Texas Laws - Natural Resources Code
NATURAL RESOURCES CODE
TITLE 6. TIMBER

3. The Texas Forest Service Timber Theft Hotline is 1-800-364-3470. (12918)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2645, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st. Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 85(5), eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Sec. 151.044 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12919)

Sec. 151.005. PENALTY. (12920)(1-click HTML)

(a) A seller or purchaser who knowingly fails to provide, obtain, or retain a bill of sale as required by Sections 151.001, 151.002, and 151.003 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense. (12921)

(b) A wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard that knowingly fails to post the notice concerning sale or purchase of trees or timber as required by Section 151.004 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense. (12922)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2646, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.045 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12923)

Sec. 151.006. APPLICABILITY. (12924)(1-click HTML)

This subchapter does not apply to the sale of: (12925)

(1) finished wood products; (12926)

(2) logs or pulpwood from a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard; (12927)

(3) trees from a nursery; or (12928)

(4) trees, logs, or pulpwood with a commercial value of less than $250. (12929)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2646, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Renumbered from Sec. 151.046 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12930)

Sec. 151.007. PENALTIES CUMULATIVE. (12931)(1-click HTML)

A penalty provided by this subchapter is in addition to a penalty provided under other law. (12932)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12933)

Sec. 151.008. CIVIL LIABILITY. (12934)(1-click HTML)

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to affect the liability under any other statute or under common law, provided that failure to comply with the provisions of this subchapter shall not, by itself, create civil liability. (12935)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12936)

SUBCHAPTER B. UNAUTHORIZED HARVESTING OF TIMBER (12937)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 151.051. DAMAGES FOR UNAUTHORIZED HARVESTING. (12938)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person who harvests standing timber with knowledge that the harvesting is without the permission of the owner of the standing timber and a person who causes another person to harvest standing timber without the permission of the owner of the standing timber are jointly and severally liable to the owner for damages in an amount equal to the sum of the mill price of the timber harvested and all reasonable expenses incurred by the owner as a direct result of the unauthorized harvesting. (12939)

(b) Payment of damages by a person under this section does not preclude a prosecution of the person under Section 151.005 or 151.052. (12940)

(c) This section does not apply to the trimming or clearing of trees in the vicinity of a utility line or right-of-way. (12941)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.101 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12942)

Amended by: (12943)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 23 (H.B. 613), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011. (12944)

Sec. 151.052. CRIMINAL OFFENSE. (12945)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person commits an offense if the person: (12946)

(1) harvests standing timber with knowledge that the harvesting is without the permission of the owner of the standing timber; or (12947)

(2) causes another person to harvest standing timber without the permission of the owner of the standing timber. (12948)

(b) An offense under this section is: (12949)

(1) a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber harvested is at least $500 but less than $20,000; (12950)

(2) a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber harvested is at least $20,000 but less than $100,000; (12951)

(3) a felony of the second degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber harvested is at least $100,000 but less than $200,000; or (12952)

(4) a felony of the first degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber harvested is at least $200,000. (12953)

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 23 (H.B. 613), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011. (12954)

SUBCHAPTER C. PAYMENT FOR TIMBER PURCHASED (12955)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 151.101. DEFINITION. (12956)(1-click HTML)

In this subchapter, "timber purchaser" means a person who purchases standing timber for harvest. (12957)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.151 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12958)

Sec. 151.102. MONEY COLLECTED FOR TIMBER AS TRUST MONEY. (12959)(1-click HTML)

Money a timber purchaser collects for harvested timber is trust money. (12960)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.152 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12961)

Sec. 151.103. TIMBER PURCHASER AS TRUSTEE. (12962)(1-click HTML)

A timber purchaser and each officer, director, partner, or agent of a timber purchaser are trustees of trust money. (12963)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.153 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12964)

Sec. 151.104. BENEFICIARY OF TRUST. (12965)(1-click HTML)

Each seller of standing timber is a beneficiary of trust money to the extent of the beneficiary's share of the purchase price for the timber. (12966)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.154 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12967)

Sec. 151.105. OFFENSE. (12968)(1-click HTML)

