Hawaii On Track to Become the 49th State to Join the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact

Contact: Keely Hopkins, Assistant Manager, Pacific States

Highlights

  • Earlier this month the Hawaii State Legislature passed House Bill 1021 (HB 1021), which would authorize the Department of Land and Natural Resources to enter the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact (IWVC).
  • Once joined, Hawaii would become the 49th state to sign on to IWVC, leaving Massachusetts as the only remaining state that is not yet a part of the compact.
  • The IWVC began in 1985 as an interstate agreement between Nevada and Colorado to combat poachers and wildlife violators that would move their illegal activities from one state to another after receiving a violation. The IWVC has now expanded to a strong network of information and coordination between state fish and wildlife agencies. 

Why It Matters: With the increased sophistication of poachers and other wildlife violators, there is a need for increased levels of coordination between state fish and wildlife agencies. To assist in this coordination and to help stop poachers and other violators from moving their illegal activity from state to state, the IWVC was created to allow state wildlife agencies to share information about fish and wildlife violations with their colleagues across state lines and throughout the nation. Hawaii’s decision to join the IWVC would strengthen the compact through additional information and coordination. 

Despite the strong traditions of ethics most sportsmen and women abide by, there are those that disregard the laws that regulate hunting and fishing and make the conscious decision to leave the ranks of responsible hunters and anglers to become poachers. The IWVC was created in 1985 as an interstate agreement between Nevada and Colorado to combat poachers and wildlife violators that were moving their illegal activities from state to state, even after receiving a violation. Recognizing the need to share information about these violations with other state fish and wildlife agencies, the core of the compact was formed in 1989 when Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado all collectively passed the IWVC into law. This Compact created a mechanism for increased cooperation between agencies to help stop poachers when they attempt to move between states.

Today, there are 48 states participating in the Compact, with Hawaii and Massachusetts being the two remaining states to join. Earlier this month, however, the Hawaii State Legislature cleared the path for the state to become the 49th member of the compact. HB 1021, which would authorize the Department of Land and Natural Resources to enter the IWVC, passed both the House and Senate with strong support. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation voiced its support for the bill and submitted testimony to encourage its passage. HB 1021 is now with Governor Ige awaiting his signature.

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