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AGO Opinions with Topic: DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
AGO 1961 No. 27 >  April 4, 1961
CIVIL SERVICE - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - PERSONS COVERED UNDER INITIATIVE NO. 207
CIVIL SERVICE ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- PERSONS COVERED UNDER INITIATIVE NO. 207 (1 and 2) The Commissioner of Public Lands and the Board of Natural Resources are not covered by the new state civil service law.(3) Confidential secretaries and administrative assistants in the immediate administrative structure of the office organization of an elected official are not covered by the civil service law.(4) Part time or seasonal help in the Department of Natural Resources who have been determined by the Director to be skilled or unskilled labor employed temporarily on force‑account construction and maintenance projects or employed on temporary seasonal single phases of agricultural production or harvesting are not covered by the civil service law.
AGO 1991 No. 8 >  March 11, 1991
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES - TIDELANDS - PUBLIC FUNDS - CULTIVATION OF CLAMS
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES ‑- TIDELANDS ‑- PUBLIC FUNDS ‑- CULTIVATION OF CLAMS 1.  Laws of 1919, ch. 166, which was repealed in 1949, granted owners of Bush Act tidelands the right to cultivate clams in addition to oysters.  Article 8, sections 5 and 7, of the Washington Constitution, prohibit gifts of public funds.  Under the court's contemporary construction of article 8, sections 5 and 7, Laws of 1919, ch. 166 is not clearly unconstitutional and anyone challenging the law would have a heavy burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that the law is unconstitutional. 2.   Rights acquired under a statute can vest if one substantially changes position in reliance on the statute, even if it is later repealed.  The repeal of Laws of 1919, ch. 166, in 1949, did not extinguish the right to cultivate clams granted by the law for those owners of Bush Act tidelands who were cultivating clams in 1949 when the act was repealed.  3.   When the Legislature repealed Laws of 1919, ch. 166, it did not indicate how long any vested right to cultivate clams might continue.  The Legislature may adopted legislation to eliminate or phase out whatever vested rights remain to cultivate clams, provided that the conditions under which such rights are phased out or discontinued are reasonable.
AGO 1962 No. 164 >  September 12, 1962
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - FIRE SEASON PERMITS - INFLAMMABLE MATERIAL
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- FIRE SEASON PERMITS ‑- INFLAMMABLE MATERIAL Any person desiring to burn any inflammable material in a forested or nonforested part of any county in which there is a warden or ranger must obtain a burning permit, during the fire season prescribed by state law, from the supervisor of natural resources or the warden or ranger unless the material is contained in an approved device.
AGO 1975 No. 10 >  May 15, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - THERMAL POWER PLANT SITE EVALUATION COUNCIL - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - GOVERNOR - CERTIFICATION OF THERMAL POWER PLANT SITES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- THERMAL POWER PLANT SITE EVALUATION COUNCIL ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- GOVERNOR ‑- CERTIFICATION OF THERMAL POWER PLANT SITES A certification, approved by the governor under chapter 80.50 RCW, may authorize the withdrawal of such public waters as are required for use in the operation of a thermal power plant.
AGO 1963 No. 46 >  August 5, 1963
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - BED OF OCEAN BEYOND OUTER HARBOR LINES - AUTHORITY OF DEPARTMENT TO LEASE FOR PURPOSES OF OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- BED OF OCEAN BEYOND OUTER HARBOR LINES ‑- AUTHORITY OF DEPARTMENT TO LEASE FOR PURPOSES OF OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION Section 1, Article XV, of the Washington State Constitution as amended by Amendment 15, does not prohibit the department of natural resources from leasing to private corporations submerged land located seaward from the outer harbor lines for the purposes of oil and gas exploration.
AGO 1992 No. 20 >  September 8, 1992
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - FOREST PRACTICES BOARD - DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY - CITIES AND TOWNS - COUNTIES - FOREST LAND - ZONING
Conversion of Forest Land to a Use Other Than Commercial Timber Production 1.  RCW 76.09.060(3) provides that a forest practices application shall indicate whether any land covered by the application will be converted or is intended to be converted to a use other than commercial timber production within three years after completion of the forest practices described in it.  If the application does not state conversion is intended, for six years after the date of the application, a local government may deny all applications for permits or approvals relating to nonforestry uses of land subject to the application.  2.  If a prior landowner did not indicate an intention to convert land to a use other than commercial timber production, RCW 76.09.060 empowers a local government to deny application for permits or approvals relating to nonforestry uses of land subject to the application filed by a subsequent owner of the land for six years after the date of the application by the prior landowner. 3.  If a local government does not exercise its authority to deny applications for permits or approvals relating to nonforestry uses of land pursuant to RCW 76.09.060, a new landowner may convert the land to a use incompatible with timber growing, assuming such a change is lawful in other respects.  4.  If a local government does not exercise its authority to deny applications for permits or approvals relating to nonforestry uses of land pursuant to RCW 76.09.060, a new forest practices application is necessary if the activity is a forest practice for which a forest practices application is required.
