Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to strengthen wildlife protection in the state by fully entering Michigan into the multistate Wildlife Violator Compact.
The state Department of Natural Resources can now suspend the hunting, fishing and trapping licenses of poachers who are found in violation in any of the compact's 38 other member states. Participating states will be able to suspend the license of their residents who violate Michigan game laws.
"This bill gives the DNR further capabilities to enforce the Wildlife Violator Compact in our state, which will help protect our wildlife population by more effectively cracking down on poachers," Snyder said.
Senate Bill 16, sponsored by state Sen. Howard Walker, also provides criteria for an appeal process and requires the DNR to notify residents of this state of any suspension, the opportunity for an evidentiary hearing, and obligation to surrender their licenses. The penalty for not surrendering any licenses would be a misdemeanor.
A person who fails to answer a citation or who fails to comply with an order or judgment relating to hunting, fishing, or trapping must appear in court within seven days or comply with an order or judgment within 14 days. If the person fails to comply, the court will notify the DNR and the department will suspend the violator's hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and notify the person of the suspension.
The bill also authorizes the department to amend the provisions or withdraw from the compact.
SB 16 is now Public Act 37 of 2013.
Visit michiganlegislature.org for more information.