Chapter 9.40
UNLAWFUL REMOVAL AND TRANSPORTATION OF CHRISTMAS TREES AND MINOR FOREST PRODUCTS

Sections:

9.40.010    Definitions.

9.40.020    Unlawful to Remove Without Consent of Owner.

9.40.030    Unlawful to Transport Illegally Removed Trees or Products.

9.40.040    Bill of Sale – When Required.

9.40.050    Load Ticket – When Required.

9.40.060    Investigation by Police.

9.40.070    Search Without Warrant.

9.40.080    Trees for Transplanting Excepted.

9.40.090    Arrest and Prosecution.

9.40.100    Penalty.

9.40.110    Severability.

Cross-references: Chapter 36.32 RCW; RCW 79.40.070

9.40.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this Chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A.    "Christmas trees" means any evergreen trees commonly known as Christmas trees, including fir, hemlock, spruce, pine and cedar trees, but excepting logs, poles, piling or other forest products from which substantially all the limbs and branches have been removed.

B.    "Cutter" or "picker" means any person, firm or corporation or agent thereof who cuts, digs, breaks or removes Christmas trees or minor forest products from private lands.

C.    "Minor forest product" means evergreen foliage, cascara bark, huckleberry brush, salal, sword ferns, rhododendron greens and huckleberries.

(Prior Code § 35.12.010)

9.40.020 Unlawful to Remove Without Consent of Owner.

It shall be unlawful for any cutter or picker in Pierce County to cut, dig, break, pick or remove from any private lands any Christmas trees or minor forest products without the consent, express or implied, of the owner or lessee thereof. (Prior Code § 35.12.020)

9.40.030 Unlawful to Transport Illegally Removed Trees or Products.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or the agent thereof, to transport over the highways of this County any Christmas trees or minor forest products which he or his agent or principal has taken from private lands without the consent, express or implied, of the landowner or his authorized lessee or agent. (Prior Code § 35.12.030)

9.40.040 Bill of Sale – When Required.

It shall be unlawful for any cutter or picker of Christmas trees, or his agent, to transport over the highways of this County more than five Christmas trees without having in his possession a dated bill of sale, certificate of ownership, or bill of lading showing the number of trees, by species, sold or transferred by any such document and showing his title thereto. (Prior Code § 35.12.040)

9.40.050 Load Ticket – When Required.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or his or their agent or employee, to transport minor forest products over the highways of this County in a quantity of more than five evergreen trees and/or five pounds of other minor forest products without having in his or their possession a load ticket signed by the driver on which will be set forth the following information:

A.    The name and address of the owner or lessee of the lands where the minor forest products were cut, broken, picked, dug or removed, or in the alternative, the legal description of the lands from where the minor forest products were taken and removed, or in the further alternative, the name and address of the person, firm or corporation from whom the minor forest products were received;

B.    The destination of the minor forest products;

C.    The date the minor forest products were taken and removed from the land or delivered to the person transporting the minor forest products; provided, further, that in the event the person transporting the minor forest products shall furnish the information hereinabove in this Section set forth to any peace officer stopping him or them for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the minor forest products are being transported in violation of this Section and, if requested, sign his name to a written statement prepared by such peace officer, incorporating the information, the signing of the written statement by the transporter shall be conclusively deemed the same as possessing a load ticket for the purpose of this Section.

(Prior Code § 35.12.050)

9.40.060 Investigation by Police.

All peace officers shall note and investigate the transportation of Christmas trees and/or minor forest products for the purpose of preventing violations of the provisions of this Chapter. (Prior Code § 35.12.060)

9.40.070 Search Without Warrant.

Any peace officer shall have the power to stop, inspect and search without warrant any person or vehicle observed transporting five or more Christmas trees and/or five or more pounds of minor forest products for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the same are being transported in violation of the provisions of this Chapter. Any hindrance or interference with any such officer so engaged shall be prima facie evidence that the person interfering with or hindering such officer is guilty of a violation of this Chapter. (Prior Code § 35.12.070)

9.40.080 Trees for Transplanting Excepted.

The provisions of Sections 9.40.030 and 9.40.070 shall not apply to the transportation of trees in course of transplantation with their roots intact. (Prior Code § 35.12.080)

9.40.090 Arrest and Prosecution.

Whenever any person, firm or corporation, or agent violates the provisions of Sections 9.40.020, 9.40.030 or 9.40.040, a peace officer may either arrest the person without a warrant and take him before any court having jurisdiction of the offense, or he may issue a summons or citation for the accused person to appear at the court named and answer a complaint to be filed therewith; provided, that at the time of making the arrest, the peace officer shall seize the trees or minor forest products and may also seize and impound the vehicle used in transporting the same, subject to the order of the court before which the arrested person is ordered to appear; provided, that if the owner of the trees or minor forest products appears before the court and presents satisfactory evidence of ownership, the court shall order the officer to deliver the trees or minor forest products to the owner. However, if the owner does not appear and prove his ownership thereof within five days, the court shall direct the officer to sell the trees and/or minor forest products, and pay the proceeds thereof to the Treasurer of the County who shall deposit same in the general fund. (Prior Code § 35.12.090)

9.40.100 Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not exceeding ninety days. (Prior Code § 35.12.100)

9.40.110 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 89-155 § 19, 1989)