2013-06-13 / News

Senate passes bill for uniformed wildlife enforcement law

The state Senate last week passed legislation that would make Rhode Island the 40th member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, a legal agreement between states that promotes uniform wildlife law enforcement across state boundaries.

For hunters, trappers and anglers convicted of wildlife violations, the agreement will help ease the undue burden of the legal process, says Sen. Catherine Cool Rumsey.

Rumsey introduced the bill at the request of the Department of Environmental Management.

“The outdoors doesn’t observe state boundaries,” she said. “Our outdoorsmen and women should be able to hunt, fish and trap without running into interstate legal inefficiencies.

Hunters and fishermen who are cited for wildlife violations outside their home state face a number of legal hurdles, whereas if they were to be cited for a violation in their home state, they could accept a citation at the scene and be on their way. Under the compact, a person cited for a violation in any member state would be treated as a resident of that state. They would be allowed to take their citation and not have to deal with the red tape.

Also in the agreement, license suspensions in one member state could be recognized by all other member states. If a person loses a hunting license in Rhode Island, all other member states can recognize the license suspension.

These measures are intended to make the administration of wildlife law more efficient so that officers can spend more time patrolling and less time processing violators.

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