APPROVED by Governor June 1, 2009
EFFECTIVE June 1, 2009
S.B. 09-24 Game damage – eligibility for prevention materials – timeliness of response by division of wildlife – liability for claims – issuance of permits to take wildlife – annual report on game damage issues – appropriation. Makes every landowner in the state eligible to receive temporary game damage prevention materials from the division of wildlife in the department of natural resources (division). Allows a landowner to obtain permanent game damage prevention materials if the landowner does not unreasonably restrict the hunting of species likely to cause damage, and:
The landowner charges not more than $500 per person, per season, for big game hunting access on or across the landowner’s property; or
If the landowner charges in excess of $500, the landowner has requested and been denied permanent game damage prevention materials from the habitat partnership program administered by the division and the division determines that excessive game damage is occurring, and may continue to occur in the future.
Requires the division to contact a landowner who has submitted an inquiry related to game damage within 2 business days of receiving the inquiry. Mandates that, within 5 business days after receiving a request for game damage prevention materials, the division shall consult with the requesting landowner about sufficient and appropriate game damage prevention materials. Unless otherwise agreed to by the landowner and the division, requires temporary game damage prevention materials to be delivered within 15 business days of the consultation. States that permanent game damage prevention materials shall be provided to an eligible landowner within 45 days of the landowner’s request for such materials.
Clarifies that the state shall be liable for any damages attributable to insufficiency or unsuitability of the game damage prevention materials provided by the division or the inappropriate or insufficient erection of game damage prevention materials.
Increases to $500 the maximum amount of a fee, beyond which the state is relieved of liability for damage caused by wildlife, that a landowner may charge per person, per season, for big game hunting access on or across the landowner’s property.
Requires the division to consult with the property owner when determining whether the owner’s property has sustained excessive damage due to wildlife. Encourages the division to issue permits to take wildlife when the wildlife causing the damage exceeds the objective set for that geographical area for that year. Adds designees of property owners to the list of persons eligible to receive a permit to take wildlife when excessive damage occurs. Allows a property owner to request the wildlife commission to review a denial of a request for such permit to take wildlife. Prohibits such permits from being issued or used in violation of local firearms restrictions.
Commencing with the 2010 legislative session, requires the division to report annually to the senate agriculture and natural resources committee and the house agriculture, livestock, and natural resources committee on game damage and game damage prevention issues. Specifies the minimum information to be included in the report. Sets January 31 as the annual date by which the report must be made.
Appropriates $600,000 from the wildlife cash fund to the department of natural resources, division of wildlife, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009, appropriates $1,450,000 from the wildlife cash fund to the department of natural resources, division of wildlife, special purpose, game damage claims and prevention, for implementation of the act.
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Yeah! This is quite startling. In this time of extreme budget and economic hardship–read, “every landowner,” “encourages the division to issue permits to take wildlife,” “clarifies that the state shall be liable for any damages.” (Note: firearms restrictions DO NOT apply to appropriate law enforcement (e.g., DOW) personnel.) (LINK)