Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGO 1951 No. 417 - January 08, 1951
AGO Opinion Header Image
Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

STATE FOREST LANDS ‑- AUTHORITY OF COUNTIES TO CONVEY ‑- WITHDRAWN FROM SALE --DEEDS ‑- AFTER ACQUIRED TITLE CARRIED

A deed executed by a county under the authority of chapter 126, Laws of 1935, carries with it any title which the county may thereafter acquire.

                                                                   - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                  January 8, 1951

Honorable Raymond C. Sly
Prosecuting Attorney
Skamania County
Stevenson, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 417

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of December 15, 1950, asking the following question:

            Does a deed of Skamania County conveying lands in that county, designated as state forest lands before the county had acquired title to the same through tax foreclosure proceedings, carry the title afterwards acquired by Skamania County?

            You are advised:

            A deed executed by a county under the authority of chapter 126, Laws of 1935, carries with it any title which the county may thereafter acquire.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            In acquiring title the county acted as an agent of the state and held the lands in trust for the state.

                        Gustaveson v. Dwyer, 78 Wash. 336, 139 Pac. 194; on rehearing, 83 Wash. 303, 145 Pac. 458

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            The land having been designated as state forest lands was reserved from sale.  Section 7, chapter 154, Laws of 1923 (Rem. Rev. Stat. 5812-7).

            The proper state officials administering these lands under the provisions of chapter 154, Laws of 1923 (Rem. Rev. Stat. 5812-1 et seq.); and chapter 126, Laws of 1935 (Rem. Rev. Stat. Supp. 5812-3b), have rejected the application of the Silver Star Logging Company to purchase the timber situated thereon and have paid to the county officials, as required by the acts cited, an average of $6.23 per acre for the period ending June 30, 1950.

            The legislature has passed two remedial acts, chapter 84, Laws of 1941 and chapter 185, Laws of 1945.  The 1941 act authorizes the conveyance of such lands to counties where the same had been sold to bona fide purchasers before being designated as forest lands.  The 1945 act applies only to lands deeded by Klickitat County determined to be more suitable for agriculture than for forest purposes.

            Skamania County was without power to sell these lands to private parties.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo