Forestry Act, 1928

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Number 34 of 1928.


FORESTRY ACT, 1928.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Exclusion of particular species of trees.

3.

Applications to the Irish Land Commission.

4.

Apportionment of land purchase annuities.

5.

Notice of intention to cut trees.

6.

Compliance with statements in felling notice.

7.

Prohibition orders.

8.

Licences to fell trees.

9.

Panel of Referees.

10.

Reference of application to a referee.

11.

Compensation on refusal to grant licence.

12.

Thinning or clearing permits.

13.

Burning of shrubs.

14.

Information from sawmillers.

15.

Prosecution of offences.

16.

Regulations.

17.

Expenses.

18.

Amendment of Par. (7) of Schedule to Principal Act.

19.

Repeals.

20.

Short title and citation.

SCHEDULE.


Acts Referred to

Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922

No. 2 of 1922

Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924

No. 16 of 1924

Local Government Act, 1925

No. 5 of 1925

Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927

No. 27 of 1927

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Number 34 of 1928.


FORESTRY ACT, 1928.


AN ACT TO MAKE FURTHER AND BETTER PROVISION FOR PROMOTING AFFORESTATION AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO AMEND THE FORESTRY ACT, 1919, TO RESTRICT THE FELLING OF TREES, AND TO MAKE OTHER PROVISIONS CONNECTED THEREWITH. [10th December, 1928.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORST?T EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Definitions.

1.—In this Act—

the expression “the Minister” means the Minister for Agriculture;

the expression “the Principal Act” means the Forestry Act, 1919: the word “adapted” when used in relation to the Principal Act means adapted by the Saorstát Eireann Forestry Commissioners Order, 1927, made on the 11th day of August, 1927, by the Executive Council under section 7 of the Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922 (No. 2 of 1922) and the Saorstát Eireann Forestry Commissioners (Transfer of Functions) Order, 1927, made on the 12th day of August, 1927, by the Executive Council under section 9 of the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924 (No. 16 of 1924);

the word “tree” includes a tree of any age or at any stage of growth but does not include any fruit tree or any osier;

the word “timber” means wood which is the product of any tree;

the word “wood” save in the foregoing definition includes a plantation;

the word “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act.

Exclusion of particular species of trees.

2.—(1) The Minister may from time to time by order made under this sub-section declare that this Act or such part thereof as may be specified in such order shall not apply to any tree of the species named in such order, and whenever such an order is made this Act or such part thereof as may be so specified shall not apply to any tree of such species as long as such order remains unrevoked.

(2) An order made under the foregoing sub-section may be revoked at any time by the Minister by order made under this sub-section.

Applications to the Irish Land Commission.

3.—The following provisions shall apply in respect of every application to the Irish Land Commission under section 7 of and the schedule to the Principal Act as adapted and amended by this Act, that is to say:—

(1) every such application shall be made to and heard and determined by the Irish Land Commission exclusive of the Judicial Commissioner;

(2) an appeal shall lie to the Judicial Commissioner from every order made by the Irish Land Commission exclusive of the Judicial Commissioner on any such application;

(3) the decision of the Judicial Commissioner on an appeal under this section shall be final;

(4) no such application shall be refused unless the Irish Land Commission, exclusive of the Judicial Commissioner or, on appeal, the Judicial Commissioner is of opinion that the land to which the application relates comes within the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 7 of the Principal Act or that it is required for the purpose of relieving congestion under the Land Purchase Acts;

(5) if the Irish Land Commission (exclusive of the Judicial Commissioner) or the Judicial Commissioner, as the case may be, is satisfied that after diligent inquiry the owner of the land to which an application or appeal relates cannot be found or cannot be ascertained such application or appeal may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the said section 7, be heard and determined in the absence of such owner;

(6) an order made on any such application by the Irish Land Commission exclusive of the Judicial Commissioner or, on appeal, by the Judicial Commissioner, shall operate to extinguish as from the date of such order all grazing, turbary and other rights in the land to which such order relates subject to the payment by the Minister to the owners of such rights of compensation which shall, in default of agreement, be fixed under and in accordance with the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919;

(7) every such application and every such appeal shall be made and conducted in accordance with rules to be made by the Irish Land Commission.

