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CENTENNIAL TREES COMMISSION

The Centennial Decade Trees Committee (S. L. 1989, Ch. 27) was approved by the state legislature and formed as a coordinating council that functioned within the North Dakota Centennial Commission. The goal was to plant one hundred million trees by the year 2000.  This was to be accomplished with continuing appropriations and through grants and funds and in partnership with the North Dakota Forest Service. The Centennial Commission could make available funds, set an effective beginning date for the project, and provide a date for completion. Also, the Centennial Commission was authorized to adopt rules to provide for the establishment, board membership, functions, powers, and duties of the Centennial Decade Trees Committee (S. L. 1989, Ch. 27).  

A special fund known as the Centennial Tree Program Trust Fund was set up by the State Treasury for use by the Centennial Decade Trees Committee [NDCC 57-38]. Appropriations were used only for the purposes of defraying the costs associated with the ongoing promotion of the Centennial Trees Project.

Citizen involvement was encouraged through contributions. Donations could be designated on the state income tax return form by a taxpayer. The Tax Commissioner transferred the amount of the contributions to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Centennial Tree Program Trust Fund. The program began on December 31, 1988.

Also in 1989 the legislature appropriated funds to the North Dakota Forest Service to increase tree seedling production for the Centennial Tree Planting Project and gave the State Forest Service permission to borrow money for the Centennial Trees Program (S. L. 1989, Ch. 59).

In 1991 the legislature repealed the Centennial Decade Trees Committee and created the Centennial Trees Commission to be effective through June 30, 2001. A special trust fund was established in the State Treasury by recreating the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund for use by the Centennial Trees Commission (S. L. 1991, Ch. 573).

Duties of the Centennial Trees Commission included working to achieve the goal of planting one hundred million trees during the decade of the 1990s. The Commission could use funds within the limits of the legislative appropriations, or from interest accrued, or from governmental or private grants. The Centennial Trees Commission could sponsor grants to further the purpose of the program, select and appoint personnel, establish salaries, and provide for expenses to carry out the policies and directives of the Commission (S. L. 1991, Ch. 573). 

The Centennial Trees Trust Fund was a special fund coming from income earned on moneys in the fund. Money from this fund could be spent by the Centennial Trees Commission within the limits of legislative appropriations to defray the costs associated with the Centennial Trees Program. Local governments were encouraged to participate and provide financial aid or supportive services to the Centennial Trees Program. 

The members of the Centennial Trees Commission consisted of the Lieutenant Governor and six additional members appointed by the Governor for two-year terms. Vacancies were filled by appointment of the Governor. 

In 1995 the Centennial Trees Commission was abolished by the legislature in order to create the Centennial Trees Program (S. L. 1995, Ch. 503). The North Dakota State Forester administered the program. A seven member Centennial Trees Advisory Committee was appointed by the Governor to work with the State Forester in promoting the program. Funds for the program came from the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund which was based on voluntary contributions from individual tax returns and private donations.  

In 2001 the legislature (S. L. 2001, Ch. 68) transferred the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund to the newly created Trees for North Dakota Program [NDCC 4-21.2-01-03]. The State Treasurer transferred all funds from the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund to the Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund and the special fund was set up in the State Treasury with income earnings credited to the Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund.

A new section was added to the Century Code concerning the optional income tax contribution designated for the Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund [NDCC 57-38]. The State Forester deposited all program funds received from governmental or private sources into the trust fund. The purpose of the Trees for North Dakota program was to continue strengthening the tradition of tree planting and management in the state. Program funds covered the direct costs or distribution of grants and contracts by the State Forester. This was accomplished within the limits of legislative appropriations for defraying the costs associated with implementing the Trees for North Dakota Program. Authority was given to local governments to participate by providing financial aid or supportive services to the Trees for North Dakota Program (S. L. 2001, Ch. 68).

CHRONOLOGY  
1989       Centennial Commission (S. L. 1989, Ch. 27) established a Centennial Decade Trees  
Committee and a Centennial Tree Program Trust Fund. Legislation gave the North Dakota Forest Service permission to expand the seedling program by borrowing money for the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund(S. L. 1989, Ch. 59). A new section was added to Chapter 57-38 of the North Dakota Century Code. The Centennial Decade Trees Program logo was developed by artist Robert Saueressig.

1991       Legislature created the Centennial Trees Commission and repealed the Centennial  
Decade Trees Committee. Legislature established the recreated Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund (S. L. 1991, Ch. 573). 

1995       Centennial Trees Commission abolished by the legislature in order to create the  
Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund administered by the North Dakota State Forester  
(S. L. 1995, Ch. 503). 

2001       The legislature (S. L. 2001, Ch. 68) transferred the Centennial Trees Program Trust Fund to the newly created Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund. Century Code Chapter  
57-38 was enacted to establish optional contributions to Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund by taxpayers. The State Treasurer deposited the money in the Trees for North Dakota Program Trust Fund for use as provided in the Century Code [NDCC 4-21.2].   

SERIES
31872      Records

SOURCES
Brown, Patrick J. The People Celebrate: a report on North Dakota’s Centennial, 1990.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Forest Service Website.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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