2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 6 - FOREST RESOURCES AND OTHER PLANT LIFE
ARTICLE 1 - FOREST RESOURCES
PART 1 - STATE FORESTRY COMMISSION
§ 12-6-5 - Powers and duties of commission generally; volunteer services
. Powers and duties of commission generally; volunteer services
(a) The commission shall have power and authority:
(1) To take all action appropriate to foster, improve, and encourage reforestation;
(2) To engage in research and other projects for the ascertainment and promulgation of better forestry practices;
(3) To offer aid, assistance, and technical advice to landowners relative to the preservation and culture of forests;
(4) To receive gifts or donations made to it and to expend the same under the terms of such gifts or donations;
(5) To conduct and direct fire prevention work and maintain equipment, personnel, and installations for the detection, prevention, and combating thereof;
(6) To publish in print or electronically and distribute the results of its research and investigations;
(7) To cooperate and contract with other agencies and instrumentalities of government, either county, municipal, state, or national, and with private persons or concerns for the advancement of the forests of this state; and
(8) To engage in land conservation projects as provided by Chapter 6A of this title.
(b) (1) The director is authorized to accept, without regard to the State Personnel Administration laws, rules, or regulations, the services of individuals without compensation as volunteers for or in aid of fire tower operation, urban tree planting and inventories, seedling deliveries, insect surveys and evaluations, tours and field days, staffing exhibits, facility maintenance, beautification projects, and any other activity in and related to the objectives, powers, duties, and responsibilities of the commission.
(2) The director is authorized to provide for reimbursement of volunteers for incidental expenses such as transportation, uniforms, lodging, and subsistence. The director is also authorized to provide general liability coverage and fidelity bond coverage for such volunteers while they are rendering service to or on behalf of the commission.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, a volunteer shall not be deemed to be a state employee and shall not be subject to the provisions of law relating to state employment including, without limitation, those relating to hours of work, rates of compensation, leave, unemployment compensation, retirement, and state employee benefits.
(4) Volunteers performing work under the terms of this Code section may be authorized by the department to operate state owned vehicles. They may also be treated as employees of the state for the purposes of inclusion in any automobile liability insurance or self-insurance, general liability insurance or self-insurance, or fidelity bond coverage provided by the commission for its employees while operating state owned vehicles.
(5) No volunteer shall be authorized or allowed to enter privately owned or operated lands, facilities, or properties, except for emergency fire fighting purposes, without the express prior written permission of the owner or operator of such privately owned or operated lands, facilities, or properties; provided, however, such prohibition shall not apply to lands, facilities, or properties leased to the State of Georgia.
(c) The commission shall have the power and authority to create, establish, and operate a program or programs to facilitate, amplify, or supplement the objectives and functions of the commission through the use of volunteer services including, but not limited to, the recruitment, training, and use of volunteers.
(d) The enumeration of specific powers in this Code section shall not be construed as a denial of others not specified in this Code section.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer