AN ACT TO PROTECT BONA FIDE OWNERS OF TIMBER FROM THE UNLAWFUL CUTTING OR REMOVAL OF TIMBER FROM THEIR LANDS.
Amends GS 1-539.1, concerning damages for the unlawful cutting, removal, or burning of timber, to provide that bona fide ownership must be established by mutual agreement of the owners of adjoining parcels prior to the cutting or removal of the wood, timber, shrubs, or trees. Requires the owner of the parcel seeking to cut or remove the wood, timber, shrubs, or trees to bear the cost of a boundary line survey to establish the location of the boundary line between the affected parcels if there is a dispute over the line or if the owners fail to reach mutual agreement.
Provides that any person, firm, or corporation that cuts or removes wood, timber, shrubs, or trees from the property of another and fails to prospectively establish bona fide ownership in accordance with this statute will be presumed to have acted with willfulness and knowledge, and will (1) be liable to the owner of said land for double the value of such wood, timber, shrubs, or trees injured, cut, or removed pursuant to subsection (a) of the statute and (2) be subject to GS 1-539.2B (Double damages for injury to agricultural commodities or production systems) and GS 14-135 (Cutting, injuring, or removing another's timber).
Effective January 1, 2018.
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