Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2246
By: Ellis, Dan
Agriculture & Livestock


Investigating the crime of timber theft is challenging for law enforcement
officials because of the potentially outdated language regarding timber
harvesting.  A paper trail of ownership of timber may ease the burden of
investigating this crime.  House Bill 2246 requires landowners and sellers
to provide a bill of sale each time timber changes ownership and
establishes penalties.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 2246 amends the Natural Resources Code to delete provisions
relating to branding and floating timber, and modifies and updates
provisions relating to the bill of sale for the purchase of trees and
timber. The bill requires the bill of sale, which may be filed of record in
the appropriate real property records, to include representations and a
warranty from the seller, the name of the owner of the land from which the
trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips (wood products) were or
are to be obtained, and the name of the county in which the wood products
were or are to be obtained.  The bill authorizes and entitles the purchaser
of the wood products conveyed in the bill of sale to rely on the
information required to be provided by the seller to be incorporated into
the bill of sale, as well as on the representations and warranty of the
seller (Sec. 151.002).  The bill requires the person that purchases the
wood products to retain the bill of sale for not less than two years
following the later of the date of execution of the bill of sale or the
expiration date referenced in the bill of sale (Sec. 151.003).  The bill
requires a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard, at
specified points of delivery, to post written notice concerning the sale or
purchase of trees or timber (Sec. 151.004).  The bill provides that a
seller or purchaser who knowingly fails to provide, obtain, or retain a
bill of sale is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense.
The bill provides that a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage
yard that knowingly fails to post the notice concerning the sale of trees
or timber is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine
of not more than $500 for each offense (Sec. 151.005).  The bill sets forth
provisions regarding cumulative penalties and civil liability (Secs.
151.007 and 151.008). 


September 1, 2001.