When any person is convicted of failing to leave seed trees uncut as required by § 10.1-1164, the judge shall require the person so convicted to immediately post with the court a cash deposit or a bond of a reputable surety company in favor of the State Forester in the amount of thirty dollars for each seed tree cut in violation of this article. The total amount of the cash deposit or bond for any one acre shall not exceed $ 240.The judge shall cause the cash deposit or surety bond to be delivered to the State Forester, who shall hold the cash or surety bond in a special account until it is used or released as hereinafter provided. The purpose of the cash or surety bond is to ensure that the general cutover area on which seed trees have been cut in violation of this article shall be planted with tree seedlings of the same species as the trees cut in violation of this article in a manner hereinafter specified.For each acre on which trees have been cut in violation of this article, a number up to 600, as determined by the State Forester, of tree seedlings shall be planted on the general cutover area on which seed trees were cut in violation. Each seedling shall be planted in a separate hole at least six feet from any other planted seedling. Seedlings shall be planted at least six feet from any sapling or tree which may shade the planted seedling from direct sunlight. If stems of noncommercial species prevent the planting of tree seedlings in the manner herein described on any area in violation, a sufficient number of such stems shall be cut, girdled or poisoned to permit the required number of seedlings to be planted. The seedlings shall be planted during the period of the year when forest tree seedlings are customarily planted in the section of the Commonwealth in which the cutover area is located. After receipt of the tree seedlings from the nursery, care shall be taken to keep the seedling roots in a moist, uninjured condition at all times prior to actual planting, and the seedlings shall be planted in a careful, workmanlike manner. Planted seedlings shall be of the same tree species as the seed trees cut in violation, or if two or more seed tree species are cut in violation, the species of the planted seedlings shall be in proportion to the seed trees cut in violation. The above specified manner of planting and tree species planted shall be observed whether the planting is done by the person found in violation of this article or by the State Forester.A person convicted of violating this article may plant tree seedlings on the general cutover area of the species and in the manner specified herein within one year following the date of conviction. Upon completion of the planting, the person shall immediately notify the State Forester in writing that the area has been planted. The State Forester or his representative shall then inspect the area and if he finds the planting to be done in accordance with the specifications set forth, he shall notify the person in writing and return the cash deposit or surety bond to the person depositing it.If, upon inspection, the State Forester finds that the general cutover area or any part thereof has not been planted in the manner and during the period of year specified, or that the area has not been planted previous to one year following the date of conviction, the State Forester shall then plant the area during the next planting season, and do such forest cultural work as he deems necessary by reason of the delayed planting, keeping a careful and accurate account of all costs incurred, including a reasonable administrative cost. Following completion of the planting the State Forester shall prepare a certified statement showing the cost of planting, which shall be paid from the cash deposit, or if a surety bond has been deposited the State Forester shall collect the cost of planting from the bonding company. The State Forester shall then submit to the person making the deposit a certified statement of the cost of planting, together with any cash remaining after paying the cost of planting and forest cultural work.The State Forester shall not be required to expend for planting and forest cultural operations more than thirty dollars per seed tree cut in violation of this article.
1956, c. 75, § 10-79.1; 1960, c. 269; 1972, c. 163; 1988, c. 891; 1996, c. 285.