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7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill provides a policy for the presence of wolves in the state.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . defines "wolf";
13 . declares the policy of the state to destroy or remove all wolves;
14 . requires the Division of Wildlife Resources to capture or kill any wolf found in the
16 . allows the division to authorize a person to capture or kill a wolf; and
17 . allows the division to make administrative rules, in accordance with Title 63G,
18 Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
19 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
21 Other Special Clauses:
23 Utah Code Sections Affected:
25 23-29-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
26 23-29-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
27 23-29-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
28 23-29-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
29 23-29-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
32 Section 1. Section 23-29-101 is enacted to read:
35 23-29-101. Title.
36 This chapter is known as the "Wolf Management Act."
37 Section 2. Section 23-29-102 is enacted to read:
38 23-29-102. Definitions.
39 As used in this chapter, "wolf" means the species Canis lupus.
40 Section 3. Section 23-29-103 is enacted to read:
41 23-29-103. Policy.
42 The wolf is a predator and its presence in the state threatens the state's wildlife and
43 ungulate populations, therefore, it is the policy of the state that the wolf shall be destroyed or
44 removed from the state.
45 Section 4. Section 23-29-201 is enacted to read:
47 23-29-201. Destruction or removal of wolves -- Delegation of authority.
48 (1) The division shall capture or kill any wolf it discovers in the state, except for a wolf
49 lawfully held in captivity.
50 (2) The division may authorize a person to capture or kill a wolf discovered in the
52 (3) (a) The division shall remove from the state a wolf captured in accordance with
53 Subsection (1) or (2).
54 (b) In fulfilling its duty under Subsection (3)(a), the division may seek assistance from
55 another state or federal authority to remove the wolf.
56 Section 5. Section 23-29-202 is enacted to read:
57 23-29-202. Rulemaking.
58 In administering this chapter, the division may make administrative rules, in accordance
59 with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, to authorize a person to
60 capture or kill a wolf, including:
61 (1) permit or license requirements;
62 (2) provisions for a landowner's capture or killing of a wolf; and
63 (3) removal requirements.
Legislative Review Note
as of 12-31-09 8:07 AM
As required by legislative rule and practice, the Office of Legislative Research and General
Counsel provides the following legislative review note to assist the Legislature in making its
own determination as to the constitutionality of the bill. The note is based on an analysis of
relevant state and federal constitutional law as applied to the bill. The note is not written for the
purpose of influencing whether the bill should become law, but is written to provide
information relevant to legislators' consideration of this bill. The note is not a substitute for the
judgment of the judiciary, which has authority to determine the constitutionality of a law in the
context of a specific case.
This bill has a high probability of being held to be unconstitutional under the Supremacy
Clause to the United States Constitution because federal law and regulations prohibit conduct
allowed by this bill. See 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. (Endangered Species Act); 50 C.F.R.,
Chapter I, Subchapter B, Part 17, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Among
other things, the federal Endangered Species Act and federal regulations prohibit the killing or
unauthorized capture of an animal listed as endangered by the federal Fish and Wildlife
Service. This bill provides for the killing or capture and transfer of a wolf found anywhere in
Utah. While the wolf is not listed as an endangered species for the northeastern portion of the
state, it remains listed as an endangered species for the majority of the state. It is highly likely
that a court, faced with determining the constitutionality of this bill, would find that it violates
the Supremacy Clause by authorizing acts prohibited by federal law in those areas of the state
where wolves remain listed as an endangered species.
The federal Endangered Species Act has been held to be a valid exercise of Congress's power
under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, even in circumstances where the
species protected is found wholly within one state. GDF Realty Investments, Ltd. v. Norton,
326 F.3d 622 (5th Cir. 2003). Thus, the provisions of the Endangered Species Act and related
regulations prevail over contradictory state law. See, e.g. City of New York v. FCC, 486 U.S.
57, 64 (1988) (stating that regulations authorized by federal statute preempt contradictory state
law). For this reason, this bill has a high probability of being held to be unconstitutional.