AGO 1992 No. 29 >  December 8, 1992
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - FUNDS - INTEREST
Applicability of Requirement That Interest be Placed in the General Fund to Certain Funds Administered by the Department of Natural Resources 1.  RCW 43.84.092 provides that, with certain exceptions, earnings of investments of surplus balances in the state treasury shall be credited to the general fund.  This requirement does not apply to constitutionally and statutorily designated trust assests, which may not be diverted for a nontrust purpose.2.  Interest earned on the Park Land Trust Revolving Fund may not be credited to the general fund.3.  Interest earned on the School Construction Revolving Fund may not be credited to the general fund except to the extent such interest represents earnings on any unexpended portion of a 1990 appropriation from the general fund;4.  Subject to any prior claims to pay debt service on bonds issued by the Department, as described in RCW 76.12.110, interest on the Forest Development Account is to be credited to the general fund; and5.  Interest earned on the Access Road Revolving Fund is to be credited to the general fund.
AGO 1996 No. 11 >  August 1, 1996
STATE - LANDS - FOREST LAND - LEGISLATURE - BOARD OF NATURAL RESOURCES - LANDS - COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS
State's trust responsibilities with respect to lands granted by the United States or placed in trust through state legislation 1. The Enabling Act facilitating the admission of Washington into the union (25 Stat. 676) is a limitation on state legislative authority and requires that federal grant lands be held in trust; exercises of legislative authority over federal grant lands will be tested by fiduciary principles. 2.  Common law trust principles are instructive with respect to the administration of federal trust lands by the State, but the Legislature's management decisions are accorded a deference not granted a private trustee because of the presumption of constitutionality that applies to exercises of state legislative authority. 3.  Federal and state laws of general application (such as the Endangered Species Act) apply to federal grant lands administered by the State. 4.  The State's duties as trustee of federal grant lands run separately to each trust; joint administration is permissible where it serves the interests of each trust, so long as each trust is separately accounted for. 5.  The State must separately account for each federal land grant trust, and maintain separate funds or accounts to that end. 6.  The Legislature may lawfully delegate to the Department of Natural Resources and the Commissioner of Public Lands a role in administering forest lands within the State, including federal grant lands, while simultaneously authorizing the same agency and officer to play a role in regulating such lands. 7.  In its administration of federal trust lands, the Department of Natural Resources is not subject to chapters 11.98, 11.100, 11.106 or 11.110 RCW. 8.  The Department of Natural Resources has the authority to satisfy the requirements of the Endangered Species Act by entering into a long-term management plan, so long as the plan does not violate the Department's common law or statutory duties regarding the federal grant land trusts. 9.  The exercise of discretion by the Department of Natural Resources with respect to administration of federal grant lands will be tested against an abuse of discretion standard; as against a trust beneficiary, principles regarding a trustee's exercise of discretion would apply, while as against a non-beneficiary, principles of administrative law would apply. 
AGLO 1979 No. 10 >  February 9, 1979
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - FOREST - FIRE
FUNDING STATE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION PROGRAM The State Department of Natural Resources may not expend monies from the Resource Management Cost Account or the Forest Development Account, over and above payment of fire patrol assessments under RCW 76.04.360, to fund the costs of the Forest Fire Protection Program provided for in chapter 76.04 RCW.
AGLO 1975 No. 88 >  October 29, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - TIMBER
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF RESTRICTIONS UPON LOG EXPORTS (1) Proposed legislation requiring all timber sold by the state, including that standing on lands covered by §§ 1 and 2, Article XVI of the state constitution, to be primarily processed by a manufacturing establishment employing Washington residents and situated within the United States would probably be unconstitutional under the commerce clause of Article I, § 8 of the United States Constitution and would be at least questionable under §§ 1 and 2, Article XVI of the state constitution.
AGLO 1977 No. 15 >  April 7, 1977
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - SHORELANDS - CONSTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PIER
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- SHORELANDS ‑- CONSTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PIER The department of natural resources does not have the legal authority under existing law to permit an upland owner whose land abuts on second class shorelands owned by the state of Washington to construct a private pier on such shorelands without charge.
AGLO 1973 No. 19 >  February 2, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - SALE OF TIDE OR SHORE LANDS - RESERVATION OF MINERAL RIGHTS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- SALE OF TIDE OR SHORE LANDS ‑- RESERVATION OF MINERAL RIGHTS When the department of natural resources sells, transfers or exchanges state, tide or shore lands to another governmental agency under the provisions of RCW 39.33.010, the contract of sale and deed does not have to contain the reservations of mineral rights set out in RCW 79.01.224.
AGLO 1973 No. 73 >  July 5, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - SHORELINES MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1971 - TIMBER - STATE LANDS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ‑- SHORELINES MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1971 ‑- TIMBER ‑- STATE LANDS(1) (1) In order to engage in the logging of timber within "shorelines of the state" as that term is used in chapter 90.58 RCW, the Shorelines Management Act of 1971, a person will be required to obtain a permit under RCW 90.58.140 (2) under certain factual circumstances.
 
(2) The Shorelines Management Act of 1971 applies to the activities of the state department of natural resources on state‑owned lands under its administrative jurisdiction where such lands are within the "shorelines of the state."
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