Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact

Summary

With the increased sophistication of poachers and other wildlife violators, there is a need for increased levels of coordination and information sharing on these individuals between state fish and wildlife agencies. The Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact (IWVC) creates the mechanism allowing for this coordination. The availability of this information helps stop poachers and other violators from moving their illegal activities to another state after receiving a violation elsewhere.

Introduction

Despite the strong tradition of ethics that the vast majority of hunters and anglers abide by, there are still individuals that disregard laws regulating hunting and fishing activities. With the increased sophistication of poachers, and other wildlife violators, there is a need for improved levels of coordination between state fish and wildlife agencies.

To assist in this coordination effort, the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact (IWVC) creates a mechanism which allows various state fish and wildlife agencies to share information pertaining to fish and wildlife violations. The availability of this information helps with cooperation between agencies to stop poachers when they attempt to move between states, by keeping track of them.

History

The IWVC began in 1985, after Colorado and Nevada drafted an interstate agreement on combatting wildlife violators. The IWVC expanded in 1989, after being passed into law by Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon, which collectively formed the core of the compact. As of June 1, 2019, 48 states are members, and the two remaining states (Hawai‘i and Massachusetts) have introduced legislation to become a part of the IWVC.

Points of Interest

The IWVC is overseen by a board of administrators, comprised of representatives from wildlife law enforcement or licensing authority divisions of participating states. In associated states, the IWVC does the following for the fish and wildlife agencies:

Allows conservation officers to devote more time to the patrolling, surveillance and apprehension of wildlife violators.
Reduce the burden on courts and jail facilities by decreasing caseloads.
Reduce the number of “Failure to Appear” cases because non-residents cannot ignore a citation from a participating state without facing the suspension of their wildlife license privileges in their home state.
Serve as a notice to wildlife violators that their activities in one state can affect their privileges, or rights, to recreate in all participating states, possibly including their home state.

The IWVC does not negatively impact state sovereignty.
Sharing information pertaining to an open case is obligatory, but recognition of violations is not.

Moving Forward

Presently, there is no clear, or efficient appeals process in place to deal with individuals who have been mistakenly flagged as a violator, and efforts should be made to streamline this process. Elected officials should review their state’s participation in the IWVC, and for state(s) that have not yet joined, it is strongly recommended that they support an effort to adopt the IWVC in the future.

Contact

For more information regarding this issue, please contact:

Aoibheann Cline (916) 633-3664; acline@congressionalsportsmen.org

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