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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 077: TREES AND PLANTS

  • § 3601. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) “Diameter breast height” or “DBH” means the diameter of a standing tree at four and one-half feet from the ground.

    (2) “Harvest” means the cutting, felling, or removal of timber.

    (3) “Harvest unit” means the area of land from which timber will be harvested or the area of land on which timber stand improvement will occur.

    (4) “Harvester” means a person, firm, company, corporation, or other legal entity that harvests timber.

    (5) “Landowner” means the person, firm, company, corporation, or other legal entity that owns or controls the land or owns or controls the right to harvest timber on the land.

    (6) “Landowner’s agent” means a person, firm, company, corporation, or other legal entity representing the landowner in a timber sale, timber harvest, or land management.

    (7) “Stump diameter” means the diameter of a tree stump remaining after cutting, felling, or destruction.

    (8) “Forest products” means logs, pulpwood, veneer, bolt wood, wood chips, stud wood, poles, pilings, biomass, fuel wood, or bark.

    (9) “Timber” means:

    (A) trees of every size, nature, kind, and description; and

    (B) sprouts from which trees may grow, seedlings, saplings, bushes, or shrubs that have been planted or cultivated by a person who owns or controls the property where they are located. (Added 2009, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3602. Valuation of trees or timber

    Any person who is entitled to damages pursuant to section 3606 of this title or who is entitled to restitution for a violation of section 3606a of this title may provide an assessment of the value, based upon the kind, condition, location, and use of the timber cut down, destroyed, removed, injured, damaged, or carried away or, in the alternative, may assess the value of the timber as follows:

    (1) if a tree is no more than six inches in stump diameter or DBH, $50.00;

    (2) if a tree is more than six inches and not more than ten inches in stump diameter or DBH, $100.00;

    (3) if a tree is more than 10 inches and not more than 14 inches in stump diameter or DBH, $300.00;

    (4) if a tree is more than 14 inches and not more than 18 inches in stump diameter or DBH, $750.00;

    (5) if a tree is more than 18 inches and not more than 22 inches in stump diameter or DBH, $1,500.00;

    (6) if a tree is greater than 22 inches in stump diameter or DBH, $2,000.00;

    (7) for a bush or shrub, $50.00. (Added 2009, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3603. Marking harvest units

    As a best management practice, a landowner who authorizes timber harvesting or who in fact harvests timber should clearly and accurately mark the harvest unit with visible means. (Added 2009, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3604. Exemptions

    The cutting, felling, or destruction of a tree or the harvest of timber by the following shall not be subject to a civil action under section 3606 of this title or a criminal penalty under section 3606a of this title:

    (1) The Agency of Transportation, or its representatives, conducting vegetation management.

    (2) A municipality conducting brush removal subject to the requirements of 19 V.S.A. § 904.

    (3) A utility conducting vegetation management within the boundaries of the utility’s established right-of-way.

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (5) A railroad conducting vegetation management.

    (6) A licensed surveyor establishing boundaries between abutting parcels under 27 V.S.A. § 4. (Added 2009, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3605. Repealed. 1971, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 5, 1972.

  • § 3606. Trespass; civil action

    (a) In addition to any other civil liability or criminal penalty allowed by law, if a person cuts down, fells, destroys, removes, injures, damages, or carries away any timber placed or growing for any use or purpose whatsoever, or forest products standing, lying, or growing belonging to another person, without permission from the owner of the timber or forest product, or cuts out, alters, or defaces the mark of a log or other valuable forest product, the party injured may recover of such person, in an action on this statute, treble damages for the value of the timber or forest product, and any damage caused to the land or improvements thereon as a result of such action. The injured party or landowner may rely on an assessment of damages based on the kind, condition, location, and use of the timber or forest product by the injured party or landowner, or alternatively, may elect to rely on the values established under section 3602 of this title.

    (b) If the defendant in an action brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this section establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she had good reason to believe that the timber or forest products belonged to him or her, or that he or she had a legal right to perform the acts complained of, the plaintiff shall recover single damages only, with costs.

    (c) As used in this section, “damages” shall include any damage caused to the land or improvements thereon as a result of a person cutting, felling, destroying, removing, injuring, damaging, or carrying away timber or forest products without the permission of the owner of the property on which the timber stands. (Amended 1959, No. 61, eff. March 26, 1959; amended 2009, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 3606a. Trespass; criminal penalty

    (a) No person shall knowingly or recklessly:

    (1) cut down, fell, destroy, remove, injure, damage, or carry away any timber or forest product placed or growing for any use or purpose whatsoever, or timber or forest product lying or growing belonging to another person, without permission from the owner of the timber or forest product; or

    (2) deface the mark of a log, forest product, or other valuable timber in a river or other place.

    (b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall:

    (1) for a first offense, be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $20,000.00, or both; or

    (2) for a second or subsequent offense, be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $50,000.00, or both. (Added 2015, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • §§ 3607, 3608. Repealed. 1971, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 5, 1972.

  • § 3609. Transportation of trees; evidence

    A person found transporting upon a public highway one or more pine, spruce, hemlock, cedar, or other evergreen trees, under such condition or circumstances as to reasonably justify any police officer or a person from whom trees of such type have been stolen, or his or her employees, to believe that such trees have been stolen or taken without the consent of the owner, such police officer, person, or his or her employees, or any of them, may stop the person transporting such trees and interrogate such person as to where and from whom he or she obtained such trees and ask such person to produce a bill of sale or a writing showing his or her rightful possession of such trees. If the person interrogated fails to produce a bill of sale or writing showing his or her rightful possession of such trees or refuses to answer such interrogations, or if his or her answers to such interrogations are false, it shall be prima facie evidence that such person has stolen such trees and upon conviction for such an offense he or she shall be imprisoned for not more than six months or fined not more than $300.00, or both. (Amended 1959, No. 199.)

  • §§ 3610-3612. Repealed. 1971, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 5, 1972.

  • §§ 3613, 3614. Repealed. 1971, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. March 9, 1972.