26.02 History History: 2001 a. 109; 2011 a. 32.
26.03 26.03 Harvest of raw forest products.
26.03(1b)(1b)Definitions. In this section:
26.03(1b)(a) (a) “Harvest" means to cut, remove or transport.
26.03(1b)(b) (b) “Harvesting" means cutting, removing or transporting.
26.03(1b)(c) (c) “Raw forest products" has the meaning given in s. 26.05 (1).
26.03(1g) (1g)Prohibition; delinquent taxes. No person may harvest any raw forest products, or direct the harvest of any raw forest products, from any land for which taxes are delinquent.
26.03(1m) (1m)Harvesting upon notification.
26.03(1m)(a)1.1. Unless otherwise authorized to do so by the county, no person may harvest any raw forest products, or direct the harvesting of any raw forest products, from any land until 14 days after the clerk of the county in which the land is located is notified of the person's proposal to harvest. The person shall notify the county clerk each year and may do so in any manner acceptable to the county. Each time the person notifies the county, the person shall describe the land upon which the harvesting will occur by quarter-quarter section, government lot or fractional lot, unless the county requires a different method for describing the land. Notification under this subdivision expires on the December 31 immediately following the notification, and no person may harvest, or direct the harvesting of, any additional raw forest products from the land until further notification that complies with this subdivision is provided to the county.
26.03(1m)(a)2. 2. Upon receipt of notifications under subd. 1., the county clerk shall provide notice to the town chairperson of each town in which the land from which raw forest products will be harvested is located and to the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall determine whether the county holds a tax certificate or tax deeds to any of the land involved. If the county holds a tax certificate, the county treasurer shall take action to collect the unpaid taxes represented by county-owned tax certificates or to prevent the harvesting of raw forest products from the land. If the county holds a tax deed, the county treasurer shall take action to prevent the harvesting of raw forest products from the land.
26.03(1m)(b) (b) Paragraph (a) 1. does not apply to a person harvesting raw forest products on public lands, as defined in s. 70.13 (7), to a person harvesting raw forest products for fuel wood for his or her home consumption, to a person harvesting for the purpose of clearing the land for agricultural use or to a person harvesting from the person's own land, any of the following:
26.03(1m)(b)1. 1. Boughs for his or her own use.
26.03(1m)(b)2. 2. Up to 5 Christmas trees for his or her own use.
26.03(1r) (1r)Harvesting upon recording.
26.03(1r)(a) (a) No purchaser of Indian reservation land or land to be placed upon the tax roll for the first time may harvest any raw forest products, or direct the harvesting of any raw forest products, from the land without first recording the instrument by which title to the land was acquired in the office of the register of deeds for the county in which the land is located.
26.03(1r)(b) (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a person harvesting raw forest products for fuel wood for his or her home consumption.
26.03(1v) (1v)Exceptions. This section does not apply to the harvesting of raw forest products for the purpose of establishing or maintaining a railroad track or structure, a pipeline, or a utility right-of-way by any of the following:
26.03(1v)(a) (a) An alternative telecommunications utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (1d).
26.03(1v)(b) (b) An electric cooperative, as defined in s. 101.80 (1g).
26.03(1v)(c) (c) A public utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (5).
26.03(1v)(d) (d) A railroad, as defined in s. 195.02.
26.03(1v)(e) (e) A telecommunications carrier, as defined in s. 196.01 (8m).
26.03(1v)(f) (f) A telecommunications utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (10).
26.03(1v)(g) (g) A corporation licensed to do business in this state that is engaged in the business of transporting natural gas, petroleum products, water, or sewage through pipelines.
26.03(2) (2)Penalties.
26.03(2)(a) (a) Whoever violates sub. (1g), or a rule promulgated under sub. (1g), shall forfeit not less than $500 nor more than $10,000.
26.03(2)(b) (b) Whoever violates sub. (1m) or (1r), or a rule promulgated under sub. (1m) or (1r), shall forfeit not more than $100.
26.05 26.05 Timber theft.
26.05(1)(1)Definition. In this section, “raw forest products" means forest products not altered by a manufacturing process off the land from which they are taken and includes seedlings, saplings, shrubs, whole-tree chips, boughs, logs, pilings, posts, poles, cordwood products, pulpwood, fuel wood and Christmas trees.
26.05(2) (2)Consent of owner required. No person may cut, remove or transport raw forest products or direct the cutting, removal or transportation of raw forest products without the consent of the owner.
26.05(3) (3)Penalties.
26.05(3)(a) (a) A person who violates this section or a rule promulgated under this section is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000.
