Bill S3049-2013

Relates to the right to hunt, trap and fish

Relates to the right to hunt, trap and fish; provides for regulation by the state.






TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to the constitution, in relation to the right to hunt, trap and fish

PURPOSE: To provide within the New York State Constitution a right of the people to hunt, trap and fish.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: A new Article Twenty would be added to the state constitution to ensure the right of the law-abiding citizen to hunt, trap and fish subject to reasonable regulation by the state.

JUSTIFICATION: The roots of hunting, fishing and trapping go deep into the soil of our American experience. A way of life to Native Americans and European settlers and sources of food and commerce, they have since matured beyond their subsistence origins to become revered outdoor pastimes enjoyed by 1.7 million New Yorkers and visitors for the pleasure, challenge, companionship, food and additional income that OUT outdoor sporting traditions provide.

New York's outdoor sporting traditions have a significant impact on New York's economy as well. According to the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. departments of Interior and Commerce, recreational anglers and hunters spent more than $2.5 billion in pursuit of their pastimes in New York in 1996. New York hunters and anglers annually spend millions of dollars for goods and services provided by businesses located throughout the state. Apart from the cost of their sporting licenses, outdoorsmen's expenditures support jobs, generate sales and income taxes, and are integral parts of the tourism industry. Hunters and anglers come from all over the United States to fish legendary Catskill and Adirondack streams and enjoy the thrill of the ruffed grouse or American woodcock flushing in our many forests and state wildlife management areas.

Sportsmen spend money for equipment, bait and tackle, hotels and motels, restaurants, lodges and camps, grocery and hardware stores, vehicles, boats, fuel and guide services. The survey found that these expenditures and their associated economic impact supported 43,000 jobs and generated $100 million in state sales taxes and $32 million in state income taxes in New York State in 1996.

New York has invested considerable sums of tax dollars in the acquisition of land for outdoor recreation, including canoeing, kayaking and hiking, fishing rights, and hunting; as well as the construction and maintenance of hatcheries. Habitat restoration projects, funded by the state, are designed in part to enhance fish spawning and the proliferation of game species.

Because of the public dollars and license fees that have supported game reintroductions and habitat improvements, the increasing suburbanization of the state, continued loss of open and wild areas, the distance between the population and our subsistence roots, and their foundation in our culture and history, particularly in our rural areas, the time honored and respected pastimes of hunting, fishing and

trapping should be recognized in our constitution as rights of the people.

Currently, the state's environmental conservation law declares that the state owns and manages game and wildlife (§ 11-0105) and preempts local governments from regulating or managing wildlife species or seasons (§ 11-0111). The proposed amendment does not alter the relationship between the state and local governments in the regulation and management of fish and game, nor does it prohibit local governments from delineating appropriate uses for their municipally-owned property, such as parks . By enshrining the state's statutory policy in the constitution, the right to engage in outdoor pursuits will be protected by an act of the people and not be subject to the one-time act of an adverse legislature when, for a moment in time, traditional outdoor pastimes might fall out of favor.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.2382-A of 2011-12; S.3049 of 2009-10; S2639 of 2007-08.


EFFECTIVE DATE: This amendment would take effect upon approval of the voters at a general election succeeding the passage of such amendment by two separately elected legislatures.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3049 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 29, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to the constitution, in relation to the right to hunt, trap and fish Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That article 20 of the constitution be renumbered article 21 and a new article 20 be added to read as follows: ARTICLE XX RIGHT TO HUNT, TRAP AND FISH SECTION 1. HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING AND THE TAKING OF WILD ANIMALS, BIRDS AND FISH ARE A VALUED PART OF OUR HERITAGE AND WILL BE FOREVER PRESERVED FOR THE PEOPLE. FISH AND WILDLIFE SHALL BE MANAGED BY STATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE PERSONS WITH THE CONTINUED OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE, BY TRADITIONAL MEANS AND METHODS, SPECIES TRADI- TIONALLY PURSUED BY HUNTERS, ANGLERS AND TRAPPERS. FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, INCLUDING TAKING, SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH THE STATE'S DUTY TO PROTECT THIS HERITAGE AND ITS DUTY TO CONSERVE WILD ANIMALS, BIRDS, AND FISH, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REASONABLE REGULATION AS PRESCRIBED BY STATE STATUTE. S 2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the Assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89025-01-3


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