Text: S.187 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/26/1993)

 
[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 187 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

103d CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 187

 To protect individuals engaged in a lawful hunt on Federal lands, to 
establish an administrative civil penalty for persons who intentionally 
 obstruct, impede, or interfere with the conduct of a lawful hunt, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             January 26 (legislative day, January 5), 1993

Mr. Burns (for himself, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Bond, 
  Mr. Sasser, Mr. Kempthorne, and Mr. Reid) introduced the following 
bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To protect individuals engaged in a lawful hunt on Federal lands, to 
establish an administrative civil penalty for persons who intentionally 
 obstruct, impede, or interfere with the conduct of a lawful hunt, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Recreational Hunting Safety and 
Preservation Act of 1993''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) recreational hunting, when carried out pursuant to law 
        (as implemented by the regulations of Federal and State 
        wildlife management agencies) is a necessary and beneficial 
        element in the proper conservation and management of healthy, 
        abundant, and biologically diverse wildlife resources;
            (2) recreational hunters (because of a generally 
        demonstrated concern with the conservation of wildlife 
        resources and preservation of habitat necessary for the 
        breeding and maintenance of healthy wildlife populations, and 
        through a familiarity with the resources gained from experience 
        in the field) are a valuable asset in ensuring enlightened 
        public input into decisions regarding management and 
        maintenance programs for wildlife resources and habitat;
            (3)(A) recreational hunting supports industries highly 
        significant to the national economy through sales in interstate 
        commerce of sporting goods; and
            (B) the Federal excise taxes imposed on the sales provide a 
        major source of funding for vital programs of wildlife 
        conservation and management;
            (4) various persons are engaging in (and have announced an 
        intent to continue to engage in) a variety of disruptive 
        activities with the premeditated purpose of preventing and 
        interfering with the conduct of lawful recreational hunting on 
        Federal lands, which activities--
                    (A) place both recreational hunters and the 
                disruptive persons in imminent jeopardy of grave 
                physical injury or death;
                    (B) disrupt the peaceful, lawful, and prudent 
                conduct of wildlife population and habitat management 
                programs by Federal and State wildlife management 
                agencies; and
                    (C) ultimately may alter the planned program 
                objectives, resulting in--
                            (i) undesirable patterns of activity within 
                        populations of wildlife;
                            (ii) the endangerment of the future 
                        viability of wildlife species; and
                            (iii) damage to habitat values;
            (5) Federal lands comprise important wildlife habitat 
        resources that--
                    (A) support many large, diverse, and vital 
                populations of wildlife; and
                    (B) offer significant opportunities for legal 
                recreational hunting as an important management tool to 
                ensure the future viability of the wildlife 
                populations;
            (6) it is the right of citizens of the United States freely 
        to enjoy lawful recreational hunting on Federal lands in 
        accordance with regulations promulgated by Federal and State 
        wildlife management agencies; and
            (7) in many instances under current law, vagueness and 
        ambiguity exist regarding the application of State laws and 
        enforcement activities relating to--
                    (A) the safety of hunters; and
                    (B) the legal rights of recreational hunters to 
                participate peacefully in lawful hunts on Federal 
                lands.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this Act:
            (1) Federal lands.--The term ``Federal lands'' means--
                    (A) national forests;
                    (B) public lands;
                    (C) national parks; and
                    (D) wildlife refuges.
            (2) Lawful hunt.--The term ``lawful hunt'' means an 
        occasion when an individual is engaged in the taking or 
        harvesting (or attempted taking or harvesting) through a legal 
        means and during a specified legal season of a wildlife or 
        fish, on Federal lands, which activity--
                    (A)(i) is authorized by or licensed under the law 
                of the State in which it takes place; or
                    (ii) is regulated by game or fishing seasons 
                established by the State in which it takes place;
                    (B) is not prohibited by a law of the United 
                States; and
                    (C) does not infringe upon a right of an owner of 
                private property.
            (3) National forest.--The term ``national forest'' means 
        lands included in the National Forest System (as defined in 
        section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources 
        Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a))).
            (4) National park.--The term ``national park'' means lands 
        and waters included in the national park system (as defined in 
        section 2(a) of the Act entitled ``An Act to facilitate the 
        management of the National Park System and miscellaneous areas 
        administered in connection with that system, and for other 
        purposes'', approved August 8, 1953 (16 U.S.C. 1c(a))).
            (5) Public lands.--The term ``public lands'' has the same 
        meaning as is provided in section 103(e) of the Federal Land 
        Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702(e)).
            (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means--
                    (A) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to 
                national forests; and
                    (B) the Secretary of the Interior with respect to--
                            (i) public lands;
                            (ii) national parks; and
                            (iii) wildlife refuges.
            (7) Wildlife refuge.--The term ``wildlife refuge'' means 
        lands and waters included in the National Wildlife Refuge 
        System (as established by section 4 of the National Wildlife 
        Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd)).

SEC. 4. OBSTRUCTION OF A LAWFUL HUNT.

