Cooperative Approach to Prevent Wildlife Violations: The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact



States in the U.S. are getting more organized with tracking people who have committed wildlife violations. The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC) is an agreement that allows member states to share information regarding hunting, fishing, and trapping violations. This cooperative interstate effort will enhance each state’s Department of Natural Resources’ ability to protect their wildlife resources.

The IWVC provides a system to exchange information about individuals who commit wildlife violations. All wildlife violations are reported into the system and become visible to all member states. Each state can honor the penalties applied to individuals. In other words, a person’s illegal activities in one state can affect their hunting or fishing privileges in all IWVC participating states.

In a real life example, a Wisconsin resident was charged $15,000 in fines and his hunting privileges were suspended for 35 years due to hunting violations in Montana. He was found guilty of 23 misdemeanor hunting violations spanning from 2004 to 2010. The offenses included making false statements when applying for or obtaining numerous resident hunting permits as well as possession of an unlawfully killed black bear and antelope buck. Both Montana and Wisconsin are members of IWVC, which means the other 42 member states will also suspend his hunting privileges for 35 years.

The IWVC concept was first advanced in the early 1980s by states in the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA). Law enforcement administrators and wildlife commissioners from several states adapted this idea from the Driver License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compacts, which are related to motor vehicle operator licensing and enforcement.

In 1985, draft compacts were developed independently in Colorado and Nevada. These drafts were merged and the IWVC was created. By 1989, legislation was passed in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon, forming the core of the IWVC.

Today, 44 states belong to the IWVC. That means 44 states are all working together to enforce their wildlife regulations and prevent people from dodging penalties by moving to a new state. Combined with stiff penalties, the IWMC is certainly going to be an effective measure that prevents wildlife violations and removes the bad apples that taint the image of law-abiding sportsmen and sportswomen.

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