SB 382 – FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 382
AN ACT relative to The New Hampshire Native Plant Protection Act of 1987.
I. Defines natural communities and exemplary natural communities.
II. Replaces “rare” with “protected” throughout.
III. Modifies language regarding the natural heritage bureau fund to facilitate reimbursement for certain mandated services.
IV. Limits the authority of the department of resources and economic development to receive and expend funds.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten
AN ACT relative to The New Hampshire Native Plant Protection Act of 1987.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
343:1 Findings and Declarations. Amend RSA 217-A:2, I-III to read as follows:
I. For human needs and enjoyment, the interests of science, and the economy of the state, native plants and natural communities throughout this state should be protected and conserved; and that [
their] native plant numbers should be maintained and enhanced to insure their perpetuation as viable components of their ecosystems for the benefit of the people of New Hampshire.
II. Native species of plants within this state and the nation that are endangered, threatened, or otherwise reduced in number or may become so because of loss, modification, or severe curtailment of their habitats, or because of exploitation for commercial, scientific, educational, or private use, should be accorded protection as is necessary to maintain and enhance their numbers.
III. This state shall assist in the protection of species of plants that are determined to be endangered[
,] or threatened[ , or of special concern] by prohibiting the taking, possession, transportation, processing, sale or offer for sale, exportation from this state, or shipment within this state of such species without required and valid federal and state permits.
343:2 New Hampshire Native Plant Protection; Definitions. RSA 217-A:3 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
217-A:3 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Commercial” means all types of activities, uses, and purposes of an industrial or trade nature including, but not limited to, the buying and selling or barter and exchange of commodities and activities conducted for the purpose of such buying and selling or barter and exchange.
II. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development.
III. “Department” means the department of resources and economic development.
IV. “Endangered species” means any species of plant that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the state, or any species determined to be an endangered species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
V. “Endangered Species Act” means the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Public Law 93-205, as amended.
VI. “Environmental review” means a natural heritage bureau review of potential impacts to protected species and exemplary natural community occurrences to enable planning, permitting, and funding.
VII. “Exemplary natural community” means a viable occurrence of a rare natural community type or a high quality example of a more common natural community type as designated by the natural heritage bureau based on community size, ecological condition, and landscape context.
VIII. “Fee” means a fee to cover the cost of services rendered or the cost of producing and providing publications and reports.
IX. “Natural area” means an area that is relatively unaffected by human activity and which contains plants, wildlife, natural communities, geological features, or scenic values of state, regional, national, or global significance.
X. “Natural Areas Council” means an association of representatives from state agencies and private conservation groups who meet every other month, or as often as necessary, to exchange information and discuss protection priorities for natural areas in New Hampshire. The administrator of the natural heritage bureau shall be a member and act as chairperson. Member organizations shall include:
(a) The division of parks and recreation.
(b) The fish and game department.
(c) The office of energy and planning.
(d) The department of agriculture, markets, and food.
(e) The water resources council.
(f) The university of New Hampshire department of plant biology.
(g) The Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
(h) The New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions.
(i) The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
(j) The Nature Conservancy.
(k) The New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association.
(l) The U.S. Forest Service.
(m) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
(n) The New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists.
XI. “Natural community” means a recurring assemblage of plants and animals found in a particular physical environment.
XII. “Natural heritage bureau” means the bureau, administered within the division of forests and lands of the department of resources and economic development which collects and analyzes data on the status, location, and distribution of native plant species and natural communities in the state, and develops and implements measures for the protection, conservation, enhancement, and management of native New Hampshire plants.
XIII. “Natural heritage inventory” means the list of protected species developed in accordance with RSA 217-A:5, I and II.
XIV. “Person” means an individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or any department or instrumentality of the federal government, of any state or its political subdivisions, or of any foreign government.
XV. “Plant” means any member of the plant kingdom, including seeds, roots, and other parts of plants.
XVI. “Protect” and “protection” means to use and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring any species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this chapter are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition, and maintenance.
XVII. “Protected species” and “listed species” means any plant species designated as endangered or threatened under this chapter.
XVIII. “Species” includes any species, subspecies, or variety of plant.
XIX. “Take” means to pick, collect, cut, transplant, uproot, dig, remove, damage, destroy, trample, kill, or otherwise disturb, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
XX. “Threatened species” means any species of plant likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the state, or any species of plant determined to be a threatened species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
343:3 Investigation and Research. Amend RSA 217-A:4 to read as follows:
217-A:4 Investigation and Research. The department shall conduct investigations on all species of plants and natural communities indigenous to and throughout this state necessary to develop information relating to population, distribution, habitat needs, limiting factors, and other biological and ecological data, and to determine protective measures and requirements necessary for their survival. The department may, at its discretion, withhold from any person information about the location and population of a species or natural community if it determines that disclosures of such information would threaten the survival of that or another species or natural community in any way.
