Natural Resources Conservation Laws
Chapter 12: State Wildlife And Wildlife Habitat
o preserve wildlife, most states' legislatures enacted Wildlife Preservation
laws, mirroring the Federal Endangered Species Act. Under the Wildlife
Preservation provisions, it is unlawful to import, transport, possess, sell, or offer for
sale any species or subspecies of wildlife appearing on two particular lists. The first
is the list of wildlife indigenous to a particular state and considered endangered
within that state as set forth by the authoritative agency; and the second is the U.S.
list of endangered species as set forth in the Federal Endangered Species Act of
1973 as endangered or threatened species, when the latter is adopted by regulations
of the agency. Individuals who violate the statutory prohibition or any regulations
promulgated pursuant to the statute will be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon
conviction will be fined or imprisoned, or both. Different states impose different
amounts of fine and periods of imprisonment.
Recognizing that maintenance of wildlife habitat is essential to the survival of
wildlife species, state legislatures also enacted laws and appropriated funds to
preserve and restore wildlife habitat. Under these provisions, states' authoritative
agencies are required to establish wildlife management areas and promulgate rules
and regulations for the protection and management of such areas.
These wildlife management areas vary in their rules and functions among the states.
For example, Alabama law requires anyone who wishes to hunt game in these areas
during designated hunting seasons to obtain a permit and pay a fee for this
privilege. The law also gives the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources the right to search without a warrant any vehicle or person
to ensure that they have not seized or killed any protected animal in these
designated wildlife management areas.
In Arkansas, upon petition to the State Game and Fish Commission, owners of