1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Furniss
Senate Bill 2521
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT BEFORE TIMBER IS CLEARED ON ANY STATE-OWNED LAND WHICH IS NOT USED PRIMARILY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF TIMBER, A PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD; TO REQUIRE NOTICE OF THE TIME AND PLACE OF THE HEARING TO BE PUBLISHED IN AN OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER; TO REQUIRE ANY CLEARING OF TIMBER ALREADY IN PROGRESS ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT TO STOP IMMEDIATELY UNTIL A PUBLIC HEARING HAS BEEN HELD; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ACT SHALL NOT APPLY TO SIXTEENTH SECTION LANDS OR LIEU LANDS; TO AMEND SECTION 29-1-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT TAX-FORFEITED LANDS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Before timber is cleared, by a state agency, on any state-owned land which is not primarily used for the production of timber and on which the public previously had access for hunting, a public hearing shall be held in relation to the clearing of timber on the land, and parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing. At least fifteen (15) days' notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be published in an official paper or a paper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located.
(2) This section applies to any action taken by a state agency to clear timber that is in progress on the effective date of this act. Any such clearing of timber in progress on the effective date of this act shall be stopped immediately and shall not be begun again until after a public hearing has been held in accordance with the provisions of this act.
(3) This section shall not apply to any sixteenth section lands or lieu lands.
SECTION 2. Section 29-1-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
29-1-55. Where timber standing on lands is assessed to persons other than those owning the fee title to the lands, and the taxes thereon are not paid and such timber is sold to the state for nonpayment of taxes, the Secretary of State may sell and dispose of such timber rights in the same manner as he may sell and dispose of tax-forfeited lands, and the proceeds received by said Secretary of State for the sale thereof shall be divided between the state, county, levee board, and drainage district as provided by law for the disposition of the proceeds derived from the sale of tax-forfeited lands. The owner in fee of lands may purchase from the state any tax-forfeited timber rights on lands owned by him in fee, regardless of the amount of lands that he may own. The provisions of Section 1 of this act shall not apply to land acquired by the state under this section.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.