May 19, 2017 | Forsyth, GA
The Georgia Forestry Association and the Georgia Forestry Commission will be hosting a Timber Harvest Security Forum on May 19 in Forsyth, Georgia to hold a three-year review of Georgia’s timber theft legislation, following the passage of House Bill 790 in 2014.
Landowners (corporate and private), Consulting Foresters, Loggers, Timber Buyers, Procurement Foresters, Forest Product Manufacturers, Lawyers
Schedule of Events
Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from security experts from the State Forestry Commission and the forest industry in Georgia. Download a printable version of the schedule of events →
What is House Bill 790?
On April 29, 2014, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation into law that will strengthen Georgia’s timber theft and timber trespass statutes, and improve forest operations in Georgia’s timber industry. House Bill 790 was the product of the House Study Committee on Timber Security, established by House Resolution 644. HR 644 was passed during the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly at the urging of the Georgia Forestry Association.
A few key provisions of HB 790, sponsored and championed by Representative Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville), include:
- The legislation expanded the authority of the Georgia Forestry Commission to investigate, issue warrants and make arrests in timber theft cases. Prior to House Bill 790, GFC had this authority only in arson cases.
- If timber is harvested without authorization, a landowner now may recover ‘three-times’ the value of the loss versus ‘one time’ the value.
- Scale tickets now must be provided to the timber seller within 20 days of delivery to the receiving mill. Previously, there was no deadline for providing scale tickets.
- Landowners’ exposure to liability may be reduced in the event of an overcut or other unauthorized taking of timber if the landowner takes certain steps (not required), including clearly marking property lines, having a survey conducted or executing a letter of agreement on property line location with the adjoining landowner prior to harvest, a copy of which must be provided to the timber buyer.
- The new legislation establishes a four-year statute of limitations from the time of the taking of the timber during which a landowner may pursue damages.