Apportionment of land purchase annuities.

4.—Whenever land the subject of an order under section 7 of the Principal Act as adapted and amended by this Act is subject in conjunction with other land to an annuity payable to the Irish Land Commission, the Irish Land Commission may apportion such annuity in such manner as they may deem expedient between the land the subject of such order and such other land or may charge the whole of such annuity on any part of the land subject thereto in exoneration of the residue thereof.

Notice of intention to cut trees.

5.—(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to cut down any tree or to uproot any tree over ten years old unless, not less than twenty-one days before the commencement of the cutting down or uprooting of such tree, the owner thereof or his predecessor in title or some person on behalf of such owner or predecessor shall have given to the sergeant in charge of the Gárda Síochána station nearest to such tree a notice in writing (in this Act referred to as a felling notice) of intention to cut down or uproot such tree.

(2) Every felling notice shall be in the prescribed form and shall state the name and address of the owner by or on whose behalf such notice is given, a place in Saorstát Eireann at which documents may be served under this Act and such other particulars as may be prescribed.

(3) If any person cuts down or uproots or causes or permits to be cut down or uprooted any tree in contravention of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence under this sub-section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every tree so cut down or uprooted or caused or permitted to be cut down or uprooted, but where it is shown that the commission of the offence was the result of a bona fide mistake of fact the total penalty shall not in any event exceed £100.

(4) If any person makes in a felling notice any statement which is false or misleading in any material respect he shall be guilty of an offence under this sub-section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months.

(5) This section shall not apply to any tree in respect of which a permit has been granted by the Minister under this Act so long as such permit is in force, nor to any tree in respect of which a licence has been granted by the Minister under this Act, nor to any tree the cutting down of which is authorised under section 34 of the Local Government Act, 1925 (No. 5 of 1925), or section 98 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927 (No. 27 of 1927), nor to any tree which is the subject of a contract for the sale thereof made before the 1st day of April, 1928, where particulars of such contract verified in the prescribed manner have been furnished to the Minister within one month from the commencement of this Act and such tree is cut down or uprooted within six months from the commencement of this Act.

Compliance with statements in felling notice.

6.—(1) Where a felling notice contains a statement that a tree is being cut down or uprooted for a specified purpose, it shall not be lawful for any person to use or deal with such tree or any substantial part thereof or cause or permit the same to be used or dealt with when cut down or uprooted in pursuance of such felling notice for any purpose other than the purpose so stated in such felling notice.

(2) Every person who uses or deals with a tree or any part thereof or causes or permits the same to be used or dealt with in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every such tree, but where it is shown that the commission of the offence was the result of a bona fide mistake of fact the total penalty shall not in any event exceed £100.

Prohibition orders.

7.—(1) Whenever a felling notice has been given in respect of any tree the Minister may, unless such tree is an exempted tree within the meaning of this section, within but not after twenty one days from the date on which such notice was so given make and serve on the owner by or on whose behalf such notice was given or his successor in title an order (in this Act referred to as a prohibition order) in the prescribed form prohibiting the cutting down or uprooting of such tree.

(2) Every prohibition order shall be served either by delivering the same to the person on whom it is to be served or by leaving it for him with a person of the age of sixteen years or upwards at the place named in the said felling notice for the service of documents under this Act.

(3) Where a prohibition order has been made in respect of any tree and has been duly served in accordance with this section, it shall not be lawful for any person to cut down or uproot or cause or permit to be cut down or uprooted such tree unless at the time such tree is cut down or uprooted or caused or permitted to be cut down or uprooted a licence has been granted by the Minister under this Act in respect of such tree.

(4) If any person cuts down or uproots or causes or permits to be cut down or uprooted any tree in contravention of this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every tree so cut down or uprooted or caused or permitted to be cut down or uprooted.