26.05(3)(b) (b) Instead of the forfeiture provided under par. (a), a person who intentionally violates this section, or a rule promulgated under this section, may be punished under s. 943.20 for theft.
26.05(3)(c) (c) In addition to any other penalty, a person who violates this section, or a rule promulgated under this section, is liable for the reasonable costs incurred to establish the volume and value of the raw forest products cut, removed or transported.
26.05 History History: 1981 c. 67; 1999 a. 190.
26.06 26.06 Enforcement, seizure and sale of materials.
26.06(1)(1)Foresters, forest supervisors, rangers and wardens of the department and the cruisers and foresters of the board of commissioners of public lands have the enforcement powers specified in s. 26.97 with respect to, and may seize, without process, any forest products unlawfully severed from public lands of the state, federal lands leased to the state, county forest lands entered under s. 28.11, forest croplands entered under subch. I of ch. 77 or managed forest land designated under subch. VI of ch. 77. Seized products cut from lands under the control of the board of commissioners of public lands shall be held for the commissioners and those cut from forest croplands, managed forest land or county forest shall be held for the owner, and subject to the payment of severance share thereon to the state. Products cut from state forest lands or federal lands leased to the department shall be appraised and sold. Products appraised at more than $500 shall be sold on sealed bids not less than 10 days after a class 1 notice has been published, under ch. 985, in the county where the material is located. Any sheriff may seize and hold for the owner thereof any forest products unlawfully severed or removed.
26.06(2) (2)Any person who, without the consent of a person legally able to give consent, removes any seized products or removes or defaces a seizure notice of the department or of any sheriff shall forfeit not less than $500 nor more than $10,000.
26.06(3) (3)Any person who transports, receives or conceals any forest products, knowing the same to have been unlawfully severed from the lands of another, shall be liable to the owner for double the value thereof and in addition shall be punished as provided in s. 943.34 (1).
26.07 26.07 Money, how disposed of. All money received from the sale of logs, lumber, shingles, timber, minerals or other articles seized under this chapter, or recovered in legal proceedings for damages done the public lands, shall be paid into the treasury to the credit of the respective funds to which the lands belong on which such trespasses were committed, and all other money collected as expenses, fees, penalties and damages for trespass on such lands shall be paid into the general fund.
26.08 26.08 Leases and licenses.
26.08(1)(1)The department may, from time to time, lease parts or parcels of state park lands or state forest lands. These leases shall contain proper covenants to guard against trespass and waste. The rents arising from these leases shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the proper fund. Licenses also may be granted to prospect for ore or mineral upon any of these lands; but proper security shall be taken that the licensees will fully inform the department of every discovery of ore or mineral and will restore the surface to its former condition and value if no discovery of valuable deposits is made. The department shall retain a copy of each lease or license and file the original in the office of the board of commissioners of public lands.
26.08(2) (2)
26.08(2)(a)(a) Except as provided under pars. (b) to (e), the department may lease state park land or state forest land for terms not exceeding 15 years.
26.08(2)(b) (b) The department may lease Rib Mountain state park lands and Willow River state park lands for terms not exceeding 30 years.
26.08(2)(bn) (bn) The department may lease state park land located within the boundaries of the Wisconsin Dells natural area for terms not exceeding 30 years.
26.08(2)(c) (c) The department may lease Kettle Moraine state forest land for the YMCA Camp Matawa for a term not exceeding 30 years.
26.08(2)(d) (d) The department may lease Northern Highland American Legion State Forest land on Statehouse Lake in the town of Manitowish Waters for the North Lakeland Discovery Center for a term not exceeding 30 years.
26.08(2)(e) (e) The department may lease state forest land located in the town of Boulder Junction to the Boulder Junction Shooting Range for terms not exceeding 30 years.
26.08(3) (3)The department shall furnish to the board of commissioners of public lands such maps, plats, surveys, valuations, information and other services as the board may request respecting any of the public lands, for use by it in granting leases or licenses or in making sales under s. 24.39.
26.09 26.09 Civil liability for unauthorized cutting, removal or transportation of raw forest products.
26.09(1b)(1b)Definitions. In this section:
26.09(1b)(a) (a) “Compass" means a sighting compass with a liquid-filled capsule that has been adjusted for the proper declination.
26.09(1b)(b) (b) “Fair market value" means the amount for which the raw forest products or land can be sold in an open market by a person willing and able but not compelled to sell and a purchaser willing and able but not obliged to buy.
26.09(1b)(c) (c) “Harvest" means to cut, remove or transport.
26.09(1b)(d) (d) “Harvesting" means cutting, removing or transporting.
