Sump blasts Forest Practices Board's adoption of emergency rules for RMAPS

Dec 5, 2003, 19:07


Rep. Bob Sump today blasted the Forest Practice Board's newly adopted emergency rules for road maintenance and abandonment planning requirements. He called the move a blatant disregard of last year's legislation, which exempted small landowners from the (RMAPs) and streamlined the environmental checklist for medium-sized forest landowners who harvest less than 2 million board-feet of timber per year. House Bill 1095 passed the Legislature with unanimous support and was signed into law in May.

"I am surprised by the blatant disregard of the intent and expressed words in House Bill 1095," said Sump, R-Republic. "It seems every time we turn around the Legislature is forced to go to battle with agency bureaucrats who are bent on adopting rules based on their own agendas."

During the 2003 session, the Legislature unanimously passed House Bill 1095, to provide regulatory and economic relief for small forest landowners.

Sump said the new rules adopted by the Forest Practices Board took irresponsible liberties by either omitting key language or adding language which is nowhere to be found in the legislation.

"Many of the rules clearly add to the power and authority to regulate against small forest landowners," said Sump. "They simply fly in the face of the intent of the legislation."

He called a rule, which gives the agency more authority to force small forest landowners to remove fish blockages, a direct rejection of language in HB1095. The bill stated that a small forest landowner would not have to replace a permitted culvert unless one hundred percent public funding was provided.

"I believe the board's actions are an erroneous interpretation and application of the law," said Sump. "I never cease to be surprised by the arrogance of the agencies creating these rules. It is often said the most dangerous politician is the non elected bureaucrat. The Forest Practice Board rules have proven this to be true."

Rep. Sump sent a letter to Department of Natural Resources Chairman Doug Sutherland, formally requesting the rules which are not in accordance with HB 1095 be repealed.

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