S.187 - Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1993103rd Congress (1993-1994)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Burns, Conrad R. [R-MT] (Introduced 01/26/1993)|
|Committees:||Senate - Energy and Natural Resources|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 01/27/1993 Referred to Subcommittee on Public Lands, National Parks. (All Actions)|
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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. <all>