(5) For the purposes of this section the following trees shall be deemed to be exempted trees, namely—

(a) a tree which is stated in the felling notice to be intended to be uprooted for the purpose of transplantation,

(b) a tree growing or standing in a county borough or urban county district,

(c) a tree growing or standing within one hundred feet of any building,

(d) a tree which is not necessary for the ornament or protection of the holding on which it stands and is stated in the felling notice to be intended to be cut down for the purpose of using the timber thereof for the construction or repair of buildings, fences or other structures on the said holding or another holding belonging to the owner of such first-mentioned holding, or on a holding belonging to another person in the immediate neighbourhood of such first-mentioned holding, or for the construction or repair of farming implements for use on any of the said holdings,

(e) a tree which is not necessary for the ornament or protection of the holding on which it stands and which is stated in the felling notice to be intended to be cut down for the purpose of using it as domestic fuel on the holding on which it stands,

(f) a tree which is dead or decayed or irremediably damaged and useless for commercial purposes,

(g) a tree in respect of which it is stated in the felling notice that such tree is standing on land purchased before the 1st day of April, 1928, and that the whole or some part of the purchase-money of such land was lent to the purchaser thereof on the terms that such tree should be cut down and sold and the proceeds thereof applied in or towards repayment of such loan and that such loan or some part thereof is still owing at the date of such felling notice and that such tree is being cut down for the purpose of complying with the said terms of the said loan,

(h) a tree in respect of which it is stated in the felling notice that the land on which such tree is standing is subject to a mortgage or charge subsisting at the passing of this Act and that such tree together with other trees (whether included or not included in such felling notice) standing on such land is a substantial portion of the security for the payment of the moneys secured by such mortgage or charge and that such tree is being cut down for sale with the intention of applying the proceeds of such sale in or towards payment of such moneys.

Licences to fell trees.

8.—(1) Whenever a prohibition order has been made and served under this Act in relation to a tree the Minister on the application of the owner of such tree made in the prescribed form and in the prescribed manner may at any time after the making of such order grant to the owner of such tree a licence in the prescribed form to cut down or uproot such tree and such licence shall operate to relieve in respect of such tree the licensee and any person authorised by him from the prohibition effected by the said prohibition order.

(2) A licence granted under this section may, if the Minister so thinks fit, contain a condition that the licensee shall, within a specified time (not being less than twelve calendar months) after cutting down or uprooting a tree under the licence, plant one or more trees of a specified kind on the holding on which such tree was cut down or uprooted and if in any such case the licensee fails to perform such condition within the time specified in that behalf in the licence he shall be guilty of an offence under this section in respect of every month during which such failure continues and shall be liable on summary conviction of any such offence to a fine, in the case of a first offence in respect of any particular licence, not exceeding five pounds and, in the case of a second or any subsequent offence in respect of the same licence, not exceeding ten pounds.

(3) Before granting a licence under this section to cut down or uproot a tree on a holding which is for the time being subject to an annuity payable to the Irish Land Commission the Minister shall have regard to the security for the payment of such annuity.

(4) Where the Minister refuses an application for a licence under this section he shall state in writing the grounds on which he has refused such application.

Panel of Referees.

9.—(1) There shall be established and maintained for the purposes of this Act a panel of referees consisting of such number of fit and proper persons as shall from time to time be found necessary for the purposes aforesaid.

(2) The members of the panel of referees shall be appointed by the Executive Council and every such member shall hold office for five years from the date of his appointment but shall be eligible for re-appointment at the expiration of any such term of office.

(3) Every member of the panel of referees shall be paid such fees and expenses for every examination and report made by him in pursuance of this Act as the Minister shall, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, direct.

Reference of application to a referee.

10.—(1) Where the Minister refuses an application for a licence under section 8 (which relates to licences to fell trees) of this Act the owner of the tree to which such application relates shall be entitled, on sending to the Minister a requisition in the prescribed form and manner and within the prescribed time and on payment of the prescribed fee, to have such application referred to a referee.

(2) Upon receipt of a requisition under the foregoing sub-section, together with the prescribed fee thereon, the Minister shall cause the said application to be referred to a referee nominated by the Minister from the panel of referees for examination and such referee shall make a report in writing to the Minister of the result of his examination.

(3) The Minister shall thereupon consider the said report and send a copy thereof to the applicant for the said licence and shall either confirm the refusal aforesaid or grant the said licence to the applicant therefor.

(4) Where the Minister grants a licence in pursuance of this section the fee paid on the requisition for examination by a referee shall be returned to the person by whom the same was paid.

Compensation on refusal to grant licence.

