, timber, or shrub on the land of another person, or on the street or highway in front of any person's house, ((village, town or)) city or town lot, or cultivated grounds, or on the commons or public grounds of any ((village, town or)) city or town, or on the street or highway in front thereof, without lawful authority, in an action by ((such)) the person, ((village, town or)) city, or town against the person committing ((such)) the trespasses or any of them, ((if)) any judgment ((be given)) for the plaintiff((, it)) shall be ((given)) for treble the amount of damages claimed or assessed ((therefor, as the case may be)).

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5   The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:
     (1) RCW 79.02.340 (Removal of Christmas trees -- Compensation) and 2004 c 199 s 208, 2003 c 334 s 504, 1988 c 128 s 66, 1955 c 225 s 1, & 1937 c 87 s 1; and
     (2) RCW 79.02.350 (Intent of RCW 79.02.340) and 2003 c 334 s 505 & 1937 c 87 s 2.

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