Wildlife Damage Control

Section 207:22-c

    207:22-c Wildlife Damage Control Program; Administration. –
There is established a wildlife damage control program which shall be administered by the executive director in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture and the New Hampshire department of agriculture, markets, and food. The program shall emphasize a comprehensive approach that integrates wildlife management and wildlife control methods and strategies and shall respond to conflicts between wildlife and human populations by stressing the importance of prevention of damage by initiating one or more of the following courses of action:
I. A general wildlife damage mitigation program:
(a) The general wildlife damage mitigation program shall address conflicts between wildlife and human populations by disseminating educational and technical information, and providing assistance. The program may make available various repellents, institute the loan of direct control devices and materials including electric fences and frightening devices, and make referrals to nuisance wildlife cooperators.
(b) Actions under this paragraph shall be of a temporary nature and may include any other nuisance control methods available, as determined by the executive director, or designee.
II. A cooperative fencing program:
(a) Commercial growers may participate in a cost-share-fencing program where the state pays for the full cost of fencing materials only. Under this program, the executive director may provide payment from funds designated for this program in the fish and game fund to an eligible commercial grower for the purchase of fencing materials.
(b) Commercial growers desiring to participate in the cost share program shall submit written applications to the executive director in such manner as prescribed by the executive director on or before April l of each year.
(c) Construction and maintenance costs of installed fences shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(d) The failure of a commercial grower to properly install and maintain fencing purchased under this paragraph shall make the commercial grower ineligible to participate in this program until approved by the executive director.
(e) The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to implement and execute the cooperative fencing program, which may include but not be limited to eligibility criteria, fencing specifications, funding levels, and inspection procedures.
(f) The provisions and penalties of RSA 641 concerning false statements shall apply to all reporting and documentation required pursuant to this paragraph.
(g) For purposes of this paragraph, a "commercial grower" means any person who grows an agricultural or horticultural crop from which the person has derived, or reasonably expects to derive, an annual gross income from the sale of crops normally produced of at least $2,500.
III. A depredation permit program:
(a) The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, regulating the issuance of depredation permits to kill animals causing damage to commercial crops or which pose a threat to human health and safety. Such rules shall address the method and manner of taking animals, the disposition of animals taken under such permits, as well as the qualifications necessary to participate in the program. Such qualifications shall include, but not be limited to, the provision of information concerning the history of damage, the record of preventative methods used in the past, and the public hunting access history.
(b) The depredation permit program shall include the issuance of pre-damage deer kill permits to commercial growers as defined in RSA 207:22-c, II(h) upon request to the director. Issuance of pre-damage deer kill permits will facilitate protection of qualifying crops at the onset of deer visitation to said crops. Any deer taken under this provision shall be subject to investigation by the local conservation officer to determine whether or not the potential existed at the time of taking for damage to have occurred. Depredation permits shall be issued following the procedures in this paragraph.

Source. 1999, 344:4. 2001, 42:1, 2. 2009, 107:2, 3. 2010, 368:24, eff. Dec. 31, 2010.