Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 29.1. Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating
Chapter 1. Administration of Wildlife Resources
11/26/2020

Chapter 1. Administration of Wildlife Resources.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 29.1-100. Definitions.

As used in and for the purposes of this title only, or in any of the regulations of the Board, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

"Bag or creel limit" means the quantity of game, fish or fur-bearing animals that may be taken, caught, or possessed during a period fixed by the Board.

"Board" means the Board of Wildlife Resources.

"Closed season" means that period of time fixed by the Board during which wild animals, birds or fish may not be taken, captured, killed, pursued, hunted, trapped or possessed.

"Conservation police officers" means supervising officers, and regular and special conservation police officers.

"Department" means the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"Firearm" means any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of a combustible material.

"Fishing" means taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to take, capture or kill any fish in and upon the inland waters of this Commonwealth.

"Fur-bearing animals" includes beaver, bobcat, fisher, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, skunk, and weasel.

"Game" means wild animals and wild birds that are commonly hunted for sport or food.

"Game animals" means deer (including all Cervidae), bear, rabbit, fox, squirrel, bobcat and raccoon.

"Game fish" means trout (including all Salmonidae), all of the sunfish family (including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass, rock bass, bream, bluegill and crappie), walleye or pike perch, white bass, chain pickerel or jackfish, muskellunge, and northern pike, wherever such fish are found in the waters of this Commonwealth and rockfish or striped bass where found above tidewaters or in streams which are blocked from access from tidewaters by dams.

"Hunting and trapping" includes the act of or the attempted act of taking, hunting, trapping, pursuing, chasing, shooting, snaring or netting birds or animals, and assisting any person who is hunting, trapping or attempting to do so regardless of whether birds or animals are actually taken; however, when hunting and trapping are allowed, reference is made to such acts as being conducted by lawful means and in a lawful manner. The Board of Wildlife Resources may authorize by regulation the pursuing or chasing of wild birds or wild animals during any closed hunting season where persons have no intent to take such birds or animals.

"Lawful," "by law," or "law" means the statutes of this Commonwealth or regulations adopted by the Board which the Director is empowered to enforce.

"Migratory game birds" means doves, ducks, brant, geese, swan, coot, gallinules, sora and other rails, snipe, woodcock and other species of birds on which open hunting seasons are set by federal regulations.

"Muzzleloader" means any firearm described in subdivision 3 of the definition of antique firearm in § 18.2-308.2:2.

"Muzzleloading pistol" means a muzzleloader originally designed, made or intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand and that is loaded from the muzzle or forward end of the cylinder.

"Muzzleloading rifle" means a muzzleloader firing a single projectile that is loaded along with the propellant from the muzzle of the gun.

"Muzzleloading shotgun" means a muzzleloader with a smooth bore firing multiple projectiles that are loaded along with the propellant from the muzzle of the gun.

"Nonmigratory game birds" means grouse, bobwhite quail, turkey and all species of birds introduced into the Commonwealth by the Board.

"Nuisance species" means blackbirds, coyotes, crows, cowbirds, feral swine, grackles, English sparrows, starlings, or those species designated as such by regulations of the Board, and those species found committing or about to commit depredation upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, wildlife, livestock or other property or when concentrated in numbers and manners as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. However, the term nuisance does not include (i) animals designated as endangered or threatened pursuant to §§ 29.1-563, 29.1-564, and 29.1-566, (ii) animals classified as game or fur-bearing animals, and (iii) those species protected by state or federal law.

"Open season" means that period of time fixed by the Board during which wild animals, wild birds and fish may be taken, captured, killed, pursued, trapped or possessed.

"Pistol" means a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having one or more chambers as an integral part of or permanently aligned with the bore and a short stock at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore that is designed to be gripped by one hand.

"Possession" means the exercise of control of any wild animal, wild bird, fish or fur-bearing animal, or any part of the carcass thereof.

