Arizona assesses a monetary civil penalty for the possession or taking of listed species of wildlife and endangered/nongame wildlife (including eagles). This fine goes to the state wildlife theft prevention fund and is in addition to any other fine or penalty assessed by law.
Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 17. Game and Fish. Chapter 2. Game and Fish Department and Game and Fish Commission. Article IV Fiscal Provision.
§ 17-268. Game, non-game, fish and endangered species fund
A. A game, non-game, fish and endangered species fund is established to be used by the commission for game, non-game, fish and endangered species purposes. Monies in the fund are subject to annual legislative appropriation pursuant to § 35-143.
B. Monies received by this state pursuant to § 43-615 shall be deposited, pursuant to §§ 35-146 and 35-147, in the fund.
C. On notice from the commission, the state treasurer shall invest and divest monies in the fund as provided by § 35-313, and notwithstanding § 17-262, monies earned from investment of the game, non-game, fish and endangered species fund shall be credited to the fund.
Added by Laws 1984, Ch. 76, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985. Amended by Laws 1988, Ch. 70, § 1; Laws 2000, Ch. 193, § 121.
§ 17-296. Definitions
In this article:
1. “Public access” means providing entry to publicly held lands for recreational use where such entry is consistent with the provisions establishing those lands.
2. “Sensitive habitat” means the specific areas within the geographical area historically or currently occupied by a species or community of species in which are found those physical or biological features essential to the establishment or continued existence of the species and which may require special management, conservation or protection considerations.
3. “ Endangered species ” means a s pecies or subspecies of native Arizona wildlife whose population has been reduced due to any cause whatsoever to such levels that it is in imminent danger of elimination from its range in Arizona, or has been eliminated from its range in Arizona.
4. “Threatened species ” means a species or subspecies of native Arizona wildlife that, although not presently in imminent danger of being eliminated from its range in Arizona, is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future.
5. “Candidate species” means a species or subspecies of native Arizona wildlife for which habitat or population threats are known or suspected but for which substantial population declines from historic levels have not been documented.
6. “Urban wildlife” means the wildlife that occurs within the limits of an incorporated area or in close proximity to an urban area that receives significant impact from human use.
7. “Environmental education” means educational programs dealing with basic ecological principles and the effects of natural and man related processes on natural and urban systems and programs to enhance public awareness of the importance of safeguarding natural resources.
8. “Habitat evaluation” means the assessment of the status, condition and ecological value of habitat and subsequent recommendations of management, conservation or other protection measures, or mitigation measures, including but not limited to, recommendation of reasonable alternatives for the proposed projects that might otherwise affect the habitat under assessment.
9. “Habitat protection” means the process of protecting the quality, diversity, abundance, and serviceability of habitats for the purposes of maintaining or recovering populations of Arizona wildlife.
§ 17-298. Expenditures from fund; purpose and amounts; annual report
A. Monies received pursuant to § 5-572 shall be spent as follows:
1. Five per cent on public access, including maintenance and operation expenses.
2. Sixty per cent on the identification, inventory, acquisition, protection and management, including maintenance and operations, of sensitive habitat. At least forty per cent of the monies available under this paragraph shall be spent on the acquisition of sensitive habitat utilized by endangered, threatened and candidate species. The commission may dispose of any lands acquired for use as habitat by an endangered, threatened or candidate species under this paragraph when the species no longer qualifies as an endangered, threatened or candidate species. The Arizona game and fish commission shall dispose of the land in a manner consistent with the preservation of the species of concern. The disposal may include conservation easements and fee simple transfers with associated instruments of protection. The commission shall follow the guidelines established pursuant to § 37-803 relating to the disposition of real property by a state agency. In addition, disposal shall include a written agreement between the commission and the purchaser requiring the purchaser to incorporate management actions to ensure proper maintenance of the species of concern. Management actions may include maintenance of habitat, selective control of nonnative species, maintenance of genetic viability, monitoring of populations and habitat, coordinating conservation activities, funding conservation actions and assessing conservation progress.
