The State Forester shall supervise and direct all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the Commonwealth. He shall have charge of all forest wardens and shall appoint, direct and supervise persons he employs to perform labor in the forest reservations or the nurseries provided for herein, and he is authorized to employ temporary forest wardens to extinguish forest fires in the Commonwealth. He shall take such action as is authorized by law to prevent and extinguish forest fires; develop a program to promote the use of prescribed burning for community protection and ecological, silvicultural, and wildlife management; enforce all laws pertaining to forest and woodlands; prosecute any violation of such laws; develop silvicultural best management practices, including reforestation, prevention of erosion and sedimentation, and maintenance of buffers for water quality, pursuant to Article 12 (§ 10.1-1181.1 et seq.) of this chapter; collect information relative to forest destruction and conditions; direct the protection and improvement of all forest reservations; and, as far as his duties as State Forester will permit, conduct an educational course on forestry at the University of Virginia for credit toward a degree, at farmers’ institutes and at similar meetings within the Commonwealth. He shall provide for the protection of state waters from pollution by sediment deposition resulting from silvicultural activities as provided in Article 12 (§ 10.1-1181.1 et seq.) of this chapter. In addition, the State Forester shall cooperate with counties, municipalities, corporations and individuals in preparing plans and providing technical assistance, based on generally accepted scientific forestry principles, for the protection, management and replacement of trees, wood lots and timber tracts and the establishment and preservation of urban forests, under an agreement that the parties obtaining such assistance shall pay the field and traveling expenses of the person employed in preparing such plans.
1986, c. 567, § 10-31.4; 1988, c. 891; 1989, c. 215; 1993, c. 948; 1997, c. 7; 1998, c. 156; 1999, c. 220; 2000, c. 997.