"Properly licensed person" means a person who, while engaged in hunting, fishing or trapping, or in any other activity permitted under this title, in and upon the lands and inland waters of this Commonwealth, has upon his person all the licenses, permits and stamps required by law.

"Regulation" means a regulation duly adopted by the Board pursuant to the authority vested by the provisions of this title.

"Revolver" means a projectile weapon of the pistol type, having a breechloading chambered cylinder arranged so that the cocking of the hammer or movement of the trigger rotates it and brings the next cartridge in line with the barrel for firing.

"Rifle" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

"Shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore or rifled shotgun barrel either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.

"Transportation" means the transportation, either upon the person or by any other means, of any wild animal or wild bird or fish.

"Wildlife" means all species of wild animals, wild birds and freshwater fish in the public waters of this Commonwealth.

1952, c. 573, § 29-131; 1952, c. 608, § 29-2.1; 1962, c. 469; 1974, c. 302; 1979, c. 264; 1984, c. 199; 1987, cc. 134, 488; 1990, c. 371; 2002, c. 157; 2012, cc. 247, 603; 2015, c. 618; 2017, c. 161; 2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-100.1. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries continued as Department of Wildlife Resources.

The Department of Wildlife Resources, formerly known as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, is continued, and wherever "Department of Game and Inland Fisheries" is used in this Code, it shall mean the Department of Wildlife Resources. The Board of Wildlife Resources, formerly known as the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, is continued, and wherever "Board of Game and Inland Fisheries" is used in this Code, it shall mean the Board of Wildlife Resources.

2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-101. Game Protection Fund.

The amount received by the State Treasurer from the collection of admittance, parking, or other use fees, the sale of hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, revenue generated from the sales and use tax pursuant to subsection E of § 58.1-638, and such other items as may accrue to the Board shall be set aside and shall constitute the Game Protection Fund. The income and principal of this Fund, including any unexpended balance, shall be a separate fund in the state treasury and shall only be used for the payment of the salaries, allowances, wages, and expenses incident to carrying out the provisions of the hunting, trapping and inland fish laws and for no other purpose, except as provided in §§ 29.1-101.01, 29.1-701, subdivision B 1 of 58.1-344.3, and 58.1-1410.

Code 1950, § 29-20; 1979, c. 264; 1981, c. 204; 1987, c. 488; 1991, c. 70; 1998, c. 320; 2003, c. 562; 2005, cc. 860, 889.

§ 29.1-101.01. Capital Improvement Fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special, nonreverting fund to be known as the Capital Improvement Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall consist of those funds that may be so designated by the Board and any gifts, grants, and contributions from any person, foundation, or other legal entity. In addition, the Board may transfer to this Fund an amount equal to fifty percent or less of the revenue generated annually from the sales and use tax which has been deposited in the Game Protection Fund pursuant to subsection E of § 58.1-638. The income and principal in the Fund shall be used only for the purchase, construction, maintenance, or repair of capital assets of the Department.

The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys received shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on the moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to the Fund. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund, except as provided in subsection E of § 58.1-638.

1998, c. 320.

§ 29.1-101.1. Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund.

There is hereby established in the state treasury a special fund to be designated the "Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund." This fund shall consist of proceeds from the sale of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses as provided in § 29.1-302.1 and any gifts, grants and contributions which are specifically designated for inclusion in the Fund.

The income and principal of this Fund shall be used only for the purposes of administering the lifetime hunting and fishing license program and supporting the wildlife conservation programs of the Department.

The Board shall serve as trustee of the Fund and these funds shall be withdrawn and expended for the purposes stated in this section by order of the Board. The State Treasurer shall be custodian of the funds. No part of such Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

1987, c. 95, § 29-20.1; 2020, c. 958.

Article 1.1. Virginia Fish Passage Grant and Revolving Loan Fund.

§ 29.1-101.2. Creation and management of Fund.

