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AGO Opinions with Topic: FOREST LAND
AGO 1981 No. 15 >  October 15, 1981
TAXATION - PROPERTY - MINERAL RIGHTS - FOREST LAND - OPEN SPACE, AGRICULTURAL AND FARM LAND
OPEN SPACE, AGRICULTURAL AND FARM LAND (1) One who owns mineral rights, separate and apart from ownership of the land itself, is not required to join the landowner in applying for classification or designation of the land as forest land, open space, agricultural and farm land, or timber land for property tax purposes. (2) A notice of continuance of classification or designation is not required to be provided when the owner of such mineral rights transfers that interest to another.
AGO 1991 No. 11 >  March 27, 1991
TAXATION - PROPERTY - AGRICULTURAL - OPEN SPACE - TIMBER LAND - FOREST LAND - ASSESSOR
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- AGRICULTURAL ‑- OPEN SPACE ‑- TIMBER LAND ‑- FOREST LAND ‑- ASSESSOR ‑- INHERITANCE OF CLASSIFIED OR DESIGNATED LAND 1.  Chapter 84.34 RCW provides for current use valuation for the purpose of property tax assessments of land classified as agricultural, open space, or timber land.  RCW 84.34.108 sets out the consequences when classified land is transferred.  The term "transfer" in RCW 84.34.108 includes a transfer of ownership by inheritance.   2.  Chapter 84.33 RCW creates a special system of taxation for property which is classified or designated as forest land.  R CW 84.33.120 and RCW 84.33.140 set out the consequences when forest land is transferred.  The term "transfer" in RCW 84.33.120 and 84.33.140 includes a transfer of ownership by inheritance.
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 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. 
AGO 1999 No. 3 >  May 10, 1999
STATE LANDS - FOREST LAND - LEGISLATURE - ENABLING ACT - TRUSTS - SCHOOLS - EDUCATION
Authority to invest principal of permanent common school fund The Legislature may by law authorize the investment of moneys in the Permanent Common School Fund, and may define by statute the manner in which such funds may be invested.
AGO 2008 No. 2 >  January 30, 2008
SCHOOL DISTRICTS - FOREST LAND - BONDS
Authority of school district to transfer surplus state forest land revenue from the district’s debt service fund to a school district capital projects fund. 1.      RCW 79.64.110(3) allows a school district to transfer surplus state forest land revenue in its debt service fund to a district capital projects fund, to the extent that such funds have not been pledged or are not otherwise necessary to satisfy the district’s bond obligations.  2.      For purposes of applying RCW 79.64.110, the Department of Natural Resources and the State Treasurer may be a source of records sufficient to determine how much forest land revenue has been credited to each school district in a given period of time.
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