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Woods and Forests

State Regulation

A state may properly compel and encourage private owners to participate in programs for the reforestation of land. It can mandate that private property owners who are engaged in commercial lumbering operations provide for reforesting by leaving a certain number of trees for reseeding purposes, or by restocking the area with seedlings. The property owner's logging permit can be granted with the condition that he participate in the reforestation program.

A state can also give its forestry department the authority to arrange for the planting of roadside trees and to regulate the cutting and trimming of trees along the highways. In addition, various state statutes have been enacted to provide for the nurture and protection of shade and ornamental trees on public streets and highways. These statutes are based on a state's POLICE POWER, which is to be used to promote the GENERAL WELFARE of its citizens.

State laws require precautions to be taken against forest fires. The state can prevent property owners from setting fires during the summer without permission, or it can authorize a state forester to determine whether an owner of forest land has provided sufficient protection against fire. During drought periods, when the fire danger is increased, the public may be prohibited from entering forests and woodlands.

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