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West's Utah Code Annotated. Title 23. Wildlife Resources Code of Utah. Chapter 20. Enforcement--Violations and Penalties. 23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Restitution--Reimbursable damages--Assessment by magistrates--Disposition of monies

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: U.C.A. 1953 23-20-4.5

Citation: UT ST 23-20-4.5

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This section of the Utah code provides for a suggested restitution amount for the illegal killing of certain species of wildlife (including bald and golden eagles).  The killing of specifically listed "trophy" animals results in much higher restitution amounts.  Funds are channeled to the Wildlife Resources Account to be used in educational and wildlife enforcement activities.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion.

Statute in Full:

(1) When a person is adjudged guilty of illegal taking, illegal possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife, other than a trophy animal, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution:

(a) as set forth in Subsection (2) ; or

(b) in a greater or lesser amount than the amount established in Subsection (2).

(2) Suggested minimum restitution values for protected wildlife are as follows:

(a) $1,000 per animal for:

(i) bison;

(ii) bighorn sheep;

(iii) rocky mountain goat;

(iv) moose;

(v) bear;

(vi) peregrine falcon;

(vii) bald eagle; or

(viii) endangered species;

(b) $750 per animal for:

(i) elk; or

(ii) threatened species;

(c) $500 per animal for:

(i) golden eagle;

(ii) river otter; or

(iii) gila monster;

(d) $400 per animal for:

(i) pronghorn antelope; or

(ii) deer;

(e) $350 per animal for:

(i) cougar; or

(ii) bobcat;

(f) $100 per animal for:

(i) swan;

(ii) sandhill crane;

(iii) turkey;

(iv) pelican;

(v) loon;

(vi) egrets;

(vii) herons;

(viii) raptors, except those that are threatened or endangered;

(ix) Utah milk snake; or

(x) Utah mountain king snake;

(g) $35 per animal for furbearers, except:

(i) bobcat;

(ii) river otter; and

(iii) threatened or endangered species;

(h) $25 per animal for trout, char, salmon, grayling, tiger muskellunge, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and wiper;

(i) $15 per animal for game birds, except:

(i) turkey;

(ii) swan; and

(iii) sandhill crane;

(j) $10 per animal for game fish not listed in Subsection (2)(h);

(k) $8 per pound dry weight of processed brine shrimp including eggs; and

(l) $5 per animal for protected wildlife not listed.

(3) If the court finds that restitution is inappropriate or if the value imposed is less than the suggested minimum value as provided in Subsection (2), the court shall make the reasons for the decision part of the court record.

(4)(a) The court shall order a person convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection 23-20-4 (3)(a)(ii) to pay restitution in accordance with Subsection (4)(b).

(b) The minimum restitution value for a trophy animal is as follows:

(i) $30,000 per animal for bighorn, desert, or rocky mountain sheep;

(ii) $8,000 per animal for deer;

(iii) $8,000 per animal for elk;

(iv) $6,000 per animal for moose or mountain goat;

(v) $6,000 per animal for bison; and

(vi) $2,000 per animal for pronghorn antelope.

(5) Restitution paid under Subsection (4) shall be remitted to the division and deposited in the Wildlife Resources Account.

(6) Restitution monies shall be used by the division for activities and programs to help stop poaching, including:

(a) educational programs on wildlife crime prevention;

(b) acquisition and development of wildlife crime detection equipment;

(c) operation and maintenance of anti-poaching projects; and

(d) wildlife law enforcement training.

(7) If restitution is required it shall be in addition to:

(a) a fine or penalty imposed for a violation of any provision of this title; and

(b) a remedial action taken to revoke or suspend a person's license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration.

(8) A judgment imposed under this section constitutes a lien when recorded in the judgment docket and shall have the same effect and is subject to the same rules as a judgment for money in a civil action.


Laws 1992, c. 27, § 5; Laws 1996, c. 265, § 3, eff. April 29, 1996; Laws 2003, c. 125, § 2, eff. May 5, 2003; Laws 2004, c. 119, § 1, eff. May 3, 2004; Laws 2009, c. 250, § 2, eff. May 12, 2009.


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