(a) A trustee commits an offense if the trustee, knowingly or with intent to defraud, directly or indirectly retains, uses, disperses, or otherwise diverts more than $500 of trust money without first fully paying all of the beneficiaries the purchase price for the timber. (12969)

(b) A trustee acts with intent to defraud if the trustee retains, uses, disperses, or diverts trust money with the intent to deprive a beneficiary of trust money. (12970)

(c) A trustee is presumed to have acted with intent to defraud if the trustee does not pay all of the beneficiaries the purchase price for the timber not later than the 45th day after the date the trustee collects money for the timber. (12971)

(d) An offense under this section is: (12972)

(1) a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber sold is at least $500 but less than $20,000; (12973)

(2) a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber sold is at least $20,000 but less than $100,000; (12974)

(3) a felony of the second degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber sold is at least $100,000 but less than $200,000; or (12975)

(4) a felony of the first degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the value of the timber sold is at least $200,000. (12976)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.155 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12977)

Amended by: (12978)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 22 (H.B. 612), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011. (12979)

Sec. 151.106. DEFENSES TO PROSECUTION. (12980)(1-click HTML)

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that: (12981)

(1) the trustee paid the beneficiaries all trust money to which the beneficiaries were entitled not later than the 15th day after the date written notice was given to the trustee at the trustee's most recent address known that a criminal complaint has been filed against the trustee or that a criminal investigation of the trustee is pending; or (12982)

(2) two or more persons claim to be beneficiaries of the same trust money, and the trustee has deposited the amount of the disputed trust money into the registry of the district court of the county in which the standing timber was located by action in interpleader or other appropriate legal proceeding for the benefit of persons the district court determines to be entitled to the trust money. (12983)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.156 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12984)

Sec. 151.107. ELECTION OF OFFENSES. (12985)(1-click HTML)

If conduct constituting an offense under Section 151.105 is an offense under another law of this state, the state may elect the offense for which it prosecutes the trustee. (12986)

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 562, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 151.157 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 532, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (12987)

CHAPTER 152. FOREST PEST CONTROL (12988)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 152.001. POLICY. (12989)(1-click HTML)

It is the public policy of the State of Texas to mitigate and control pests threatening forest land in this state in order to protect associated ecological resources, enhance the health and maintenance of forests, promote stability of forest-using industries, ensure public safety, and conserve the ecosystem values of the forest. (12990)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (12991)

Amended by: (12992)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017. (12993)

Sec. 152.002. PUBLIC NUISANCE. (12994)(1-click HTML)

Forest pests are declared to be a public nuisance. (12995)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (12996)

Sec. 152.003. DEFINITIONS. (12997)(1-click HTML)

In this chapter: (12998)

(1) "Service" means the Texas A&M Forest Service. (12999)

(2) "Forest pests" means native insects and diseases, nonnative invasive insects and diseases, and noxious and invasive plants included on a list under Section 71.151, Agriculture Code, that are harmful, injurious, or destructive to forests or trees and whose damage, if uncontrolled, is of considerable economic and environmental importance. (13000)

(3) "Forest land" means land with at least 10 percent cover by live trees of any size, including land that formerly had that amount of tree cover and will be naturally or artificially regenerated, but does not include land within the incorporated limits of a village, town, or city. (13001)

(4) "Forest" means the standing trees on forest land. (13002)

(5) "Control" means prevent, retard, suppress, eradicate, or destroy. (13003)

(6) "Infestation" means actual infestation or infection at conditions beyond normal proportion causing loss to forests. (13004)

(7) "Landowner" and "owner" mean a person who owns forest land or has forest land under the person's direction irrespective of ownership. (13005)

(8) "Forest owner" means a person who owns the standing trees on forest land, either by a present right or by a future right under the terms of a valid existing contract. (13006)

(9) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2017. (13007)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2647, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13008)

Amended by: (13009)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017. (13010)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2017. (13011)

SUBCHAPTER B. POWERS AND DUTIES OF TEXAS A&M FOREST SERVICE (13012)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 152.011. IN GENERAL. (13013)(1-click HTML)

The Texas Forest Service shall administer the provisions of this chapter and make all relevant determinations. (13014)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13015)

