76.09.320  <<  76.09.330 >>   76.09.340

Legislative findingsLiability from naturally falling trees required to be left standing.

The legislature hereby finds and declares that riparian ecosystems on forestlands in addition to containing valuable timber resources, provide benefits for wildlife, fish, and water quality. The legislature further finds and declares that leaving riparian areas unharvested and leaving snags and green trees for large woody debris recruitment for streams and rivers provides public benefits including but not limited to benefits for threatened and endangered salmonids, other fish, amphibians, wildlife, and water quality enhancement. The legislature further finds and declares that leaving upland areas unharvested for wildlife and leaving snags and green trees for future snag recruitment provides benefits for wildlife. Forest landowners may be required to leave trees standing in riparian and upland areas to benefit public resources. It is recognized that these trees may blow down or fall into streams and that organic debris may be allowed to remain in streams. This is beneficial to riparian dependent and other wildlife species. Further, it is recognized that trees may blow down, fall onto, or otherwise cause damage or injury to public improvements, private property, and persons. Notwithstanding any statutory provision, rule, or common law doctrine to the contrary, the landowner, the department, and the state of Washington shall not be held liable for any injury or damages resulting from these actions, including but not limited to wildfire, erosion, flooding, personal injury, property damage, damage to public improvements, and other injury or damages of any kind or character resulting from the trees being left.

NOTES:

Part headings not law1999 sp.s. c 4: See note following RCW 77.85.180.
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