FISH AND GAME
Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping
214:1-f Wildlife Habitat License.
I. No person shall at any time take wild animals or wild birds in this state without first procuring, in addition to any applicable licenses required by title XVIII, a wildlife habitat license under RSA 214:9, XV, for the same period. A person under the age of 16 years may take wild animals or wild birds without such a license provided that, while so doing, the person is accompanied by an adult who has procured such license. This paragraph shall not apply to any person who takes wild animals or wild birds under a complimentary license, excluding any administrative fee, issued pursuant to RSA 214:3, RSA 214:7-a, RSA 214:13, RSA 214:13-b, or RSA 214:13-c, or a lifetime license issued pursuant to RSA 214:9-c or RSA 214:9-cc that was purchased in a prior calendar year.
II. A license to take any kind of wild animal or wild bird as required by title XVIII shall not be issued, except for the complimentary licenses listed under paragraph I, to any person who has not purchased a wildlife habitat license. A person shall only be required to purchase one wildlife habitat license under RSA 214:9, XV each year regardless of the number of licenses purchased by that person during that year.
III. For the purpose of this section, "wild animal" shall not include fish or marine species.
IV. The executive director, with the approval of the commission, shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the manner of issuance of the wildlife habitat license.
V. The state treasurer shall establish a separate nonlapsing account within the fish and game fund, to be known as the wildlife habitat account, to which shall be credited all fees collected under RSA 214:9, XV from the sale of wildlife habitat licenses. The state treasurer may accept public and private grants and donations into the account.
VI. The state treasurer shall invest the moneys in the wildlife habitat account as provided by law. Interest received on investments shall be credited to the account.
VII. The wildlife habitat account is continually appropriated and may only be used for the following purposes within the state of New Hampshire:
(a) The development, management, preservation, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of wildlife habitat on both public and private lands, with at least:
(1) 25 percent of the annual revenue from license sales dedicated to pay costs of labor and materials for direct physical land management activities, and
(2) 25 percent of the annual revenue from license sales dedicated to pay the cost of fish and game department boundary survey work and all necessary survey documents including the posting of any signage necessary to delineate the boundaries of fish and game department lands. The commission, with the assistance of department personnel, shall approve the necessary boundary signs and wording that shall appear on the boundary signs;
(b) Obtaining land access to wildlife habitat areas;
(c) The acquisition of easements upon private property for the purposes of subparagraphs (a) and (b);
(d) The acquisition of private land to protect critical wildlife habitat, provided that the governing body of any municipality, unincorporated town, or unorganized place in which the property is located approves; and
(e) Providing information to the public on the location of properties managed by the fish and game department.
VIII. When license revenue is used to either obtain an easement under subparagraph VII(c) or purchase land under subparagraph VII(d), no condition shall be accepted which restricts hunting and trapping on the associated land. This requirement shall not apply to lands used for access purposes or if the executive director finds that it is in the interest of the hunting and trapping community to allow such a restriction. The executive director shall allow hunting and trapping on such lands, as is permissible, but may prohibit for any length of time the hunting or trapping on the whole or part of such lands when it is necessary for the protection or propagation of a wildlife species or for public safety reasons.
IX. The executive director, with the approval of the commission, shall expend the funds in the wildlife habitat account. Prior to the expenditure of any funds, the fish and game department shall analyze the proposed project and provide the executive director and the commission with recommendations as to the project's usefulness and feasibility. No funds in the wildlife habitat account shall be expended for the purchase of equipment or materials, with the exception of expenditures for necessary equipment purchases, leases, or rentals for the completion of projects authorized under subparagraphs VII(a)(1) and (2).
X. The executive director shall submit to the fiscal committee and the chairpersons of the house and senate committees with jurisdiction over fish and game matters a detailed fiscal year report by October 1 of each year, beginning with fiscal year 2000, with sufficient information to be fully understood by the general court and the public, summarizing the receipts and disbursements from the wildlife habitat account and the public benefits derived from the disbursements from it. Every fifth year, beginning in 2003, the annual report shall provide an in-depth financial accounting and summary of work accomplished in the previous 5 years, outlining all projects that are completed, in process, and planned. All annual reports shall be made available to the public after submission to the general court.
Source. 1998, 241:1. 2000, 256:3. 2006, 50:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2017, 160:5, eff. July 1, 2017.