Sec. 152.012. SURVEYS AND INVESTIGATIONS. (13016)(1-click HTML)

(a) The service shall make surveys and investigations to determine the existence of infestations of forest pests and means practical for their control by landowners. (13017)

(b) Duly delegated representatives of the service may enter private land and public land, including that held by the United States if permission is obtained, for the purpose of conducting surveys and investigations. (13018)

(c) All the service's information shall be available to all interested landowners. (13019)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13020)

Sec. 152.013. DETERMINATION OF AREA CONTROL MEASURES. (13021)(1-click HTML)

If the service finds an infestation existent or threatened in the state, it shall determine: (13022)

(1) when control measures are needed; (13023)

(2) the nature of the control measures; (13024)

(3) availability of control measures; and (13025)

(4) the techniques by which the control measures shall be applied. (13026)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13027)

Sec. 152.014. NOTICE OF FINDING OF INFESTATION. (13028)(1-click HTML)

After determining that an infestation exists, the service shall give notice of the fact by: (13029)

(1) placing a notice in a newspaper or newspapers in the county or counties in which any infested land is located, or, if there is no newspaper in the county, placing a notice in a newspaper or newspapers with general circulation in the county or counties in which any infested land is located, stating its findings and setting a time and place for a hearing on the need for the control of the pest, to be held not less than 10 days from the date of the notice; (13030)

(2) mailing copies of the notice to owners of forest land known to the service to have holdings in the affected area; and (13031)

(3) arranging for publicity on the subject by all news media serving the affected area. (13032)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13033)

Sec. 152.015. HEARING. (13034)(1-click HTML)

At the hearing, the agent of the service who presides shall: (13035)

(1) describe the conditions that have been found; (13036)

(2) explain the measures needed to control the pest infestation; (13037)

(3) hear all suggestions and protests; and (13038)

(4) record the proceedings. (13039)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2648, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13040)

Sec. 152.016. PROCEDURES FOR CONTROL. (13041)(1-click HTML)

As soon as practicable after the hearing, the service shall promulgate procedures to be followed for the control of the infestation and shall publish a copy in a newspaper circulated in the affected area in the same manner as publication of preliminary notice. (13042)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13043)

Amended by: (13044)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2017. (13045)

Sec. 152.017. SPECIFIC CONTROL MEASURES. (13046)(1-click HTML)

If the provisions of Sections 152.013 through 152.016 of this code have not been applied and control measures are needed to check the spread of the forest pests on forest land owned or controlled by any person, written notice, signed by a duly authorized representative of the service whose mailing address is shown on the notice, shall be given to the person owning or controlling the forest land. (13047)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13048)

Sec. 152.018. NOTICE TO SPECIFIC LANDOWNER. (13049)(1-click HTML)

(a) The notice required by Section 152.017 shall inform the landowner of: (13050)

(1) the facts found to exist; (13051)

(2) the landowner's responsibilities for the control measures; (13052)

(3) the control technique recommended; (13053)

(4) the law under which control must be accomplished; and (13054)

(5) the authority of the service in the event the landowner takes no action toward controlling the pest. (13055)

(b) The notice may be given by: (13056)

(1) personal delivery to the landowner or the person having control of the forest land; (13057)

(2) registered or certified mail directed to the landowner or person having control of the forest land at that person's last known address; or (13058)

(3) if the identity or address of the landowner or person having control of the forest land is unknown: (13059)

(A) publication in one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located; or (13060)

(B) posting notice on the county's Internet website or on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the county courthouse for the county in which the land is located. (13061)

(c) A published or posted notice under Subsection (b) must include the information specified in Subsection (a), state the name of the owner, if known, and briefly describe the land to which the notice applies. (13062)

(d) No other notice is necessary under the provisions of this chapter. (13063)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13064)

Amended by: (13065)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2017. (13066)

Sec. 152.019. NOTICE TO FOREST OWNER. (13067)(1-click HTML)

If the landowner has notified the service of a forest owner under Section 152.064, the service shall furnish the same information to the forest owner that it is required by this chapter to give to the landowner. (13068)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13069)

Amended by: (13070)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2017. (13071)

Sec. 152.020. SUPERVISION. (13072)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landowner shall inform the service of measures taken by the landowner to control the infestation and the results of those measures. (13073)

(b) The service may change its prescribed procedures as conditions or new information may require. (13074)

(c) On request, the service shall certify when all reasonably practicable measures to be done by the landowner, pursuant to its prescribed procedures, have been completed. (13075)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2649, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13076)

Amended by: (13077)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2017. (13078)

Sec. 152.021. CONTROL MEASURES APPLIED BY SERVICE. (13079)(1-click HTML)

If the landowner or another person fails to apply the pest control measures prescribed by the service not later than the 10th day after the date notice is given under Section 152.014 or 152.018, the service may contact the landowner to offer further assistance or may enter the land and have the forest pests controlled. (13080)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13081)

Amended by: (13082)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017. (13083)

Sec. 152.022. EXPENSE OF CONTROL MEASURES TAKEN BY SERVICE. (13084)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landowner shall pay all charges and expenses of control measures taken by the service. (13085)

(b) The service shall charge amounts consistent with current commercial rates for control measures taken by the service. (13086)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13087)

Amended by: (13088)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2017. (13089)

Sec. 152.023. CLAIM AGAINST LANDOWNER. (13090)(1-click HTML)

The amount charged for control measures taken by the service constitutes a legal claim against the landowner, but does not constitute a lien on any land owned by the landowner. (13091)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13092)

Amended by: (13093)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2017. (13094)

Sec. 152.024. SUIT. (13095)(1-click HTML)

The attorney general may bring suit on behalf of the service in the county in which the infestation occurred to recover the claim against the landowner, together with all costs incurred in the suit. (13096)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13097)

Sec. 152.025. LANDOWNER REIMBURSEMENT. (13098)(1-click HTML)

(a) If the landowner has notified the service of a forest owner under Section 152.064, the landowner is entitled to reasonable reimbursement from the forest owner for amounts: (13099)

(1) spent by the landowner for pest control measures under Section 152.062; or (13100)

(2) paid on a legal claim under Sections 152.022 through 152.024. (13101)

(b) The amount of reimbursement paid by a forest owner under Subsection (a) shall be proportional to the interest owned in the forest by the forest owner. (13102)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13103)

Amended by: (13104)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2017. (13105)

Sec. 152.026. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS. (13106)(1-click HTML)

The service may enter into cooperative agreements with private landowners or forest owners, the federal government, or other public or private agencies to accomplish the control of forest pests. (13107)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13108)

SUBCHAPTER C. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE LANDOWNER (13109)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 152.061. GENERAL DUTY OF LANDOWNER. (13110)(1-click HTML)

Each owner of forest land shall control the forest pests on land owned by the person or under the person's direction as provided in this chapter. (13111)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13112)

Amended by: (13113)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2017. (13114)

Sec. 152.062. DUTY TO APPLY CONTROL MEASURES. (13115)(1-click HTML)

Not later than the 10th day after the date notice is given under Section 152.014 or 152.018, each affected landowner shall commence diligently to take measures to control the infestation as prescribed and continue this activity with all practical expedition and efficiency under the direction of the service. (13116)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2650, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13117)

Amended by: (13118)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2017. (13119)

Sec. 152.063. REPORTS AND CONSULTATION WITH SERVICE. (13120)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landowner shall notify the service of the landowner's actions and the result of those actions. (13121)

(b) The landowner may report to and consult with a representative of the service as often as necessary. (13122)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13123)

Amended by: (13124)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2017. (13125)

Sec. 152.064. NOTIFYING SERVICE OF FOREST OWNER. (13126)(1-click HTML)

If all or part of the standing trees are owned by someone other than the landowner, either by a present right or by a future right under the terms of a valid existing contract, the landowner shall notify the service of that fact and furnish the name and address of each forest owner not later than the 10th day after the date the landowner receives notice from the service under Section 152.014 or 152.018. (13127)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13128)

Amended by: (13129)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2017. (13130)

SUBCHAPTER D. JUDICIAL REVIEW (13131)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 152.101. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF SERVICE NOTICE. (13132)(1-click HTML)

