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Fiscal Agent May Be Required to Make What Advances.
3181. [Sec. 1, Act 97, 1884, p. 124.] In addition to the authority conferred by existing laws the Board of Liquidation are hereby authorized to contract with and require the fiscal agent or agents of the State to advance such sums as may be necessary to pay all warrants issued for the expenses of the General Assembly, constitutional officers of the State, public and charitable institutions of the State and warrants for the general expenses of the State government drawn against the general fund for the first six months of each year. Also, such sums as may be required to pay the interest upon the consolidated and four per cent. Constitutional bonds of the State, maturing on the first of July and the first of January of each year. The rate of interest to be paid on said advances shall not exceed five per cent. per annum, and shall only be allowed upon such sums as may be advanced in excess of the cash balances at the credit of the respective accounts that may require said advances.
3182. [Sec. 2.] Said board is hereby further authorized, if found practicable, to extend the provisions of this act so as to provide for the prompt payment of all warrants which may be issued for each fiscal year in conformity with law.
FORESTRY, DEPARTMENT OF.
Register of Land Office Made Ex-officio Forester.
3183. [Sec. 2, Act 261, 1910, p. 446.] There is hereby established a Department of Forestry, to consist of the Register of the State Land Office, who shall be ex-officio forester, and one deputy forester, who shall be a person educated in sylviculture, and who shall be appointed and commissioned by the Governor, on the recommendation of the Conservation Commission, for the period of one year at a time; provided, the ex-officio commissioner of forestry shall receive as compensation for the performance of duties imposed on him by this Act $500.00 per annum, payable out of any funds of the State not otherwise provided for, on the warrant of the Commissioner of Forestry, and an expense fund of $300.00 per year, for traveling and incidental expenses; the deputy forester and such assistants as may be provided, to be paid as hereinafter provided for.
Duties of State Forester.
3184. [Sec. 3.] It shall be the duty of the State forester, provided for in Section 2 of this Act, under the general supervision of the Conservation Commission, to have direction of all forests interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the State, take such action as is authorized by law to prevent and extinguish forest fires, and enforce all laws pertaining to forest woodlands, and prosecute for any violation of such laws. He shall carry on educational work in the State in the interest of forest preservation by means of correspondence, publications and lectures, especially in the schools of the State. It shall be his duty to co-operate with private timber owners in laying plans for protection, management and replacement of forests and in aiding them to form protective associations. It shall be his duty to examine all timbered lands belonging to the State, and report to the Conservation Commission upon their timber condition and actual value, and also whether some of those lands may not be held as State forest reserves. He shall be responsible for the protection and management of lands donated to or purchased by the State, and of all other lands reserved by the State as State forests. He shall make statistics of forest conditions, or forest resources of the State, the extent of forest injuries, conduct experiments in tree planting and note the effect of forest grazing and turpentining and along other lines of forest work. He shall prepare an annual report of the progress and conditions of the State work in forestry to the Conservation Commission and therein recommend plans for improving the State system of forest protection, management and replacement. Whenever it shall be reported to him that any person or persons engaged in a timber business subject to license tax are operating without license, he shall cause the same to be collected according to law.
Authorized to Accept Gifts of Lands.
3185. [Sec. 4.] The Governor of the State is hereby authorized to accept gifts of land to the State to be held, protected and administered by the Conservation Commission as State forests and to be used to demonstrate their practical utility for reculture and as breeding places for game. Such gifts must be absolute except for the reservation of all mineral rights, and in no case shall exceed (10) ten per cent. of the area of any parish wherein such lands may be situated. The Attorney General is
directed to see that all deeds to the State are properly executed and that the titles thereto are free and clear of all encumbrances before the gift is accepted. When any donation exceeding six hundred acres is made, the name of the donor, or any name he may suggest, on the approval of the Conservation Commission, shall be given such donation, as the designation of such reserve. Penalty for Setting Fire to Woods.
3186. [Sec. 5.] Any person that wilfully and negligently sets on fire or causes to be set on fire any wood, brush or grass land not his own; or sets on fire or causes to be set on fire any land belonging to himself and allows such fire to escape to any wood, brush or grass land not his own; and any person that wilfully suffers any fire set by himself to damage any property of another, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $20.00 nor more than $300.00, or by imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment. Every person that wilfully or maliciously sets on fire any such wood, brush or grass lands, or causes to be set on fire any such wood, brush or grass lands, whereby the property of another is injured or destroyed, shall upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $1,000.00, or by imprisonment for a term of not less than three months nor more than five months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any person who shall cause a fire in any wood, brush or grass lands by carelessly, negligently, or deliberately dropping a burning match or emptying fire from a pipe, or dropping a lighted cigar or cigarette, or discharging a combustible wad from firearms, or failing to extinguish a camp fire upon leaving it, shall be deemed guilty of setting the forest on fire.
