Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3286
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Full Text of HB3286  100th General Assembly




State of Illinois
2017 and 2018


Introduced , by Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy


740 ILCS 185/1  from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9401
740 ILCS 185/2  from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9402
740 ILCS 185/2.5 new
740 ILCS 185/2.6 new
740 ILCS 185/2.8 new
740 ILCS 185/3  from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9403
740 ILCS 185/3.5 new
740 ILCS 185/4  from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9404
740 ILCS 185/4.5 new
740 ILCS 185/4.7 new

    Amends the Wrongful Tree Cutting Act. Changes the definition of "stumpage". Defines "protected land" and "qualified professional forester or ecological restoration professional". Provides that any party found to have intentionally cut or knowingly caused to be cut any standing timber or tree, other than a tree or woody plant referenced in the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, on protected land, and the party did not have the legal right to so cut or cause to be cut, must pay the person or entity that owns or holds a conservation right to the land 3 times stumpage value plus remediation costs. Provides that nothing in the Act limits the rights of a party to pursue causes of action under other laws, including any available common law remedies for damages. Limits the relief available under the Act. Provides that the court shall allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses incurred. Makes changes in provisions concerning appraisals and findings of value and expenses. Adds provisions concerning: remediation plans; court-ordered determinations of costs; assistance by the Department of Natural Resources; and use of awards under the Act. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Wrongful Tree Cutting Act is amended by
5changing Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 and by adding Sections 2.5,
62.6, 2.8, 3.5, 4.5, and 4.7 as follows:
7    (740 ILCS 185/1)  (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9401)
8    Sec. 1. As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise
9requires, the term:
10    (a) "Stumpage value" means the value of timber as it stands
11uncut in terms of an amount per unit of volume expressed as
12dollar value per board foot for that portion of a tree or
13timber deemed merchantable by Illinois forest products markets
14standing tree.
15    (b) "Department" means the Department of Natural
17    (c) "Director" means the Director of Natural Resources.
18    (d) "Party" means any person, partnership, firm,
19association, business trust or corporation.
20    (e) "Protected land" means land in public or private
21ownership that is:
22        (1) subject to a permanent conservation right
23    consistent with the Real Property Conservation Rights Act;



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1        (2) registered or designated as a Nature Preserve,
2    buffer or Land and Water Reserve under the Illinois Natural
3    Areas Preservation Act;
4        (3) owned by a conservation land trust meeting
5    requirements as set forth in Section 501(c) of the United
6    States Internal Revenue Code; or
7        (4) owned by a local, State, or federal agency and
8    primarily used for one or more conservation purposes, such
9    as wildlife habitat, erosion control, energy conservation,
10    natural community restoration, general reforestation,
11    timber production, or research.
12    (f) "Qualified professional forester or ecological
13restoration professional" means a person who holds any
14necessary licenses and has performed the type of remediation
15work necessary as part of the person's profession for greater
16than 30% of his or her working hours during each of the
17preceding 3 years.
18(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)
19    (740 ILCS 185/2)  (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9402)
20    Sec. 2. Except as provided in Sections 2.5, 2.7, and 7, any
21Any party found to have intentionally cut or knowingly caused
22to be cut any timber or tree, other than a tree or woody plant
23referenced in the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, which he or she did
24not have the full legal right to cut or cause caused to be cut
25shall pay the owner of the timber or tree 3 times its stumpage



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2(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
3    (740 ILCS 185/2.5 new)
4    Sec. 2.5. Trees intentionally cut or knowingly caused to be
5cut on protected land. Any party found to have intentionally
6cut or knowingly caused to be cut any standing timber or tree,
7other than a tree or woody plant referenced in the Illinois
8Exotic Weed Act, on protected land, which he or she did not
9have the legal right to so cut or cause to be cut, must pay 3
10times stumpage value plus remediation costs to the party that
11owns an interest in the land, including but not limited to
12holding a conservation right to the land. Remediation costs
13include one or more of the following:
14        (1) cleanup to remove trees, portions of trees, or
15    debris from trees cut, damaged, moved, placed, or left as a
16    result of tree cutting from perennial drainage ways or
17    water holding basins;
18        (2) soil erosion stabilization and remediation for
19    issues that were not pre-existing;
20        (3) remediation of damages to the native standing trees
21    and other native woody or herbaceous plant understory;
22        (4) remediation of damages to the native tree
23    understory through coppicing, planting of potted native
24    trees, planting of native tree seedlings as individual
25    practices or in combination as deemed appropriate under