11.—Where a felling notice has been given in respect of any tree and the Minister, with a view to the preservation of scenic beauty, makes a prohibition order or refuses to grant a licence under section 8 (which relates to licences to fell trees) of this Act in respect of such tree, the Minister may, if satisfied of the bona fides of the intention to fell such tree, award to the owner of such tree out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas compensation on account of such order or refusal and the amount of such compensation shall in default of agreement be determined by an official arbitrator appointed under the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919.

Thinning or clearing permits.

12.—(1) The Minister may, if he so thinks fit, grant to any person a general permit in the prescribed form to cut down or uproot any trees in any specified wood or on any specified land in the ordinary course of thinning or clearing such wood either with a view to re-planting or in accordance with the general practice of good forestry.

(2) Every application for a permit under this section shall be in the prescribed form and contain the prescribed particulars.

(3) A permit granted under this section may be recalled by the Minister at any time.

Burning of shrubs.

13.—(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to burn any shrubs growing within one mile of a wood which is not the property of such person unless such person shall, not less than seven days before commencing to burn such shrubs, have given notice in writing of his intention to burn such shrubs to the owner of such wood and to the sergeant in charge of the Gárda Síochána station nearest to such wood.

(2) If any person burns any shrubs in contravention of this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.

(3) Whenever a notice has been served on the owner of a wood under sub-section (1) of this section such owner may within three days after receiving such notice serve a counter-notice on the person by whom such notice was given objecting to the proposed burning on the ground that it is liable to cause damage to such wood.

(4) If any person burns any shrub either in contravention of this section or after serving the notice required by this section and receiving a counter-notice under this section all injury occasioned by such burning to any wood in respect of which a notice ought to have been or was served under this section shall be deemed to have been caused by the negligent act of such person and damages to the extent of such injury shall be recoverable accordingly from such person by the owner of such wood.

(5) In this section the word “shrub” means hazel, gorse, whins, furze, heather, bracken, and other like plants.

Information from sawmillers.

14.—(1) Every proprietor of any sawmill or factory in which timber is sawn or converted from the round or rough state shall furnish in the prescribed form to the Minister, within twenty-eight days after being required by the Minister so to do, such information as the Minister may require in relation to the source of supply, volume, and variety of such timber so sawn or converted in such sawmill or factory.

(2) Every exporter of timber in the round or rough state shall furnish in the prescribed form to the Minister, within twenty-eight days after being required by the Minister so to do, such information as the Minister may require in relation to the source of supply, volume, and variety of such timber exported by him from Saorstát Eireann during the period specified in that behalf in the requisition.

(3) If any person on being required under this section by the Minister to furnish any information fails or refuses to furnish such information or furnishes information which is false or misleading in any material respect, or otherwise makes default in complying with this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds and in the case of a continuing offence a further fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day during which the offence is continued.

Prosecution of offences.

15.—(1) Proceedings for an offence under this Act shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Minister.

(2) Every offence under any provision of this Act may be prosecuted by or at the suit of the Minister as prosecutor.

Regulations.

16.—(1) The Minister may by order make regulations prescribing any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed.

(2) Every regulation made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which such House has sat after the regulation is laid before it annulling such regulation, such regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such regulation.

Expenses.

17.—All expenses incurred in carrying this Act into execution shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Amendment of Par. (7) of Schedule to Principal Act.

18.—Paragraph (7) of the Schedule to the Principal Act shall be construed and have effect as if the words “and profits à prendre” were inserted therein immediately after the word “casements” now contained in that paragraph.

Repeals.

19.—The enactments mentioned in the Schedule hereto are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of the said Schedule.

Short title and citation.

20.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Forestry Act, 1928, and the Principal Act and this Act may be cited together as the Forestry Acts, 1919 and 1928.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day as shall be fixed for that purpose by an order of the Minister.

SCHEDULE.

ENACTMENTS REPEALED.

Session and chapter or year and number.

Short title.

Extent of Repeal.

9 Edw. VII. ch. 42.

The Irish Land Act, 1909 .

Section 32, paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2).

9 & 10 Geo. V. ch. 58.

The Forestry Act, 1919.

Section 3, sub-section (3) from the words “any advance by way of grant” to the words “Provided also that.”

Section 7, sub-section (3).