STOCK RESTRICTED AREA
The county commissioners may make an addition to an already created stock restricted area where the area added is less than two miles.
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September 28, 1950
Honorable Joe L. Johnson
Prosecuting Attorney, Cowlitz County
Kelso, Washington Cite as: AGO 49-51 No. 350
We have your letter of September 22, 1950, in which you ask the following question:
May the county commissioners of this county make an addition to an area which has been designated as a stock restricted area, where the area to be added is less than two square miles.
The conclusions reached may be summarized as follows:
The county commissioners may make such an addition.
Your letter reads as follows:
"The County Commissioners of this county desire to add to an area which has been designated as a stock restricted area. The part to be added is less than two square miles in area.
"Under Section 3068, Remington's Revised Statutes Supplement, it is provided that any area designated as a stock restricted area shall be not less than two square miles in area. Section 3070-1 provides that the boundaries of any stock restricted area may be changed.
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"The situation we now have is illustrated by the accompanying sketch. Section four is not a restricted area and sections five, six, seven, eight and nine are restricted areas. It is desired to change the boundaries of the present restricted area by adding thereto, section four.
"Will you please advise me as to whether or not in your opinion, this can be legally done."
The law applicable to stock restricted areas is chapter 40, Laws of 1937, being 3068, 3069, 3070, 3070-1, 3070-2, and 3070-3, Rem. Rev. Stat. Supp.
We know of no Supreme Court decision which directly bears upon the question submitted. Section 3070-1,supra provides:
"When the county commissioners of any county deem it advisable to change the boundary or boundaries of any stock restricted area, a hearing shall be held in the same manner as provided in section 3069 of Remington's Revised Statutes. If the county commissioners decide to change the boundary or boundaries of any stock restricted area or areas, they shall within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of such hearing make an order describing said change or changes. Such order shall be entered upon the records of the county and published in a newspaper having general circulation in such county once each week for four successive weeks."
In an opinion to the Prosecuting Attorney of Chelan County dated March 22, 1943, we held in substance that county commissioners might remove all the area from a stock restricted area. Our opinions to the Prosecuting Attorney of Stevens County dated September 13, 1941, to the Prosecuting Attorney of Pacific County dated April 11, 1941, to the Prosecuting Attorney of Grant County dated June 4, 1949 [[Opinion No. 49-51-55]], and to the Prosecuting Attorney of Adams County dated June 21, 1950, all bear upon the question submitted, although they do not specifically answer such question. We enclose all of the above‑mentioned opinions for your observation.
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You state that sections 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are, at present, stock restricted areas and that the areas intended to be included is section 4. We know that sections 5, 8, and 9 immediately adjoin section 4.
The restriction as to the size of a stock restricted area is found in section 3068,supra. We believe that such restriction relates only to the formation of an original stock restricted area, and to have no application where it is intended to enlarge or reduce the area of a present existing stock restricted area.
Section 3070-1,supra authorizes the county commissioners, whenever they deem it advisable, to change the boundary or boundaries of any stock restricted area, all as provided in said section. We cannot believe that the Legislature intended any limitations upon the right of the county commissioners to change the boundaries of a stock restricted area once established, either as to the inclusion or exclusion of an area within the amended stock restricted area. We believe our opinions above‑mentioned bear out such conclusion.
We, therefore, directly advise you that in our opinion, the county commissioners of your county may legally change the boundaries of the existing stock restricted area so as to include section 4 therein, if they follow the prescribed statutory procedure for so doing.
Very truly yours,
Assistant Attorney General