A landowner or person having control of forest land who is aggrieved by the notice given by the service is entitled to seek relief but only if the proceedings to obtain the relief are initiated within 10 days from the time notice is given, exclusive of the date the notice is given. (13133)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13134)

Sec. 152.102. VENUE. (13135)(1-click HTML)

The proceeding to obtain relief shall be in the district court of the county in which the land is located. (13136)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13137)

Sec. 152.103. CONTROL MEASURES PENDING LITIGATION. (13138)(1-click HTML)

The service shall not proceed with any control measures while the litigation is pending unless permission to do so is given by the court on a showing of probable harm due to a delay in using the control measures. (13139)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13140)

Sec. 152.105. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR LANDOWNER. (13141)(1-click HTML)

If the final judgment in an action seeking relief from a notice is in favor of the landowner, the landowner may be entitled to injunctive relief against the use of any control measures on the landowner's forest land by the service until a time determined by the court. (13142)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13143)

Amended by: (13144)

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 859 (H.B. 2567), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2017. (13145)

Sec. 152.106. NOTICE FINAL. (13146)(1-click HTML)

If the final judgment is against the landowner, or if the landowner fails to seek relief in the district court of the county in which the land is located, the notice from the service is final, and the service shall summarily take the measures necessary to control the infestation. (13147)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2651, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (13148)

CHAPTER 153. PRESCRIBED BURNING (13149)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 153.001. DEFINITIONS. (13150)(1-click HTML)

In this chapter: (13151)

(1) "Board" means the Prescribed Burning Board. (13152)

(2) "Department" means the Department of Agriculture. (13153)

(3) "Prescribed burning organization" means an organization described by Section 153.049. (13154)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13155)

Amended by: (13156)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2009. (13157)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015. (13158)

Sec. 153.002. LANDOWNER'S RIGHT TO CONDUCT BURNS NOT LIMITED. (13159)(1-click HTML)

This chapter does not limit a landowner's right to conduct burns on the landowner's property. (13160)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13161)

Sec. 153.003. LIABILITY. (13162)(1-click HTML)

This chapter does not modify a landowner's liability for property damage, personal injury, or death resulting from a burn that is not conducted as provided by this chapter. (13163)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13164)

Sec. 153.004. PRESCRIBED BURNING IN STATE OF EMERGENCY OR DISASTER. (13165)(1-click HTML)

A certified and insured prescribed burn manager or the members of a prescribed burning organization may conduct a burn in a county in which a state of emergency or state of disaster has been declared by the governor or the president of the United States, unless the declaration expressly prohibits all outdoor burning. (13166)

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.02, eff. September 1, 2009. (13167)

Amended by: (13168)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015. (13169)

SUBCHAPTER B. PRESCRIBED BURNING BOARD (13170)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 153.041. ESTABLISHMENT. (13171)(1-click HTML)

(a) The Prescribed Burning Board is established within the department and is composed of: (13172)

(1) an employee of the Texas Forest Service designated by the director of the Texas Forest Service; (13173)

(2) an employee of the Parks and Wildlife Department appointed by the executive director of the Parks and Wildlife Department; (13174)

(3) an employee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality appointed by the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; (13175)

(4) an employee of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service appointed by the executive director of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service; (13176)

(5) an employee of Texas AgriLife Research appointed by the director of Texas AgriLife Research; (13177)

(6) an employee of the Texas Tech University Range and Wildlife Department appointed by the dean of the Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; (13178)

(7) an employee of the department appointed by the commissioner of agriculture; (13179)

(8) an employee of the State Soil and Water Conservation Board appointed by the executive director of the State Soil and Water Conservation Board; and (13180)

(9) five persons who are: (13181)

(A) owners of agricultural land, as that term is defined by Section 153.081; (13182)

(B) self-employed or employed by a person other than a governmental entity; and (13183)

(C) appointed by the commissioner of agriculture. (13184)

(b) A member serves for a two-year term. (13185)

(c) The board shall, by majority vote, elect a presiding officer from the members of the board. (13186)

