SENATE TAX, BUSINESS AND TRANSPORTATION
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE BILL 419
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2021
RELATING TO THE PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE; NARROWING CONDITIONS FOR LANDOWNER TAKING OR KILLING ANIMALS ON PRIVATE LAND; REVISING PROVISIONS FOR TAKING OR WASTING OF GAME; AMENDING PROVISIONS REGARDING THE BIG GAME DEPREDATION DAMAGE FUND.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 17-2-7.2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1997, Chapter 224, Section 3) is amended to read:
"17-2-7.2. LANDOWNER TAKING--CONDITIONS--DEPARTMENT
A. A landowner or lessee, or employee of either, may take or kill an animal, on private land in which [they have] the landowner or lessee has an ownership or leasehold interest, including game animals and other quadrupeds, game birds and fowl, that presents an immediate threat to human life [or an immediate threat of damage to property, including crops]; provided, however, that the taking or killing is reported to the department [of game and fish] within twenty-four hours and before the removal of the carcass of the animal killed, in accordance with [regulations] rules adopted by the commission.
B. A landowner or lessee, or employee of either, may take or kill [animals] an animal, on private land in which [they have] the landowner or lessee has an ownership or leasehold interest, including game animals and other quadrupeds, game birds and fowl, that [present] has damaged or presents a threat [to human life or] of damage to property, including crops, according to [regulations] rules adopted by the commission.
C. The [regulations] rules promulgated by the commission pursuant to Subsection B of this section shall:
(1) provide when, whether and by what manner and method a species can be taken or killed in order to mitigate damage;
[(1)] (2) provide a method for filing a complaint to the department by the landowner or lessee, or employee of either of them, of the existence of a depredation problem;
[(2)] (3) provide for various departmental interventions, depending upon the type of animal and depredation;
[(3)] (4) require the department to offer at least three different interventions, if practical;
[(4)] (5) require the department to respond to the initial and any subsequent complaints within ten days with an intervention response to the complaint and to carry out the intervention, if agreed upon between the department and the landowner, within five days of that agreement;
[(5)] (6) permit the landowner or lessee to reject for good cause the interventions offered by the department; and
[(6)] (7) require a landowner or lessee to demonstrate that the property depredation is greater in value than the value of any wildlife-related income or fee collected by the landowner or lessee for permission to take or kill an animal of the same species on the private property or portion of the private property identified in the complaint as the location where the depredation occurred. [and
(7) permit the landowner, lessee or employee, when interventions by the department have not been successful and after one year from the date of the filing of the initial complaint, to kill or take an animal believed responsible for property depredation.
C.] D. For purposes of this section:
(1) "commission" means the state game commission;
(2) "department" means the department of game and fish; and
(3) "intervention" means a solution proposed by the department to eliminate the depredation."
SECTION 2. Section 17-2-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1977, Chapter 70, Section 1, as amended) is amended to read:
"17-2-8. UNLAWFUL TAKING OF BIG GAME AND WASTE OF GAME.--
A. It is unlawful for any person:
(1) who hunts or fishes and takes any game mammal designated in [Paragraphs] Paragraph (1), (2), (3), [or] (4), (9) or (10) of Subsection A of Section 17-2-3 NMSA 1978, any game bird or any game fish to fail to transport the edible portions of the meat obtained to the person's home for human consumption or to provide for the human consumption thereof under any commission [regulations] rules pertaining to exportation, transportation and donation of game;
(2) who wounds or may have wounded any game mammal designated in [Paragraphs] Paragraph (1), (2), (3), [or] (4), (9) or (10) of Subsection A of Section 17-2-3 NMSA 1978 to fail to go to the place where the mammal sustained or may have sustained the wound and make a reasonable attempt to track the mammal and reduce it to possession; or
(3) to take or kill a bighorn sheep, ibex, oryx, Barbary sheep, elk, deer or pronghorn antelope, javelina, bear or cougar outside of the legal season or without a valid license, which taking or killing results in waste of the animal. Waste of the animal consists of removing from the animal only the head, antlers or horns of a bighorn sheep, ibex, oryx, Barbary sheep, elk, deer, pronghorn antelope or javelina, the pelt or head of a bear or cougar or abandoning any of the four quarters, backstraps or tenderloins of the carcass. A violation of the provisions of this paragraph is intended to be separate from and cumulative to any other violation of Chapter 17 NMSA 1978.
B. Violation of Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of this section is a fourth degree felony pursuant to Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978, and violation of Paragraph (1) or (2) of Subsection A of this section is a misdemeanor pursuant to Section 17-2-10 NMSA 1978."
SECTION 3. Section 17-3-13.4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2001, Chapter 213, Section 2) is amended to read:
"17-3-13.4. BIG GAME DEPREDATION DAMAGE FUND--CREATION--EXPENDITURE.--
A. The "big game depredation damage fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations made to the fund, revenues received by the department of game and fish from the sale of big game depredation damage stamps and earnings from the investment of the fund. The fund shall be administered by the department, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department to carry out the provisions of Subsection B of this section. Payments from the fund shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration upon vouchers signed by the director of the department or [his] the director's authorized representative. Balances in the fund shall not revert to any other fund.
B. The department of game and fish shall, by rule, establish a program to correct damage to federal, state or private land caused by big game and to prevent such damage in the future. Pursuant to rules adopted by the department, expenditures from the big game depredation damage fund shall be made by the department to carry out the established program [provided that money in the fund shall not be expended for any administrative costs]."
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is January 1, 2022.
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