Penn. Joins Wildlife Violator Compact, Stiffening Poaching Penalties
Pennsylvania will become the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the convicted wildlife violators will stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the compact.
On Jan. 1, 2011, Pennsylvania will become the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the convicted wildlife violators will stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the compact, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
"Pennsylvania will band together with 35 other states in a united front against convicted poachers, who steal from all citizens, most especially, law-abiding hunters,” Roe said. “Now that we are an official member of the compact, someone who loses his or her hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for certain poaching offenses, on or after Jan. 1, will lose those hunting license privileges in all states that are members of the compact. By the same token, those who lose their hunting privileges in other compact member states, on or after Jan. 1, will no longer be able to come to Pennsylvania and lawfully hunt."
Under the new law, the game commission must report to other compact states those convicted of the following offenses under the state’s Game and Wildlife Code:
- hunting or furtaking while on revocation;
- unlawful use of lights to take wildlife;
- buying and selling game;
- hunting or furtaking under the influence;
- shooting at or causing injury to a human;
- counterfeit, alter or forge a license or tag; threatened or endangered species violations;
- assault/interference or bodily injury to a wildlife conservation officer;
- illegal taking or possession of big game in closed season; and
- accumulated wildlife violations for which the penalty provided by Title 34 is no less than a summary offense of the fourth degree and the violation is not the only violation in a 24-month period.
The law also requires that the Pennsylvania Game Commission recognize the revocation of an individual's hunting privileges in other Compact states only for offenses that have the same elements of the offenses listed above.
On average, about 1,000 individuals are added to Pennsylvania's revocation list for hunting and trapping license privileges annually. Of that, only about 25 percent would be submitted to the compact.
"Coupled with the recent increase in fines and penalties for certain poaching offenses, Pennsylvania has finally slammed shut the door previously left open to convicted poachers who would willingly go from state to state and flaunt laws and regulations designed to conserve wildlife resources for current and future generations," Roe said. "It is important to note that these efforts could not have been possible without the overwhelming support from the majority of law-abiding hunters and trappers in Pennsylvania, who have long been on the vanguard of wildlife conservation."
Those states that are a member of the IWVC are: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; New York; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Wyoming.