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Parks And Wildlife Law Enforcement Statutes Cleanup

Concerning the enforcement of laws administered by the division of parks and wildlife, and, in connection therewith, modifying parks and wildlife statutes to correct vague and contradictory provisions of law and remove obsolete provisions of law.
2020 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

The act modifies various provisions relating to the enforcement of parks and wildlife statutes as follows:

  • Clarifies that any person, not just a hunter, may be prosecuted for violations of parks and wildlife statutes;
  • Amends the definition of "take" to clarify that the term includes the killing of wildlife with certain exceptions;
  • States that licenses issued by the division of parks and wildlife (division) are not subject to the "Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act";
  • Specifies the default penalties that apply to a person who is convicted of a violation of a parks and wildlife statute or rule promulgated under those statutes that does not list a specific penalty;
  • Extends the period of time within which an alleged offender may pay fines and surcharges identified in a penalty assessment notice issued to the alleged offender from 15 days to 20 days and authorizes personal service or service by certified mail of a summons and complaint or a penalty assessment notice;
  • Authorizes the parks and wildlife commission or a hearing officer to suspend a person's license issued by the division for a failure to comply with an official notice of an alleged violation of the parks and wildlife statutes. The suspension is lifted once the person furnishes or causes to be furnished to the division satisfactory evidence of compliance with the official notice of an alleged violation.
  • Makes the imposition of additional penalties regarding the unlawful taking of trophy animals permissive instead of mandatory;
  • For the purposes of hunting in a careless manner, amends the definition of "careless" and authorizes a lesser fine for a person who hunts in a careless manner while hunting with a big game license for a type of animal different than the type of animal killed and who immediately field dresses the killed animal and reports the killing to the division;
  • Amends the definition of "vessel" to include all types of stand-up paddleboards and excludes from the definition of "river outfitter" a person whose only service is providing instruction in stand-up paddleboarding;
  • Authorizes a person to possess a loaded pistol or revolver while snowmobiling and clarifies that the division may authorize certain conduct while operating a snowmobile that is otherwise unlawful; and
  • Prohibits a river outfitter, guide, trip leader, or guide instructor from allowing another person to operate a vessel without due regard for river conditions or other attending circumstances or in a manner that endangers any person, property, or wildlife. A person who violates the prohibition commits a class 3 misdemeanor.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details