2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Posey
AN ACT TO CREATE IN THE STATE TREASURY A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE "STATE PARKS TIMBER MANAGEMENT ENDOWMENT FUND"; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRINCIPAL OF THE FUND SHALL REMAIN INVIOLATE BUT THAT INTEREST AND INCOME DERIVED FROM INVESTMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF THE FUND MAY BE EXPENDED BY THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING IMPROVEMENTS TO REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FACILITIES ON ANY OF THE STATE PARKS UNDER THE JURISDICTION AND CONTROL OF THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS; TO AMEND SECTION 55-3-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM THE SALES OF TIMBER ON LANDS OF STATE PARKS SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO THE SPECIAL FUND CREATED UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as the "State Parks Timber Management Endowment Fund." The fund shall consist of all monies required to be deposited therein under the provisions of Section 55-3-53. The principal of the fund shall remain inviolate and shall be invested as provided by law. Interest and income derived from investment of the principal of the fund may be expended by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, upon appropriation by the Legislature, only for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing, repairing, renovating or making improvements to real and personal property and facilities on any of the state parks under the jurisdiction and control of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.
SECTION 2. Section 55-3-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
55-3-53. (1) The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is hereby authorized and empowered to sell and dispose of timber, trees, deadwood and stumps standing, growing and being upon the lands of state parks. Such timber shall be sold and disposed of under the direction and specifications of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in accordance with sound and efficient principles of selective cutting, forestry management and conservation.
Before any such timber, trees, deadwood and stumps shall be sold, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall select and mark the trees to be cut and disposed of. No trees or timber shall be marked for cutting when the cutting thereof would destroy or mar the scenic views from the tourist observation points in said park. The purchaser shall pay double price on sale basis for all trees, timber or stumps cut that had not been marked for removing by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Before any such timber, trees, deadwood or stumps standing, growing or being upon such land shall be sold, the department shall advertise its intention so to do by publication in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the county or counties where parks are located, such notice to be published at least once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks preceding the sale and by posting one (1) notice in the courthouse in such county. The notice shall specify that such bids shall be filed with the superintendent of the state park involved, who shall transmit same to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for rejection or approval. Said department shall accept the bid of the highest and best bidder for cash, but shall have the right to reject any and all of such bids.
Provided, however, in the case of damage by fire, windstorm, insects or other natural causes which would require immediate sale of the timber, because the time involved for advertisement as prescribed herein would allow decay, rot or destruction substantially decreasing the purchase price to be received had not such delay occurred, the advertisement provisions of this section shall not apply. The State Park Director, upon a written recommendation from the county forester of the county wherein said state park is located, shall determine when immediate sale of the timber is required. When the State Park Director shall find an immediate sale necessary for the causes stated herein, he shall, in his discretion, set the time for receipt of bids on the purchase of said timber, but shall show due diligence in notifying competitive bidders so that a true competitive bid shall be received.
Whenever any timber, trees, deadwood or stumps are sold under the provisions of this section, the purchaser thereof shall have all necessary rights of ingress and egress to enter upon said land and cut and remove such timber, trees, deadwood or stumps.
The proceeds derived or received from all sales under the provisions of this section shall be placed in the State Parks Timber Management Endowment Fund created under Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 3001, 2004 Regular Session.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may cut and sell trees damaged by fire, windstorm or insects and deadwood and stumps located upon the lands of state parks for firewood. Such firewood shall be sold only to overnight guests at state parks for use at state parks. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall select and mark all trees to be cut for firewood.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.