Right to Damages for Injury by Fire.
3187. [Sec. 6.] Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the right of action for damages. The liability of persons or corporations for all damages shall include the injury to young growth resulting from fires. The damage to young growth shall be calculated as the expense of artificially planting and cultivating such small growth to the point of development at the time when the fire occurred.
Duty of Railroads.
3188. [Sec. 7.] It shall be the duty of all railroad companies operating any railroad through forest lands within this
State to keep their right of way cleared of all combustible materials and safely dispose of the same within said limits of said right of way between the fifteenth day of November and the fifteenth day of April. No railroad company shall permit its employees to leave a deposit of fire or live coals on its right of way other than between the rails, in the immediate vicinity of woodland or lands liable to overrun by fires, and when engineers, conductors or trainmen discover that fences or other materials along the right of way, or woodland adjacent to the railroad, are burning or in danger from fire they shall report the same promptly at the next telegraph station that they pass. In seasons of drought the railroad companies shall give particular instructions to their section foremen for the prevention and prompt extinguishment of fires originating on its right of way, and they shall cause warning placards furnished by the Forest Commissioners to be posted at their stations in the vicinity of the forest lands. Any railroad company wilfully violating the requirement of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for each offense, and railroad employees wilfully violating the requirements of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than fifty dollars. But this section shall not be construed to prohibit or prevent any railroad company from piling or keeping upon the right of way cross ties or other material necessary in the operation or maintenance of such railroads.
Costs of Putting Out Fires May be Assessed as Penalty.
3189. [Sec. 8.] In a prosecution for the wilful and negligent setting fire to forests, when the evidence has been conclusive on the guilt or innocence of the party or parties charged with the crime, it shall be within the discretion of the court to take evidence as to the cost of fighting the fire which the accused is charged with setting, and it shall be within the discretion of the court to assess such costs as a part of the penalty of the person or persons charged, if he shall be found guilty.
Deputy State Forester.
3190. [Sec. 9.] There shall be appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendation of the Conservation Commission, a person practically and theoretically educated in sylviculture, who shall be deputy State forester. His duties shall be as herein prescribed for the State forester, and he shall be the chief
assistant, under the supervision of the State forester, in carrying out the forests policy of the State. He shall receive a salary of $1,800.00 per annum, and, under the supervision of the State forester, shall have an allowance not exceeding $600.00 per year for office and traveling expenses, which shall be paid by the State forester from the conservation fund, established by the law of this State.
Notices of Penalties, etc., to be Posted. 1
3191. [Sec. 10.] The State forest warden shall prepare notices, printed in large letters upon cloth or strong paper, calling attention to the destruction caused by fires and to the forest fire laws and the penalties for their violation. Such notices shall be distributed to all forest wardens, parish officials, railroad and lumber companies, private citizens, officers, railroad stations, in public squares, along public highways and in other places. Any person who shall maliciously or wilfully destroy, deface, remove or disfigure any sign, poster or warning notice posted under the provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable upon conviction by a fine of not less than fifteen dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for a period of not less than ten days nor more than three months, or by both said fine and imprisonment.
Consenting to U. S. Government Acquiring Forestry Preserves.
3192. [Sec. 11.] The consent of the State of Louisiana be and is hereby given to the acquisition by the United States by purchase or gift of such land in Louisiana, not exceeding one hundred thousand acres all told, as in the opinion of the Federal Government may be needed for the establishment of a national forest reserve in this region; provided, that the State shall retain a concurrent jurisdiction with the United States in and over such lands in so far that civil process in all cases and such criminal process as may issue under the authority of the State against any person charged with a commission of any crime without or within said jurisdiction, may be executed thereon in like manner as if this Act had not been passed; that power is hereby conferred on Congress to pass such laws as it may deem necessary to the acquisition as herein provided for incorporation in said national forest reserve such forest covered or cut-over lands lying in Louisiana as in the opinion of the Federal Government may be needed; that power is hereby conferred upon Congress to pass such laws and to make or provide for the making of such rules and