    (a) Violation.--It is unlawful for a person knowingly and with the 
intent of obstructing, impeding, or interfering with a lawful hunt by 
an individual to--
            (1) obstruct, impede, or otherwise interfere with a lawful 
        hunt by an individual;
            (2) scare, herd, harass, decoy, or otherwise engage in 
        activities designed to affect wildlife on Federal lands;
            (3) engage in activities that prevent or impede the 
        reasonable and usual means of access by those individuals who 
        intend to participate in a lawful hunt, whether the activities 
        occur on Federal lands or upon a public or private road, 
        highway, path, trail, or other normal route of access to 
        Federal lands;
            (4) take or abuse property, equipment, or hunting dogs 
        being used in conjunction with a lawful hunt; or
            (5) enter onto Federal lands, travel in interstate 
        commerce, use the United States mails or an instrumentality of 
        interstate telephonic or electronic communications, or 
        transport or cause to be transported in interstate commerce a 
        material or item, to further--
                    (A) a scheme or effort to obstruct, impede, or 
                otherwise interfere with a lawful hunt; or
                    (B) the efforts of another person to obstruct, 
                impede, or interfere with a lawful hunt.
    (b) Multiple Violations.--The Secretary may consider participation 
by a person in more than one of the activities described in this 
section to constitute multiple violations.

SEC. 5. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    (a) In General.--A person who engages in an activity described in 
section 4 shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than $500, and 
not more than $5,000, for each violation.
    (b) Violation Involving Force or Violence.--Upon a determination by 
a court that the activity involved the use of force or violence, or the 
threatened use of force or violence, against the person or property of 
another person, a person who engages in an activity described in 
section 4 shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than $1,000, 
and not more than $10,000, for each violation.
    (c) Relationship to Other Penalties.--The penalties established by 
this section shall be in addition to other criminal or civil penalties 
that may be levied against the person as a result of an activity in 
violation of section 4.
    (d) Procedure.--
            (1) Complaints from government agents.--Upon receipt of a 
        written complaint from an officer, employee, or agent of the 
        Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park 
        Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or other 
        Federal agency that a person violated section 4, the Secretary 
        shall--
                    (A) forward the complaint to the United States 
                Attorney for the Federal judicial district in which the 
                violation is alleged to have occurred; and
                    (B) request the Attorney General of the United 
                States to institute a civil action for the imposition 
                and collection of the civil penalty specified in 
                subsection (a) or (b).
            (2) Complaints from individuals.--Upon receipt of a sworn 
        affidavit from an individual and a determination by the 
        Secretary that the statement contains sufficient factual data 
        to create a reasonable belief that a violation of section 4 has 
        occurred, the Secretary shall--
                    (A) forward a complaint to the United States 
                Attorney for the Federal judicial district in which the 
                violation is alleged to have occurred; and
                    (B) request the Attorney General of the United 
                States to institute a civil action for the imposition 
                and collection of the civil penalty specified in 
                subsection (a) or (b).
    (e) Use of Penalty Money Collected.--After deduction of costs 
attributable to collection, money collected from penalties shall be--
            (1) deposited into the trust fund established pursuant to 
        the Act entitled ``An Act to provide that the United States 
        shall aid the States in wildlife-restoration projects, and for 
        other purposes'', approved September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. 669) 
        (commonly known as the ``Pitman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration 
        Act''), to support the activities authorized by such Act and 
        undertaken by State wildlife management agencies; or
            (2) used in such other manner as the Secretary determines 
        will enhance the funding and implementation of--
                    (A) the North American Waterfowl Management Plan 
                signed by the Secretary of the Interior and the 
                Minister of Environment for Canada in May 1986; or
                    (B) a similar program that the Secretary determines 
                will enhance wildlife management--
                            (i) on Federal lands; or
                            (ii) on private or State-owned lands when 
                        the efforts will also provide a benefit to 
                        wildlife management objectives on Federal 
                        lands.

SEC. 6. OTHER RELIEF.

    (a) Injunctive Relief.--Injunctive relief against a violation of 
section 4 may be sought by--
            (1) the head of a State agency with jurisdiction over fish 
        or wildlife management;
            (2) the Attorney General of the United States; or
            (3) any person who is or would be adversely affected by the 
        violation, or a hunting or sportsman's organization to which 
        the person belongs.
    (b) Damages and Attorney's Fees.--Any person who is or would be 
adversely affected by a violation of section 4, or a hunting or 
sportsman's organization to which the person belongs, may bring a civil 
action to recover--
            (1) actual and punitive damages; and
            (2) reasonable attorney's fees.

SEC. 7. RELATIONSHIP TO STATE AND LOCAL LAW AND CIVIL ACTIONS.

    (a) Law or Ordinance.--This Act is not intended to preempt a State 
law or local ordinance that provides for civil or criminal penalties 
for a person who obstructs or otherwise interferes with a lawful hunt.
    (b) Civil Action.--The bringing of an action pursuant to this Act 
shall not prevent an independent action against a person under a State 
law or local ordinance.

SEC. 8. REGULATIONS.

    The Secretary may issue such regulations as are necessary to carry 
out this Act.

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