FORESTRY, FOREST PRODUCTS AND STUMPAGE DISTRICTS
IDAHO FORESTRY ACT
38-122. Protection by logging outfits — Fire suppression account — Liability for fire suppression costs — Penalty. (1) Everyone engaged, or about to engage, in the cutting of any forest product or potential forest product upon lands within the state of Idaho shall provide for the management and reduction of the fire hazard thus created or to be created by first securing a certificate of compliance from the director of the department of lands or his agent, said compliance to provide the option of entering into a fire hazard reduction agreement as provided in sections 38-401 through 38-410, Idaho Code, inclusive, or by posting a cash bond to the state of Idaho in such form and for such amount as may be prescribed by the director of the department of lands: provided, however, that the amount of the bond so prescribed shall not be in excess of the amount which such person would be required to pay under said sections 38-401 through 38-410, Idaho Code, inclusive, and that the bond shall be conditioned upon full and faithful compliance with all requirements under said sections 38-401 through 38-410, Idaho Code, inclusive, and the faithful reduction of such fire hazards in the manner prescribed by law. Provided further that the initial purchaser of ties, logs, posts, cordwood, pulpwood and other similar forest products which have been cut from lands within the state of Idaho shall make no such purchase from anyone not having a proper compliance under this section and formal acceptance of notification under subsection (2) of section 38-1306, Idaho Code. When a person elects to have hazard reduction money withheld in lieu of posting a cash bond, the purchaser of forest products shall withhold the money and said money so withheld in any one (1) calendar month shall be paid to the director of the department of lands or his agent on or before the last day of the next calendar month. After sending such moneys to the director of the department of lands the purchaser shall not be further liable to the state of Idaho or to the person from whom the money was withheld. The director of the department of lands, upon receipt of the cash bond or transmittal of withheld money, shall promptly deposit the same with the state treasurer to be held in trust until the hazard has been reduced as required by law. Such hazard reduction shall be accomplished by the responsible party within the terms set forth in the certificate of compliance or such additional time as may be granted by the director of the department of lands, and upon completion thereof, the director of the department of lands or his agent shall issue a certificate of clearance, stating that all the terms of this section have been complied with. Such clearance shall constitute reason for the release of said hazard reduction money and payment to the person entitled thereto or release of the cash bond posted, except that: (a) three percent (3%) of the hazard reduction money or bond shall be deposited in a special account to be known as the fire suppression account, which is hereby created in the dedicated fund of the state treasury, and which shall be used by the department of lands to help pay the cost of suppressing forest fires; and (b) as determined by the state board of land commissioners, for harvest from private land, an additional amount, not to exceed three percent (3%) of the hazard reduction money or bond shall be deposited in the forest practices administration account established in section 38-135, Idaho Code, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the forest practices act, section 38-1301 et seq., Idaho Code. In the event the hazard reduction shall not be accomplished within said period of time, the money shall be released by the state treasurer on direction from the director of the department of lands less the three percent (3%) deduction specified for the fire suppression account and for harvest from private land, the deduction specified by the state board of land commissioners for the forest practices administration account, and credited to the "forest management account" for the management and reduction of any fire hazard and for the protection of forest resources as provided by section 38-408, Idaho Code.
(2) With the exception of cases of negligence on the part of the landowner, operator or their agents, liability for the cost of suppressing fires that originate on or pass through a slashing area shall remain with the state forester if one of the following alternatives is executed by the landowner or operator: (a) the slashing area is covered by a certificate of compliance and all hazard money payments are current or a proper bond is in place; (b) the landowner or operator treats the slash in accordance with rules adopted by the state board of land commissioners that are in effect during the period covered by the certificate of compliance or approved extensions; or (c) the landowner or operator elects to enter into a contract with the state forester for the management of the slash and liability of fire suppression costs in accordance with section 38-404, Idaho Code.
Should the landowner or operator choose not to treat the slash or not enter into a contract with the state forester in accordance with section 38-404, Idaho Code, the landowner or operator shall, in addition to forfeiting the bond provided for in section 38-122, Idaho Code, be subject to the provisions of section 38-123, Idaho Code, and his liability, if any, for fire suppression costs up to the limits set by the state forester, shall exist for a period of five (5) years following completion of the operation for all fires that originate in or pass through the landowner’s or operator’s slashing area, except that the landowner or operator may choose to pay an additional fee, to be determined by the director, upon payment of which the director will assume the liability for the cost of suppressing fires that originate in or pass through the slashing area.
(3) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed a petty misdemeanor.
[38-122, added 1972, ch. 401, sec. 2, p. 1164; am. 1987, ch. 192, sec. 2, p. 392; am. 1989, ch. 154, sec. 1, p. 365; am. 1994, ch. 152, sec. 1, p. 348.]