(d) Appointments to the board shall be made without regard to the race, creed, sex, disability, age, religion, or national origin of the appointees. (13187)

(e) It is a ground for removal from the board that a member: (13188)

(1) does not have at the time of appointment the qualifications required by Subsection (a) for appointment to the board; (13189)

(2) does not maintain during the service on the board the qualifications required by Subsection (a) for appointment to the board; (13190)

(3) cannot because of illness or disability discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the member is appointed; or (13191)

(4) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year unless the absence is excused by majority vote of the board. (13192)

(f) The validity of an action of the board is not affected by the fact that it was taken when a ground for removal of a member of the board existed. (13193)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13194)

Amended by: (13195)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.03, eff. September 1, 2009. (13196)

Sec. 153.042. INFORMATION RELATING TO STANDARDS OF CONDUCT. (13197)(1-click HTML)

The presiding officer of the board or the presiding officer's designee shall provide to members of the board, as often as necessary, information regarding their qualification for office under this chapter and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers. (13198)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13199)

Sec. 153.043. MEMBER TRAINING. (13200)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person appointed to the board is not eligible for membership on the board unless the person completes at least one training program that complies with this section. (13201)

(b) The training program must provide information to the member regarding: (13202)

(1) this chapter; (13203)

(2) the programs operated by the board; (13204)

(3) the role and functions of the board; (13205)

(4) the requirements of Chapters 551, 552, and 2001, Government Code; (13206)

(5) the requirements of the conflict of interest laws and other laws relating to public officials; and (13207)

(6) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the board or the Texas Ethics Commission. (13208)

(c) A person appointed to the board is entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses incurred in attending the training program as provided by the General Appropriations Act as if the person were a member of the board. (13209)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13210)

Sec. 153.044. SUNSET PROVISION. (13211)(1-click HTML)

The Prescribed Burning Board is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). The board shall be reviewed during the period in which the Department of Agriculture is reviewed. (13212)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 2.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (13213)

Amended by: (13214)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1227 (H.B. 1116), Sec. 3.05, eff. September 1, 2005. (13215)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 928 (H.B. 3249), Sec. 2.04, eff. June 15, 2007. (13216)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.04, eff. September 1, 2009. (13217)

Sec. 153.045. ADVISORY BOARD. (13218)(1-click HTML)

(a) The board shall establish an advisory board of members of the public, including individuals representing: (13219)

(1) property owners; (13220)

(2) agriculture, forestry, and livestock producers; (13221)

(3) conservation interests; (13222)

(4) environmental interests; and (13223)

(5) insurance interests. (13224)

(b) The board shall determine the number of persons and manner of selection of the advisory board. (13225)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13226)

Sec. 153.046. DUTIES. (13227)(1-click HTML)

The board shall: (13228)

(1) establish standards for prescribed burning; (13229)

(2) develop a comprehensive training curriculum for certified and insured prescribed burn managers; (13230)

(3) establish standards for certification, recertification, and training for certified and insured prescribed burn managers; (13231)

(4) establish minimum education and professional requirements for instructors for the approved curriculum; (13232)

(5) establish insurance requirements for certified and insured prescribed burn managers in amounts not less than those required by Section 153.082; and (13233)

(6) establish minimum insurance requirements for prescribed burning organizations. (13234)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13235)

Amended by: (13236)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.05, eff. September 1, 2009. (13237)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 565 (S.B. 702), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013. (13238)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2015. (13239)

Sec. 153.047. PRESCRIBED BURNING STANDARDS. (13240)(1-click HTML)

Minimum standards established by the board for prescribed burning must: (13241)

(1) ensure that prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire to naturally occurring or naturalized vegetative fuels under specified environmental conditions in accordance with a written prescription plan: (13242)

(A) designed to confine the fire to a predetermined area and to accomplish planned land management objectives; and (13243)

(B) that conforms to the standards established under this section; (13244)

(2) require that: (13245)

(A) at least one certified and insured prescribed burn manager is present on site during the conduct of the prescribed burn; or (13246)

(B) the burn be conducted by the members of a prescribed burning organization; (13247)

(3) establish appropriate guidelines for size of burning crews sufficient to: (13248)