26.09(1b)(e) (e) “Harvesting boundary" means the boundary of an area in which the harvesting of raw forest products is planned.
26.09(1b)(f) (f) “Owner" includes the board of commissioners of public lands if the board holds a land contract certificate under ch. 24 to the land from which the raw forest products were harvested.
26.09(1b)(g) (g) “Raw forest products" has the meaning given in s. 26.05 (1).
26.09(1b)(h) (h) “Recorded survey" means a land survey that is recorded with the register of deeds in each of the counties in which the harvesting took place.
26.09(1b)(i) (i) “Slash" has the meaning given in s. 26.12 (6) (a).
26.09(1b)(j) (j) “Stumpage value" means the applicable stumpage value established under s. 77.91 (1) or the fair market value of raw forest products less the cost of their harvesting, whichever is greater.
26.09(1b)(k) (k) “Subdivision" means a township, section, quarter-quarter section, government lot or fractional lot.
26.09(2) (2)Persons entitled to sue; exception.
26.09(2)(a)(a) In addition to any other enforcement action that may be taken and subject to par. (b), an owner of raw forest products that were harvested without the consent of the owner may bring a civil action against the person who harvested the raw forest products to recover the damages caused by the harvesting. In addition to any other enforcement action and subject to par. (b), a county in which a violation of s. 26.03 (1g) or (1r) or a rule promulgated under s. 26.03 (1g) or (1r) occurred may bring a civil action to recover damages for the violation.
26.09(2)(b) (b) An owner may not recover damages under this subsection if the person harvesting the raw forest products or the person giving consent for the harvesting reasonably relied on a written agreement among adjacent owners, or their agents, that the owner giving consent to harvest has the authority to do so even if after the harvesting it is determined that the owner giving the consent did not have such authority, but only if the harvesting is from land owned by an owner who is a party to the agreement.
26.09(3) (3)Damages.
26.09(3)(a) (a) A person against whom an action is brought as provided in sub. (2) is liable for the applicable damages under par. (b) or (c), subject to sub. (6), and other reasonable and necessary costs under par. (d).
26.09(3)(b)1.1. A court shall award damages that equal the stumpage value of the raw forest products harvested if the person harvesting the raw forest products or the person giving consent for the harvesting reasonably relied upon a recorded survey that was done by a person who is licensed under ch. 443 as a professional land surveyor even if the recorded survey is determined, after the harvesting, to be in error.
26.09(3)(b)2. 2. A court shall award damages that are equal to 2 times the stumpage value of the raw forest products harvested if a recorded survey was not relied upon as specified in subd. 1. but the person harvesting the raw forest products took reasonable precautions in identifying harvesting boundaries.
26.09(3)(b)3. 3. A court shall award damages that are equal to 4 times the stumpage value or 2 times the fair market value of the raw forest products harvested, whichever is greater, if a recorded survey was not relied upon as specified in subd. 1. and the person harvesting the raw forest products did not take reasonable precautions in identifying the harvesting boundaries.
26.09(3)(c) (c) In addition to the award under par. (b), a court shall award the owner of raw forest products that were harvested without the consent of the owner, any economic damages resulting from that harvest.
26.09(3)(d) (d) A court shall award other reasonable and necessary costs, which may include costs for any of the following:
26.09(3)(d)1. 1. Repair of damage to, or cleanup on, the land from which the raw forest products were harvested.
26.09(3)(d)2. 2. Removal of slash from agricultural land, waterways, highways, private roads, trails or other sites where the slash would interfere with reforesting or replanting.
26.09(3)(d)3. 3. Determining the fair market value, the stumpage value or the volume of the raw forest products that were harvested.
26.09(3)(d)4. 4. Determining the location of property boundaries necessary for determining whether a violation occurred.
26.09(3)(d)5. 5. Preparing forest management or reforestation plans.
26.09(3)(d)6. 6. Reforesting.
26.09(3)(d)7. 7. Replanting by direct seeding or by use of seedlings.
26.09(4) (4)Legal costs. Notwithstanding the limitations under s. 814.04, and in addition to the remedies available under s. 807.01, the court shall award the successful party in a civil action brought under sub. (2) court costs and reasonable attorney fees if the unsuccessful party, before the commencement of the action, unreasonably refused to pay a demand for damages or to accept an offer of payment for damages.
26.09(5) (5)Reasonable precautions.
26.09(5)(a) (a) For purposes of sub. (3) (b), a person takes reasonable precautions if the person does all of the following:
26.09(5)(a)1. 1. Identifies the harvesting boundaries as required under par. (b).
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)