Bill Text: IL HB3105 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Enrolled


Bill Title: Amends the Wrongful Tree Cutting Act. Changes the definition of "stumpage". Defines "protected land" and "qualified professional forester or ecological restoration professional". Provides that any party found to have intentionally cut or knowingly caused to be cut any standing timber or tree, other than a tree or woody plant referenced in the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, on protected land, and the party did not have the legal right to so cut or cause to be cut, must pay the person or entity that owns or holds a conservation right to the land 3 times stumpage value plus remediation costs. Provides that nothing in the Act limits the rights of a party to pursue causes of action under other laws, including any available common law remedies for damages. Limits the relief available under the Act. Provides that the court shall allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses incurred. Makes changes in provisions concerning appraisals and findings of value and expenses. Adds provisions concerning: remediation plans; court-ordered determinations of costs; assistance by the Department of Natural Resources; and use of awards under the Act. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 24-1)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-06-14 - Sent to the Governor [HB3105 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HB3105-Enrolled.html



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1 AN ACT concerning civil law.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 5. The Wrongful Tree Cutting Act is amended by
5changing Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 and by adding Sections 2.5,
62.6, 2.8, 3.5, 4.5, and 4.7 as follows:
7 (740 ILCS 185/1) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9401)
8 Sec. 1. As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise
9requires, the term:
10 (a) "Stumpage value" means the value of timber as it stands
11uncut in terms of an amount per unit of volume expressed as
12dollar value per board foot for that portion of a tree or
13timber deemed merchantable by Illinois forest products markets
14standing tree.
15 (b) "Department" means the Department of Natural
16Resources.
17 (c) "Director" means the Director of Natural Resources.
18 (d) "Party" means any person, partnership, firm,
19association, business trust or corporation.
20 (e) "Protected land" means real property that is:
21 (1) subject to a permanent conservation right
22 consistent with the Real Property Conservation Rights Act;
23 (2) registered or designated as a Nature Preserve,

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1 buffer or Land and Water Reserve under the Illinois Natural
2 Areas Preservation Act;
3 (3) owned by a conservation land trust meeting
4 requirements as set forth in Section 501(c) of the United
5 States Internal Revenue Code; or
6 (4) owned by a local, State, or federal agency with a
7 mission that includes the conservation of natural
8 resources or a related function for one or more
9 conservation purposes, but not including parkways; and
10 (5) not inclusive of residential, commercial, or other
11 areas that are not subject to the aforementioned
12 protections.
13 (f) "Qualified professional forester or ecological
14restoration professional" means a person who holds any
15necessary licenses and has performed the type of remediation
16work necessary as part of the person's profession for greater
17than 30% of his or her working hours during each of the
18preceding 3 years.
19(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)
20 (740 ILCS 185/2) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9402)
21 Sec. 2. Except as provided in Sections 2.5, 2.7, and 7, any
22Any party found to have intentionally cut or knowingly caused
23to be cut any timber or tree, other than a tree or woody plant
24referenced in the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, which he or she did
25not have the full legal right to cut or cause caused to be cut

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1shall pay the owner of the timber or tree 3 times its stumpage
2value.
3(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
4 (740 ILCS 185/2.5 new)
5 Sec. 2.5. Trees intentionally cut or knowingly caused to be
6cut on protected land. Any party found to have intentionally
7cut or knowingly caused to be cut any standing timber or tree,
8other than a tree or woody plant referenced in the Illinois
9Exotic Weed Act, on protected land, which he or she did not
10have the legal right to so cut or cause to be cut, must pay 3
11times stumpage value plus remediation costs to the party that
12owns an interest in the land, including but not limited to
13holding a conservation right to the land. Remediation costs
14include one or more of the following:
15 (1) cleanup to remove trees, portions of trees, or
16 debris from trees cut, damaged, moved, placed, or left as a
17 result of tree cutting from perennial drainage ways or
18 water holding basins;
19 (2) soil erosion stabilization and remediation for
20 issues that were not pre-existing;
21 (3) remediation of damages to the native standing trees
22 and other native woody or herbaceous plant understory;
23 (4) remediation of damages to the native tree
24 understory through coppicing, planting of potted native
25 trees, planting of native tree seedlings as individual

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1 practices or in combination as deemed appropriate under
2 Section 3.5 of this Act. Any work under this item (4) must
3 be done by a qualified professional forester or ecological
4 restoration professional;
5 (5) associated exotic invasive plant species control
6 for a period of 3 years with one treatment per year on
7 those portions of the property where trees were wrongfully
8 cut if prior to the encroachment there had been an active
9 and ongoing effort made to control the plants, and due to
10 the disturbance, advantage was given to pre-existing or new
11 exotic invasive plant growth. Exotic plant control must be
12 done by a qualified professional forester or ecological
13 restoration professional;
14 (6) seeding of annual grass to skid trails; or
15 (7) staff salaries, contractor fees, and materials as
16 directly related, documented, and required to address
17 remediation costs under this Section.
18 (740 ILCS 185/2.6 new)
19 Sec. 2.6. Remediation plan. The court may order parties
20that seek remediation costs for damage to protected land under
21Section 2.5 to develop a remediation plan pursuant to Section
223.5 of this Act. The remediation plan shall delineate the steps
23to address remediation costs identified under Section 2.5 of
24this Act.

