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NJ JOINS INTERSTATE WILDLIFE COMPACT

New Jersey joins the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact as of December 1, 2017, which means suspended hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in other states may carry over to the Garden State.

By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  December 5, 2017
NJ JOINS INTERSTATE WILDLIFE COMPACT
NJDEP Commission Bob Martin, shown here on the left speaking with a concerned New Jersey angler at a rally in Point Pleasant last January, has announced a new interstate partnership which would honor license suspensions among member states.

Have you lost your license to fish or hunt in another state because of continued violations? Well, don’t expect to find sanctuary in the state of New Jersey!

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has a new tool to use in efforts to enforce wildlife laws as the state joins the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

The compact – first developed in western states in the mid-1980s – recognizes the importance of deterrence through the suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and privileges in all member states resulting from violations concerning the pursuit, possession or taking of a wide range of wildlife, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, shellfish, and crustaceans.

New Jersey’s membership began as of December 1, 2017.

“This cooperative and proactive interstate strategy will greatly enhance our Division of Fish and Wildlife’s ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.

“Any person who has their license privileges suspended in one member state may now also have them suspended in all other member states,” Martin said in an NJDEP release last week, adding that the compact also prevents convicted poachers who are under revocation in one state from hunting, fishing, or trapping in other states.”

For the purposes of the compact, the term “license” means any license, permit, or other public document which conveys to the person to whom it was issued the privilege of pursuing, possessing, or taking any wildlife regulated by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule of a participating state.

In New Jersey this definition includes all-around sportsman, firearm hunting, trapping, bow and arrow, freshwater fishing, recreational crab pot, non-commercial crab dredge and shellfish licenses, various hunting and trapping permits, pheasant & quail and New Jersey waterfowl stamps, striped bass bonus tags, and saltwater registry certificates.

License and privilege suspensions resulting from wildlife violations committed on or after December 1, 2017 in New Jersey may result in the reciprocal suspension of license privileges in member states. If a person plans to hunt, fish, or trap in another state, and has a license privilege suspension in New Jersey, it is their responsibility to contact the other state to verify if they may legally hunt, fish, or trap there.

New Jersey residents who fail to comply with the terms of a citation or summons issued for a wildlife violation in another member state may face a $50 fine and the suspension of all privileges to take or possess wildlife in New Jersey until the citation has been satisfied. Failing to appear in court or to otherwise answer a ticket or summons issued for such violations will also result in license, permit, and privilege suspension.

“Our agency has been charged with managing New Jersey’s wildlife resources for 125 years and we take this responsibility very seriously,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Larry Herrighty. “Joining the compact protects New Jersey’s wildlife resources and that of member states by deterring violators from continuing their illegal activities and sends a clear message to all that such behavior will not be tolerated.”

The concept of a wildlife violator compact was first advanced in the early 1980s by member states in the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In 1985 draft compacts were developed independently in Colorado and Nevada. Subsequently, these drafts were merged and the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact was created.

Get more information on the Compact, including which states are members and which violations with prescribed suspensions will be recognized in New Jersey and shared with member states.

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