343:4 Conservation Programs. Amend RSA 217-A:6, I-III to read as follows:
I. The commissioner shall establish programs for the protection of species listed under RSA 217-A:5 and for exemplary natural communities. These programs may include methods for the acquisition of land and interests in land that the commissioner determines is necessary for the protection of such listed species or exemplary natural communities.
II. To administer this chapter, the department may enter into agreements with federal agencies, other states, agencies or political subdivisions of this state, or [
with] individuals or private organizations for administration and management of any program established under this section or utilized for the protection of listed plant species or exemplary natural communities.
III. The department is authorized[
, with the approval of governor and council,] to receive and expend funds, donations, grants, or other moneys, gifts, or bequests not exceeding $5,000, or exceeding $5,000 with the approval of the governor and council, to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
343:5 Cooperation With Other State Agencies. Amend RSA 217-A:7 to read as follows:
217-A:7 Cooperation With Other State Agencies. All state agencies, consistent with their authority and responsibilities, shall assist and cooperate with the commissioner to carry out the purposes of this chapter. To the extent possible actions funded or carried out by state agencies shall not jeopardize the continued existence of any protected plant species or exemplary natural community.
343:6 Natural Heritage Bureau Fund Established. RSA 217-A:7-a is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
217-A:7-a Natural Heritage Bureau Fund Established.
I. The commissioner may charge a fee for screening department records for instances of protected species or environmental review, for using inventory and information services, and for publications and reports to recover the costs of providing products and services and a reasonable portion of the costs associated with building and maintaining the database.
II. Fees shall be sufficient to cover the costs of providing services and producing and providing products authorized by this chapter.
III. Fees shall be fixed in a schedule prepared and revised as necessary by the natural heritage bureau, approved by the commissioner, and established in rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A. The fees charged under this paragraph shall be deposited in the fund established in paragraph IV.
IV. There is hereby established in the office of the state treasurer a fund to be known as the natural heritage bureau fund. Moneys collected under this section and RSA 217-A:6, III shall be deposited in this fund. The fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes of providing environmental reviews, for the costs of providing publications or reports to the public, for the costs of providing inventory and information services, and to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
343:7 Rulemaking. RSA 217-A:8 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
217-A:8 Rulemaking. The commissioner of the department shall adopt rules, after public hearing and under RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. Criteria and procedures for listing endangered and threatened species under RSA 217-A:5.
II. Procedures for identifying exemplary natural communities.
III. Procedures for requests by persons or agencies for listing of plant species as endangered or threatened.
IV. Procedures for requests by persons or agencies for designating communities as exemplary.
V. Procedures for releasing information on listed plant species and exemplary natural communities.
VI. Conservation programs to protect endangered or threatened species and exemplary natural communities.
VII. Form and content of agreements with persons to protect endangered or threatened species and exemplary natural communities.
VIII. Procedures for application for and acceptance of funds for programs to protect endangered or threatened species and exemplary natural communities.
IX. Procedures for purchasing or accepting gifts of real property for purposes of this chapter.
X. Purposes for which exemptions may be granted under RSA 217-A:10, III.
XI. Administration of the fund established in RSA 217-A:7-a.
343:8 Prohibited Acts. Amend RSA 217-A:9, II to read as follows:
II. Nothing in this section shall limit the rights of private property owners to take state protected species or exemplary natural communities on their own lands.
343:9 Exemption. Amend RSA 217-A:10, III to read as follows:
III. The department may permit, under such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, any act otherwise prohibited by [
this section] RSA 217-A:9 for scientific purposes [ or], to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species, or for the conservation of exemplary natural communities.
343:10 ATV and Trail Bike Operation on State Lands; Evaluation Process; Reference Change. Amend RSA 215-A:43, I(b) to read as follows:
(b) Less than 90 percent of the property is composed of the following types of areas in combination:
(ii)] (2) Habitat necessary for the successful breeding or survival of federal or state listed endangered or threatened species; and
(iii)] (3) Forested wetlands consisting of group IIB forest soils as defined and mapped by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or non-forested wetlands as defined by the department of environmental services.
343:11 New Subparagraph; Natural Heritage Bureau Fund. Amend RSA 6:12, II(b) by inserting after subparagraph (299) the following new subparagraph:
(300) Moneys deposited in the natural heritage bureau fund established in RSA 217-A:7-a.
343:12 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: July 20, 2010
Effective Date: September 18, 2010