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1 (740 ILCS 185/2.8 new)
2 Sec. 2.8. Remedies. Nothing in this Act limits the rights
3of a party to pursue causes of action under other laws,
4including any available common law remedies for damages. A
5plaintiff may bring an action and recover damages under any
6applicable Section of this Act; however, if more than one
7Section applies to a given wrongfully cut tree, the plaintiff
8may bring an action and recover damages under only one
9applicable Section of this Act.
10 (740 ILCS 185/3) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9403)
11 Sec. 3. The courts of this State may order the Director or
12his representative to secure 3 three independent value
13appraisals to determine the stumpage value of wrongfully cut
14timber or trees under Section 2 of this Act. Such order must
15shall state the reason the value information is needed, the
16parties involved in the action, the area to be examined and
17other information needed by the Department to carry out its
18responsibilities. The court must instruct all All parties to
19the court action shall be instructed to make themselves
20available to the Department at reasonable times to assist in
21the location of areas and material to be examined. Unless
22otherwise ordered by the court, the parties shall bear equally
23the cost of expenses Expenses incurred, including but not
24limited to those for surveys, consulting services, attorney's
25fees, and administrative costs, shall be borne equally by the

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1parties unless otherwise ordered by the court. The court shall
2allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses
3incurred.
4(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
5 (740 ILCS 185/3.5 new)
6 Sec. 3.5. Court-ordered determination of costs. The court,
7upon evaluating whether independent appraisals are necessary
8and appropriate in matters arising under Section 2.5 of this
9Act, may order up to 3 independent appraisals of stumpage
10value, and further order the development of a plan detailing
11remediation strategies and their estimated cost, in
12conformance with Section 2.6 of this Act. Appraisals of
13stumpage value must be conducted by a professional consulting
14forester, who is and has been practicing his or her profession
15for a minimum of 50% of his or her working hours for the
16previous 3 years. Remediation plans must be prepared in
17consultation with a professional forester or biologist
18experienced in ecosystem restoration following a timber
19harvest, and may be implemented by the landowner or the
20landowner's designee. The court shall determine which party
21will bear the expense of conducting the appraisals and
22developing the remediation plan. The court may request that the
23Director or his or her representative assist in securing
24independent appraisals and advise the court as to adequacy of
25costs and measures in the remediation plan. The court shall

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1allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses
2incurred.
3 (740 ILCS 185/4) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9404)
4 Sec. 4. Within 90 30 days after the Department is ordered
5to establish value appraisals under Section 3, it shall notify
6the court of its findings of value and expenses. The court
7shall then average the appraisals and award triple the average
8value and make final determination as to which party or parties
9shall pay expenses. The failure of any party to make full
10payment within the time limits set by the court or to cooperate
11with the Department shall be considered contempt of court.
12(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
13 (740 ILCS 185/4.5 new)
14 Sec. 4.5. Department assistance. If the court requests
15assistance from the Department pursuant to Section 3.5 of this
16Act, within 90 days after the Department is provided
17independent appraisals and remediation plans for review, the
18Department shall provide the appraisals or valuations,
19remediation plan, and advice to the court. Otherwise, the
20parties shall directly provide the court with any ordered
21appraisals or valuations and a remediation plan pursuant to
22Section 3.5 of this Act. The court shall then make a final
23determination on the adequacy of the remediation plan and the
24appraised value to address remediation costs under Section 2.5

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1of this Act. The court shall award triple the stumpage value
2plus remediation costs and expenses in accordance with any
3approved remediation plan.
4 (740 ILCS 185/4.7 new)
5 Sec. 4.7. Use of award. Monetary awards for remediation
6costs of wrongfully cut trees under Section 2.5 of this Act
7must be used for costs related to remediation, restoration, or
8enhancement of the conservation value of the impacted property
9for protection, restoration, or enhancement. This Section does
10not apply to the use of awards for the stumpage value of trees
11wrongfully cut.
12 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
13becoming law.
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