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      RS 56:109     


§109.  Wildlife management areas; wildlife refuges; public hunting grounds and recreation areas; notice; signs; hunters with disabilities

A.  The commission may establish, maintain, and manage any state wildlife management area, wildlife refuge, public hunting ground, or outdoor recreation area, as it deems proper for wildlife management purposes.  With the approval of the governor, it may lease, buy, or accept donation of, and set apart, any other lands suitable and desirable for such purposes and thereon establish, maintain, and operate such areas.  The public shall be notified of the fact of the establishment of such areas by publication of a proclamation by the governor, describing the exact location and description of the lands set apart and the objects and purposes of the dedication, for thirty days in the official journal of the state and the official journal of the parish where the lands are located.  The commission shall cause suitable signs to be placed at reasonable distances along the boundaries of the lands and at roads and other entrances for the information of the public.  No person shall willfully or maliciously remove, destroy, or deface any sign or notice placed or posted.  The commission shall authorize persons over the age of sixty to use trails in the wildlife management areas which are set aside for use exclusively by persons with disabilities.

B.  The commission shall be the sole authority and shall establish all rules and regulations pertaining to the propagation, protection and harvest of all species of wildlife, including both male and female sexes of wild quadrupeds, wild birds, fish and alligators existing, propagated or released by the commission upon lands so designated as wildlife management areas, wildlife refuges, public hunting grounds or outdoor recreation areas.

C.  No person shall knowingly take, attempt to take, disturb, or destroy any wild bird or wild quadruped or the nest, egg, or young thereof on lands set apart as wildlife management areas and wildlife refuges, or have in his possession or keep, while on the lands, any trap, snare, or other device capable of being used in the taking or disturbance of the birds or quadrupeds on such areas, unless the person previously has been expressly authorized by a permit from the department to do so and only for the purpose and under the conditions specified in the permit.

D.(1)  On and after July 1, 1993, a Wild Louisiana Stamp, hunting license, or fishing license shall be required for use of department administered lands including wildlife refuges and wildlife management and habitat conservation areas.  Persons under sixteen years of age and sixty years of age or older are exempt from this requirement.  Persons attending official functions of private, non-profit and charitable organizations recognized as tax exempt under the provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code shall be exempt from this requirement.

(2)  Persons using department administered lands for commercial purposes for which the department is paid a royalty or special fee, agents of the state on official business, and persons or groups using department administered lands for purposes other than fishing or hunting who receive, for good cause, a letter of permit from the secretary specifically waiving the Wild Louisiana Stamp, shall be exempt.

(3)  For an initial violation of failing to possess a Wild Louisiana Stamp, fishing license, or hunting license while on department administered lands, as required by this Subsection, the violator shall immediately obtain a required stamp or license or be required to leave the department administered lands.  In such instance of an initial violation, the violator shall be given directions to the nearest place where such stamp or license may be purchased.  After the initial violation, any subsequent offenses shall be class one violations as designated in R.S. 56:31.  This Paragraph shall not apply to violations of hunting or fishing without a license.

(4)  The department shall prominently post and maintain at each entrance to those lands subject to this Subsection a sign stating that all visitors, except those exempt by law, must possess a Wild Louisiana Stamp, a hunting license, a fishing license, or a WMA hunting permit while on those lands.

(5)(a)  In addition to other fees and licenses required by law, any person between the ages of eighteen and sixty, both inclusive, who hunts on any land administered by the department, including wildlife refuges and wildlife management and habitat conservation areas, shall purchase and have in his possession a WMA hunting permit.  Traversing through department-administered lands shall not require a permit. The fee for a WMA hunting permit shall be fifteen dollars each year.  The permit shall be available for purchase beginning June first of each year and will be valid from the date of purchase through the following June thirtieth.  The permittee shall have the permit in his possession whenever engaged in hunting on lands administered by the department.  Funds collected from the WMA hunting permit shall be used for the maintenance and upkeep of wildlife management areas.  The secretary may exempt for good cause persons or groups of people from the requirements of this Paragraph.  Such exemption shall be in the form of a letter of permit from the secretary.  The commission is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations which establish the criteria for such exemptions and which otherwise implement this exemption.

(b)  A resident between the ages of eighteen and sixty, both inclusive, who meets the requirements of R.S. 56:104(A)(8) or (B)(2) shall be exempt from payment of the permit fee required by this Paragraph.

E.  The commission shall establish  a state all-terrain vehicle trail at least twelve miles in length in the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area.  The trail established shall be the same trail that was previously approved and permitted by the department for use by Wish I Could, Incorporated.  The trail shall be used for organized rides by nonprofit organizations for charitable and educational purposes no more than twice per year per organization.  No alcohol shall be sold or consumed on the trail during the rides.  The secretary may prohibit any organization from using the wildlife management area and the vehicle trail if any person in that organization violates the provisions of this Subsection.

F.  Except as provided in Subsection D, a violation of the provisions of this Section, or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, shall constitute a class two violation.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 717, §1; Acts 1977, No. 136, §1; Acts 1981, No. 736, §1; Acts 1992, No. 193, §1; Acts 1992, No. 966, §1; Acts 1993, No. 188, §1; Acts 1993, No. 441, §1; Acts 1995, No. 513, §1; Acts 1995, No. 731, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1226, §2, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1092, §1, eff. July 14, 1997; Acts 2000, 2d Ex. Sess., No. 1, §3, eff. June 26, 2000; Acts 2004, No. 438, §1; Acts 2007, No. 7, §1; Acts 2010, No. 790, §1; Acts 2014, No. 811, §29, eff. June 23, 2014.

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