(A) conduct the burn in accordance with the prescription plan; and (13249)

(B) provide adequate protection for the safety of persons and of adjacent property; (13250)

(4) include standards for notification to adjacent land owners, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and local fire authorities; and (13251)

(5) include minimum insurance requirements for certified and insured prescribed burn managers and prescribed burning organizations. (13252)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13253)

Amended by: (13254)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.06, eff. September 1, 2009. (13255)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015. (13256)

Sec. 153.048. CERTIFIED AND INSURED PRESCRIBED BURN MANAGERS. (13257)(1-click HTML)

(a) Minimum standards established by the board for certification as a certified and insured prescribed burn manager must require the completion of the approved training curriculum to be developed and promulgated by the board and taught by an approved instructor. (13258)

(b) The board shall certify a person as a certified and insured prescribed burn manager if the person: (13259)

(1) applies to the board for certification; (13260)

(2) demonstrates completion of an approved training program by an approved instructor; (13261)

(3) pays a fee to the board in an amount determined by the board; and (13262)

(4) meets the insurance requirements established by the board under Section 153.046. (13263)

(c) The certification is for two years. (13264)

(d) A person may renew certification only by completing a continuing education program established by the board. (13265)

(e) The board shall maintain a register of certified and insured prescribed burn managers and dates of completion of initial and continuing training. (13266)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13267)

Amended by: (13268)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.07, eff. September 1, 2009. (13269)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 565 (S.B. 702), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013. (13270)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 565 (S.B. 702), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013. (13271)

Sec. 153.049. PRESCRIBED BURNING ORGANIZATIONS. (13272)(1-click HTML)

The members of a charitable organization, as defined by Section 84.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, that is organized and operated for prescribed burning purposes may conduct a burn under this chapter if: (13273)

(1) the member in charge of the burn has completed the approved training curriculum described by Section 153.048(a); and (13274)

(2) the organization has insurance coverage in an amount not less than the amount established by the board under Section 153.046. (13275)

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2015. (13276)

SUBCHAPTER C. LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY (13277)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 153.081. LIMITATION OF OWNER LIABILITY. (13278)(1-click HTML)

(a) Subject to Section 153.082, an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural or conservation land is not liable for property damage or for injury or death to persons caused by or resulting from prescribed burning conducted on the land owned by, leased by, or occupied by the person if the prescribed burning is conducted: (13279)

(1) under the supervision of a certified and insured prescribed burn manager; or (13280)

(2) by the members of a prescribed burning organization. (13281)

(b) This section does not apply to an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural or conservation land who is a certified and insured prescribed burn manager and conducts a burn on that land. (13282)

(c) In this section, "agricultural or conservation land" means land that is located in this state and that is suitable for: (13283)

(1) use and production of plants and fruits for human or animal consumption or plants grown for the production of fibers, floriculture, viticulture, horticulture, or planting seed; (13284)

(2) forestry and the growing of trees for the purpose of rendering those trees into lumber, fiber, or other items used for industrial, commercial, or personal consumption; (13285)

(3) domestic or native farm or ranch animals kept for use or profit; (13286)

(4) management of native or exotic wildlife; or (13287)

(5) conservation or management of an ecosystem, a forest, a habitat, a species, water, or wildlife. (13288)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (13289)

Amended by: (13290)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.08, eff. September 1, 2009. (13291)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 196 (S.B. 764), Sec. 1, eff. May 25, 2013. (13292)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2015. (13293)

Sec. 153.082. INSURANCE. (13294)(1-click HTML)

The limitation on liability under Section 153.081 does not apply to an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural or conservation land unless: (13295)

(1) the burn is conducted under the supervision of a certified and insured prescribed burn manager who has liability insurance coverage: (13296)

(A) of at least $1 million for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death, or injury to or destruction of property; and (13297)

(B) with a policy period minimum aggregate limit of at least $2 million; (13298)

(2) the owner, lessee, or occupant is a governmental unit, as that term is defined by Section 2259.001, Government Code, that has a self-insurance program that provides the amount of coverage required by Subdivision (1); or (13299)

