§ 1001 State agency to cooperate with individuals, public agencies and United States government.
The Department of Agriculture is the agency of the State assigned plenary authority and responsibility in public forestry functions, in the conduct of which it may cooperate with individuals and public agencies including agencies of the United States in programs concerned with:
(1) The protection of forest lands from fire, disease and insect damage, including the application of control measures therefor;
(2) Establishing forest growth on denuded or nonforested lands;
(3) Aiding private forest landowners, operators and processors of primary forest products in applying desirable woodland improvement, management and harvesting practices;
(4) Forest resource research, education and surveys; and
(5) Public recreation.
§ 1002 State Forestry Fund.
(a) The State Forestry Fund is continued, to which shall be credited all amounts appropriated by the General Assembly of the State for the administration of Chapters 10, 26 and 91 of this title and all amounts received through cooperation with the United States government under the act of Congress known as the Clarke-McNary Act [16 U.S.C. § 471a et seq.], as well as all other moneys to which the Department of Agriculture or the State Forestry Fund is entitled.
(b) All revenue derived from the sale of products from state forests and from land under the administration of the Department of Agriculture, as well as all collected fees, shall be paid to the State Treasurer and credited by the Treasurer to the State Forestry Fund for use in connection with state forests.
§ 1003 Disposition of fines; report by courts of forestry law cases.
(a) All moneys received from fines imposed under Chapter 10, 26 or 91 of this title or any laws enacted for the protection of forest lands shall be paid to the Department of Agriculture and shall be deposited to the State of Delaware General Fund.
(b) Any court before which any prosecution under the forestry laws of this State is finally concluded shall, within 20 days thereafter, report in writing to the Department of Agriculture the result thereof, the amount of fine or forfeit collected, if any, and the disposition thereof, and at the same time shall remit to the Department of Agriculture all moneys received from such fines and forfeitures.
§ 1004 Agreements for prevention of forest fires.
(a) The Department of Agriculture may enter into agreements for the prevention and suppression of forest fires with county, municipal and private agencies owning or controlling woodlots, forest or wild lands, or whose activities in whole or in part are directed toward the prevention and suppression of forest fires. All expenditures shall be presented to the Department of Agriculture in monthly statements, in form and manner prescribed by the Department. The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture shall audit the same and transmit such statements to the Secretary of Finance in accordance with Chapter 65 of Title 29.
(b) The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture shall certify to the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States the amounts thus expended by the State and by private agencies and fulfill any other requirements to obtain the cooperation of the federal government toward forest protection.
§ 1005 Educational and research activities.
The Department of Agriculture may, so far as other duties will permit, carry on educational lectures and conduct exhibits on forestry within this State in the various colleges and schools of this State, and may also advance forestry education by publication. All colleges and schools supported in whole or in part by the State shall furnish such aid to the Department of Agriculture as circumstances will permit. The Department of Agriculture may also conduct investigations on forestry matters and publish for distribution literature of a scientific or general interest pertaining thereto that may promote the objects of Chapter 10, 26 or 91 of this title.
§ 1006 Distribution of tree seeds and seedlings.
The Department of Agriculture may procure, produce, sell and distribute forest tree seeds and seedlings for the purpose of establishing windbreaks and forest growth upon denuded or nonforested lands within this State, in such quantities and under such regulations as are prescribed by the Department.
§ 1007 Sale of surplus trees.
The Department of Agriculture may sell to forestry departments, boards or commissions of neighboring states any surplus supply of young forest trees that it has on hand for which there is no demand within the State, under an understanding that the same shall be distributed under regulations substantially similar to those provided for in § 1006 of this title.
§ 1008 State forests, parks, experimental stations and demonstration areas.
The Department of Agriculture may:
(1) Acquire in the name of the State, by purchase, gift or otherwise, lands for the establishment of state forests, state forest parks, experimental stations and demonstration areas, and to hold, manage, regulate, control, maintain and utilize the same, but the amount expended for the acquisition of such lands in any biennial period shall not exceed the amount appropriated for the purpose and not otherwise used;
(2) Sell or exchange such forest lands whenever it is of advantage to the state forest interests, if such sale or exchange is approved by the Governor of the State. Any deed or evidence of title necessary to be given shall be executed on behalf of the State by the Governor and shall be under the Great Seal of the State;
(3) Set aside within the state forests unusual or historic groves of trees or natural features particularly worthy of permanent preservation, make the same accessible and convenient for public use, and dedicate them in perpetuity to the people of the State for recreation and enjoyment;
(4) Lease or assign a right for any period not exceeding 10 years to any citizen, public service company, association, organization or public or private agency, on such terms and conditions as are approved by the Department, such portions of any state forest lands under the administrative control of the Department, together with such building, structure or improvement thereon as shall be deemed advisable by the Department; and
(5) Establish a program for issuing permits for various activities on state forest land. Said program shall include but is not limited to the authority to adopt standards and regulations for issuances of permits, including fees for the use of state forest property by private parties, by the Department of Agriculture. It is expressly provided that said fees collected by the Department shall be defined by Department rules and regulations and shall not affect the State appropriation or be deducted therefrom, but shall be so much additional moneys available for carrying out the provisions of this subsection, and said fees shall be paid to the State Treasurer and credited by him/her to the State Forestry Fund for carrying out the purposes of this subchapter.
§ 1009 Receipt of gifts; leases; expenditures.
(a) The Department of Agriculture may, subject to the approval of the Governor:
(1) Receive gifts, donations, contributions and leases of land;
(2) Enter into long-term leases or cooperative agreements with private persons, groups of persons, or the federal government through any of its agencies or departments for desirable lands;
(3) Make expenditures from any funds available to the Department and not otherwise allocated for managing and developing such state forest areas as, in the judgment of the Department, further the forest interests of the State.
(b) All lands or rights appertaining thereto acquired in the name of the State by the Department of Agriculture and all lands turned over to the Department by gift, devise, grant, lease, agreement or otherwise shall be held, managed, regulated and controlled by the Department under Chapters 10, 26 and 91 of this title as state forest in accordance with law, and such grant, devise, lease or agreement as is entered into by the Department as in its judgment shall be to the best interest of the people of this State.
§ 1010 Qualifications and appointment of State Forester.
The Department of Agriculture shall employ a State Forester, who shall be a technically trained forester of not less than 2 years' experience in professional forestry work.
§ 1011 Powers and duties of Department generally.
The Department of Agriculture shall have direction of all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry and woodlands within the State. The Department of Agriculture shall execute all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the State; devise and promulgate rules and regulations for the enforcement of the state forestry laws and for the protection of forest lands, and impose fines in furtherance thereof; direct the improvement of state forest lands; collect data relative to forest conditions, become familiar with and inquire into the locations of all timberland and cutover lands, and prepare maps showing the locations and areas of state forests and privately owned forests so far as available funds will permit; take such action as is authorized by law to prevent and suppress forest, brush and grass fires; enforce all laws pertaining to forest and brush covered lands and assist in the prosecution, in the name of the State, of violations of those laws; cooperate with landowners, counties and others in forest production and reforestation; and publish information on forestry as seems conducive to promoting the objectives of Chapters 10, 26 and 91 of this title.