1-339.13A. Public sale of timber by sealed bid; appraisal; bid procedure.

(a) When a sale of timber by sealed bid is ordered, the person holding the sale, before giving notice of the sale, shall:

(1) Obtain one or more appraisals of the timber to be sold;

(2) Determine the place at which and the manner and form in which sealed bids should be submitted;

(3) Determine the first date on which sealed bids will be accepted, which shall not be less than five days after the date on which the notice of sale is first published pursuant to G.S. 1-339.17; and

(4) Determine the date, time, and place at which sealed bids will be opened.

(b) Each appraisal obtained pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be made by a registered professional forester or other person qualified by training and experience to appraise the timber to be sold. Copies of all appraisals obtained pursuant to this section shall be included in the report required under G.S. 1-339.24. A person conducting an appraisal pursuant to this section, including a partnership, corporation, company, or other business of the appraiser, may not submit a bid on the timber which is the subject of the appraisal. An appraisal conducted pursuant to this section shall remain confidential until the appraisal is filed with the report of sale pursuant to G.S. 1-339.24. The contents of the appraisal shall not be divulged by the appraiser to any person other than the person holding the sale nor may the appraiser conduct an appraisal of the timber for any other person until after the sale is confirmed.

(c) All sealed bids received on or after the first date set for submitting bids and, at or before the time set for opening the bids, shall be opened publicly at that time at the place set for doing so. If the minimum number of bids is received and there is only one highest bid, that bid shall be announced at that time; the highest bidder is the purchaser, and all bidders shall immediately be notified of that fact. If the minimum number of bids is not received, or if two or more bids in the same amount are the highest bids, that fact shall be announced at that time, and all bidders shall immediately be notified of that fact; the person holding the sale shall then obtain a new order of sale. (1997-83, s. 6.)