(3) the burn is conducted by the members of a prescribed burning organization that has insurance coverage in an amount not less than the amount established by the board under Section 153.046. (13300)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 829, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (13301)

Amended by: (13302)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.09, eff. September 1, 2009. (13303)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 196 (S.B. 764), Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2013. (13304)

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 169 (H.B. 2119), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2015. (13305)

SUBCHAPTER D. COMPLAINTS, ENFORCEMENT, AND PENALTIES (13306)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 153.101. COMPLAINTS. (13307)(1-click HTML)

The department shall receive and process complaints concerning certified and insured prescribed burn managers in the manner described by Section 12.026, Agriculture Code, and rules adopted under that section. (13308)

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.10, eff. September 1, 2009. (13309)

Sec. 153.102. DISCIPLINARY ACTION; SCHEDULE OF SANCTIONS. (13310)(1-click HTML)

(a) The department may impose an administrative sanction, including an administrative penalty, as provided by Sections 12.020, 12.0201, 12.0202, and 12.0261, Agriculture Code, for a violation of this chapter. (13311)

(b) The department by rule shall adopt a schedule of the disciplinary sanctions that the department may impose under this chapter. In adopting the schedule of sanctions, the department shall ensure that the severity of the sanction imposed is appropriate to the type of violation or conduct that is the basis for disciplinary action. (13312)

(c) In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, including the amount of any administrative penalty to assess, the department shall consider: (13313)

(1) whether the person: (13314)

(A) is being disciplined for multiple violations of either this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter; or (13315)

(B) has previously been the subject of disciplinary action by the department under this chapter and has previously complied with department rules and this chapter; (13316)

(2) the seriousness of the violation; (13317)

(3) the threat to public safety; and (13318)

(4) any mitigating factors. (13319)

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.10, eff. September 1, 2009. (13320)

Sec. 153.103. INJUNCTION. (13321)(1-click HTML)

(a) The department may apply to a district court in any county for an injunction to restrain a person who is not a certified and insured prescribed burn manager from representing that the person is a certified and insured prescribed burn manager. (13322)

(b) At the request of the department, the attorney general shall initiate and conduct an action in a district court in the state's name to obtain an injunction under this section. (13323)

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506 (S.B. 1016), Sec. 2.10, eff. September 1, 2009. (13324)

Sec. 153.104. EMERGENCY SUSPENSION. (13325)(1-click HTML)

(a) On determining that a certification holder is engaged in or about to engage in a violation of this chapter and that the certification holder's continued practice constitutes an immediate threat to the public welfare, the department may issue an order suspending the certification holder's certification without notice or a hearing. The department shall immediately serve notice of the suspension on the certification holder. (13326)

(b) The notice required by Subsection (a) must: (13327)

(1) be personally served on the certification holder or be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the certification holder's last known address according to the department's records; (13328)

(2) state the grounds for the suspension; and (13329)

(3) inform the certification holder of the right to a hearing on the suspension order. (13330)

(c) A certification holder whose certification is suspended under this section is entitled to request a hearing on the suspension not later than the 30th day after the date of receipt of notice of the suspension. Not later than the fifth day after the date a hearing is requested, the department shall issue a notice of hearing. (13331)

(d) A hearing on a suspension order under this section is subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code. If the hearing is before an administrative law judge, after the hearing, the administrative law judge shall recommend to the department whether to uphold, vacate, or modify the suspension order. (13332)

  

Our Mission
Objective

Our mission is to provide citizens free access to the laws and codes of their state utilizing a unique search engine that matches clients with qualified legal professionals who can help with specific issues.

Our goal is to do this in a manner that promotes open government and freedom of information, while providing attorneys with valuable tools to connect with qualified prospects in need of professional services.

Ignorance Is No Excuse
Your Right To Know The Law

All citizens have a right to have access to the laws that govern them. Citizen awareness and participation in government is fundamental to ensuring a sound democracy.

Although unfettered access to the law is a fundamental right to all citizens, there is no substitute for experienced legal counsel.

We do not recommend self-representation. We do, however, recognize that in an age where people routinely research legal matters online using everything from a smartphone to their xbox, both attorneys and clients alike can benefit from this resource.