There is a permanent revolving fund known as the Virginia Fish Passage Grant and Revolving Loan Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The Fund shall be comprised of general fund moneys, receipts by the Fund from loans made by it, all income from the investment of moneys held by the Fund, and any other sums designated for deposit to the Fund from any source, public or private. The Fund shall be administered and managed by the Department and shall be used solely for the administration and management of the Fund and the Fish Passage Program. Moneys may be expended (i) as provided for in §§ 29.1-101.5 and 29.1-101.6 and (ii) for the costs incurred by the Department in the management of the Fund and operation of the Fish Passage Program.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1214; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.3. Deposit of money.

All money belonging to the Fund shall be recorded on the books of the State Comptroller and deposited in an account or accounts in banks or trust companies organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or in national banking associations located in Virginia or in savings institutions located in Virginia organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States. Money in the Fund not needed for immediate use or disbursement may be invested or reinvested by the State Treasurer in obligations or securities that are considered lawful investments for public funds under the laws of the Commonwealth.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1215; 1992, cc. 464, 887; 1996, c. 77.

§ 29.1-101.4. Collection of money due to the Fund.

The Department, or its designated agent, is empowered to collect amounts due to the Fund under any loan made by it including, where appropriate, taking action as required by § 15.2-2659 to obtain payment of any amounts in default. Proceedings to recover amounts due to the Fund may be instituted by the Department in the name of the Fund in any appropriate circuit court.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1216; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.5. Grants and loans to local governments.

After consultation with the Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Department may offer to finance the construction of fishways for any local government which owns a dam or other artificial impediment to the free passage of anadromous fish. The Fund will pay for seventy-five percent of the entire cost of the fishway, and will lend the balance of the cost to the local government. The loan shall be repaid over ten years at no interest or over twenty years at an annual rate of interest which shall be two percentage points below the rate for municipal bonds given in the latest Bond Buyer Twenty Bond Index appearing before the loan is made. Any balance of a loan not paid off as required by this section shall be paid off as provided in § 29.1-101.4. The Department shall approve the design of the fishway prior to the making of any grant or loan from the Fund pursuant to this section.

All local governments borrowing money from the Fund are authorized to take any action, adopt any proceedings and make and carry out any contracts that are contemplated by this chapter. Such contracts need not be identical among all local governments, but may be structured as determined by the Department according to the needs of the contracting local governments and the Fund.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1217; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.6. Loans to owners other than local governments.

After consultation with the Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Department may offer to finance the construction of fishways for an owner, other than a local government, who owns a dam or other artificial impediment to the free passage of anadromous fish. The term of such loan shall not exceed twenty years and the interest rate shall be the prime rate for major money center banks, as reported by the latest edition of The Wall Street Journal appearing before the loan is made if the total loan exceeds fifty percent of the estimated project cost; if the total loan does not exceed fifty percent of the estimated cost of the project, the interest rate shall not be less than three percentage points below such prime rate. The Department shall approve the design of the fishway prior to the making of any loan from the Fund pursuant to this section.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1218; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.7. Security for loans.

Each loan to an owner other than a local government shall be evidenced by appropriate bonds or notes of the borrower payable to the Fund. The Department may require in connection with any loan to an owner other than a local government such documents, instruments, certificates, legal opinions, and other information as it deems necessary or convenient. The Department may require such borrower to provide the Fund a security interest in the borrower's real and personal property and to procure such insurance, guarantees, letters of credit and other forms of security as the Department deems necessary to provide remedies to the Fund in case of loss or default.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1219; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.8. Grants and loans for dams licensed under or by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In the event that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a license for hydropower generation in connection with a dam that is the subject of a loan or grant from the Fund, that loan balance and all accrued interest and the full amount of the grant shall be due and payable one year from the date the federal license is issued or at the expiration of the term of the loan, whichever is earlier.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1220; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

§ 29.1-101.9. Requirement for fishways.

