76.06.040  <<  76.06.130 >>   76.06.140

RCW 76.06.130

Exotic forest insect or disease control—Department's authority and duties—Declaration of forest health emergency.

The department is authorized to contribute resources and expertise to assist the department of agriculture in control or eradication efforts authorized under chapter 17.24 RCW in order to protect forestlands of the state.
If either the department of agriculture has not taken action under chapter 17.24 RCW or the commissioner finds that additional efforts are required to control or prevent an outbreak of an exotic forest insect or disease which has not become so habituated that it can no longer be eradicated and that poses an imminent danger of damage to the forested environment by threatening the diversity, abundance, and survivability of native tree species, or both, the commissioner may declare a forest health emergency.
Upon declaration of a forest health emergency, the department must delineate the area at risk and determine the most appropriate integrated pest management methods to control the outbreak, in consultation with other interested agencies, affected tribes, and affected forest landowners. The department must notify affected forest landowners of its intent to conduct control operations.
Upon declaration of a forest health emergency by the commissioner, the department is authorized to enter into agreements with forest landowners, companies, individuals, tribal entities, and federal, state, and local agencies to accomplish control of exotic forest insects or diseases on any affected forestlands using such funds as have been, or may be, made available.
The department must proceed with the control of the exotic forest insects or diseases on affected nonfederal and nontribal forestlands with or without the cooperation of the owner. The department may reimburse cooperating forest landowners and agencies for actual cost of equipment, labor, and materials utilized in cooperative exotic forest insect or disease control projects, as agreed to by the department.
A forest health emergency no longer exists when the department finds that the exotic forest insect or disease has been controlled or eradicated, that the imminent threat no longer exists, or that there is no longer good likelihood of effective control.
Nothing under this chapter diminishes the authority and responsibility of the department of agriculture under chapter 17.24 RCW.
NOTES:
Findings2003 c 314: See note following RCW 17.24.220.
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