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1    Section 3.5 of this Act. Any work under this item (4) must
2    be done by a qualified professional forester or ecological
3    restoration professional;
4        (5) associated exotic invasive plant species control
5    for a period of 3 years with one treatment per year on
6    those portions of the property where trees were wrongfully
7    cut if prior to the encroachment there had been an active
8    and ongoing effort made to control the plants, and due to
9    the disturbance, advantage was given to pre-existing or new
10    exotic invasive plant growth. Exotic plant control must be
11    done by a qualified professional forester or ecological
12    restoration professional;
13        (6) seeding of annual grass to skid trails; or
14        (7) staff salaries, contractor fees, and materials as
15    directly related, documented, and required to address
16    remediation costs under this Section.
17    (740 ILCS 185/2.6 new)
18    Sec. 2.6. Remediation plan. The court may order parties
19that seek remediation costs for damage to protected land under
20Section 2.5 to develop a remediation plan pursuant to Section
213.5 of this Act. The remediation plan shall delineate the steps
22to address remediation costs identified under Section 2.5 of
23this Act.
24    (740 ILCS 185/2.8 new)



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1    Sec. 2.8. Remedies. Nothing in this Act limits the rights
2of a party to pursue causes of action under other laws,
3including any available common law remedies for damages. A
4plaintiff may bring an action and recover damages under any
5applicable Section of this Act; however, if more than one
6Section applies to a given wrongfully cut tree, the plaintiff
7may bring an action and recover damages under only one
8applicable Section of this Act.
9    (740 ILCS 185/3)  (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9403)
10    Sec. 3. The courts of this State may order the Director or
11his representative to secure 3 three independent value
12appraisals to determine the stumpage value of wrongfully cut
13timber or trees under Section 2 of this Act. Such order must
14shall state the reason the value information is needed, the
15parties involved in the action, the area to be examined and
16other information needed by the Department to carry out its
17responsibilities. The court must instruct all All parties to
18the court action shall be instructed to make themselves
19available to the Department at reasonable times to assist in
20the location of areas and material to be examined. Unless
21otherwise ordered by the court, the parties shall bear equally
22the cost of expenses Expenses incurred, including but not
23limited to those for surveys, consulting services, attorney's
24fees, and administrative costs, shall be borne equally by the
25parties unless otherwise ordered by the court. The court shall



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1allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses
3(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
4    (740 ILCS 185/3.5 new)
5    Sec. 3.5. Court-ordered determination of costs. The court,
6upon evaluating whether independent appraisals are necessary
7and appropriate in matters arising under Section 2.5 of this
8Act, may order up to 3 independent appraisals of stumpage
9value, and further order the development of a plan detailing
10remediation strategies and their estimated cost, in
11conformance with Section 2.6 of this Act. Appraisals of
12stumpage value must be conducted by a professional consulting
13forester, who is and has been practicing his or her profession
14for a minimum of 50% of his or her working hours for the
15previous 3 years. Remediation plans must be prepared in
16consultation with a professional forester or biologist
17experienced in ecosystem restoration following a timber
18harvest, and may be implemented by the landowner or the
19landowner's designee. The court shall determine which party
20will bear the expense of conducting the appraisals and
21developing the remediation plan. The court may request that the
22Director or his or her representative assist in securing
23independent appraisals and advise the court as to adequacy of
24costs and measures in the remediation plan. The court shall
25allow a plaintiff who prevails to recover the cost of expenses



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2    (740 ILCS 185/4)  (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 9404)
3    Sec. 4. Within 90 30 days after the Department is ordered
4to establish value appraisals under Section 3, it shall notify
5the court of its findings of value and expenses. The court
6shall then average the appraisals and award triple the average
7value and make final determination as to which party or parties
8shall pay expenses. The failure of any party to make full
9payment within the time limits set by the court or to cooperate
10with the Department shall be considered contempt of court.
11(Source: P.A. 84-138.)
12    (740 ILCS 185/4.5 new)
13    Sec. 4.5. Department assistance. If the court requests
14assistance from the Department pursuant to Section 3.5 of this
15Act, within 90 days after the Department is provided
16independent appraisals and remediation plans for review, the
17Department shall provide the appraisals or valuations,
18remediation plan, and advice to the court. Otherwise, the
19parties shall directly provide the court with any ordered
20appraisals or valuations and a remediation plan pursuant to
21Section 3.5 of this Act. The court shall then make a final
22determination on the adequacy of the remediation plan and the
23appraised value to address remediation costs under Section 2.5
24of this Act. The court shall award triple the stumpage value



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1plus remediation costs and expenses in accordance with any
2approved remediation plan.
3    (740 ILCS 185/4.7 new)
4    Sec. 4.7. Use of award. Monetary awards for remediation
5costs of wrongfully cut trees under Section 2.5 of this Act
6must be used for costs related to remediation, restoration, or
7enhancement of the conservation value of the impacted property
8for protection, restoration, or enhancement. This Section does
9not apply to the use of awards for the stumpage value of trees
10wrongfully cut.
11    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
12becoming law.