3. Fifteen per cent on habitat evaluation or habitat protection.
4. Fifteen per cent on urban wildlife and urban wildlife habitat programs.
5. Five per cent on environmental education.
B. All monies earned as interest on monies received pursuant to § 5-572 shall be spent only in the percentages and for the purposes described in subsection A of this section or for costs of administering the Arizona game and fish commission heritage fund in such amounts as determined by the Arizona game and fish commission.
C. On or before December 31 each year the commission shall submit its annual report to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the chairmen of the senate and house of representatives committees on natural resources and agriculture, or their successor committees. The annual report shall include information on:
1. The amount of monies spent or encumbered in the fund during the preceding fiscal year and a summary of the projects, activities and expenditures relating to:
(a) Property acquisition.
(b) Identification, inventory, protection and management of sensitive habitat.
(c) Habitat evaluation and protection.
(d) Urban wildlife.
(e) Environmental education.
(f) Public access.
2. The number and location of parcels of property acquired during the preceding fiscal year.
3. For personal and real properties acquired with fund monies during the preceding fiscal year, the amount of property tax revenue paid to each taxing jurisdiction during the last full tax year prior to acquisition.
4. The amount of money spent from the fund during the preceding fiscal year for employee personal services.
5. The number of full-time employees employed in the preceding fiscal year in connection with property acquisition, including survey, appraisal and other related activities.
6. The total number of full-time employees employed in the preceding fiscal year for the programs listed in subsection A of this section.
7. A list of the grants awarded during the preceding fiscal year including information on the recipients, purposes and amounts.
Addition approved election Nov. 6, 1990, eff. Nov. 26, 1990. Amended by Laws 1991, Ch. 42, § 1; Laws 1992, Ch. 111, § 1; Laws 1995, Ch. 203, § 1; Laws 1997, Ch. 16, § 1; Laws 1998, Ch. 52, § 7; Laws 2012, Ch. 297, § 11.
§ 17-298.01. Decennial performance audit
Beginning in 2001 and every tenth succeeding year thereafter, the auditor general shall conduct a performance audit, as defined in § 41-1278, of the programs and expenditures of the Arizona game and fish commission heritage fund pursuant to this article. The auditor general shall submit copies of the performance audit to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the chairmen of the senate and house of representatives committees on natural resources and agriculture, or their successor committees.
Added by Laws 1997, Ch. 16, § 2.
Title 17. Game and Fish. Chapter 3. Taking and Handling of Wildlife. Article 1. General Regulations.
§ 17-314. Civil liability for illegally taking or wounding wildlife; recovery of damages
A. The commission or any officer charged with enforcement of the laws relating to game and fish, if so directed by the commission, may bring a civil action in the name of the state against any person unlawfully taking, wounding or killing, or unlawfully in possession of, any of the following wildlife, or part thereof, and seek to recover the following minimum sums as damage:
1. For each turkey or javelina ..................................... $ 500.00
2. For each bear, mountain lion, antelope or deer, other than
trophy ........................................................ $1,500.00
3. For each elk or eagle, other than trophy or endangered species .. $2,500.00
4. For each predatory, fur-bearing or nongame animal ............... $ 250.00
5. For each small game or aquatic wildlife animal .................. $ 50.00
6. For each trophy or endangered species animal .................... $8,000.00
B. No verdict or judgment recovered by the state in such action shall be for less than the sum fixed in this section. The minimum sum that the commission may seek to recover as damages from a person pursuant to this section may be doubled for a second verdict or judgment and tripled for a third verdict or judgment. The action for damages may be joined with an action for possession, and recovery had for the possession as well as the damages.
C. The pendency or determination of an action for damages or payment of a judgment, or the pendency or determination of a criminal prosecution for the same taking, wounding, killing or possession, is not a bar to the other, nor does either affect the right of seizure under any other provision of the laws relating to game and fish.
D. All monies recovered pursuant to this section shall be placed in the wildlife theft prevention fund.
Added as § 17-246 by Laws 1977, Ch. 78 § 1. Renumbered as § 17-314. Amended by Laws 1978, Ch. 185, § 1; Laws 1985, Ch. 51, § 2; Laws 2006, Ch. 238, § 6.