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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Conservation Officer Bill Approved

HARRISBURG – The state House today approved Rep. Martin Causer’s (R-Turtlepoint) bill that clarifies the authority of wildlife and waterways conservation officers to use discretion when enforcing the state’s game, fish and boat laws.

House Bill 1584 specifically states the officers may issue written or verbal warnings in lieu of making arrests or issuing citations.

“As a former police officer, I know how important it is to exercise discretion in law enforcement,” Causer said. “While conservation officers already have the authority to exercise such discretion, it is not specifically spelled out in law and is likely not being used as much as it could be or should be.”

As chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Causer also noted passage of Senate Bill 648, which protects the rights of property owners who allow hunting on their property. The bill ensures those landowners are not subject to prosecution for violations committed by hunters on their land.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

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