Notwithstanding any provision of § 29.1-532, including the existence or lack thereof of an exemption pursuant to § 29.1-532, the owner of every dam or other artificial impediment to the migration of anadromous fish in any tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, including that portion of the James River downstream from the City of Lynchburg, shall be responsible to provide appropriate fishways for anadromous fish as soon as reasonably possible after being offered financing from the Fund for the estimated construction cost of the fishways as provided in this article. Any owner of such a dam or other artificial impediment who fails to provide or to maintain fishways providing substantially free passage for anadromous fish may be compelled to provide such fishways by injunction in an action initiated by the Department in an appropriate circuit court. Nothing in this section shall relieve the owner of any dam or other object in a watercourse, which obstructs navigation or the passage of anadromous and other migratory fish, of any obligations or responsibilities under § 29.1-532.

1989, c. 5, § 10.1-1221; 1992, cc. 464, 887.

Article 2. Board of Wildlife Resources.

§ 29.1-102. Board of Wildlife Resources; how constituted; meetings.

A. The Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries is continued and shall hereafter be known as the Board of Wildlife Resources (the Board).

B. The Board shall consist of 11 members. Each member of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The members appointed shall be citizens of the Commonwealth and shall be knowledgeable about wildlife conservation, hunting, fishing, boating, agriculture, forestry, or habitat. Each Department region, as constituted on July 1, 2014, shall be represented by two members, and three members shall be members-at-large, each representing a different Department region. Members shall be appointed for terms of one to four years; however, appointments shall be made in a manner whereby no more than three members shall have terms which expire in the same year. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made in the same manner, but only for the unexpired term. No person shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. Members may be removed from office during their respective terms by the Governor.

C. The Board shall adopt rules and procedures for the conduct of its business that shall be set forth in a Governance Manual. The Board may establish committees to assist it with its duties and responsibilities. All decisions by a committee shall be reviewed by the Board, and shall only take effect if approved by the Board.

D. The Board shall elect one of its members as its chairman whose duties shall be limited to (i) presiding at all regular and called meetings of the Board; (ii) serving as the Board liaison to the Director, other Board members, and the Secretary of Natural Resources; and (iii) the other duties set forth in the Governance Manual as approved by a majority of the Board. The Board shall also elect a vice-chairman to preside in the absence of the chairman. Any additional duties of the vice-chairman shall be set forth in the Governance Manual. The Board shall annually elect one of its members as chairman and one of its members as vice-chairman. At such annual election, the chairman and vice-chairman shall not be eligible to be re-elected to their respective positions and no person shall serve more than one year as chairman and one year as vice-chairman during a four-year term.

E. The Board shall meet at least once every quarter of the calendar year for the transaction of business, and other meetings may be called if necessary by the chairman or at the request of any three members. The majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. Meetings shall be held in Richmond or at such other places within the Commonwealth as may be necessary.

Code 1950, §§ 29-3, 29-4, 29-8, 29-17; 1952, c. 608; 1956, c. 447; 1975, c. 152; 1987, c. 488; 2006, cc. 69, 915; 2014, c. 592; 2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-103. Powers and duties of the Board.

The Board is responsible for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this title and is authorized to:

1. Appoint the Director of the Department.

2. Acquire by purchase, lease, exchange, gift or otherwise, lands and waters in the Commonwealth and to establish buildings, structures, dams, lakes and ponds on such lands and waters. However, it is the policy of the Commonwealth that there shall be no net loss of those public lands managed by the Department that are available for hunting in Virginia.

3. Conduct operations for the preservation and propagation of game birds, game animals, fish and other wildlife in order to increase, replenish and restock the lands and inland waters of the Commonwealth.

4. Purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire lands and waters for game and fish refuges, preserves or public shooting and fishing, and establish such lands and waters under appropriate regulations.

5. Acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise, lands and structures for use as public landings, wharves, or docks; to improve such lands and structures; and to control the use of all such public landings, wharves, or docks by regulation.

6. Acquire and introduce any new species of game birds, game animals, or fish on the lands and within the waters of the Commonwealth, with the authorization and cooperation of the local government for the locality where the introduction occurs.

7. Restock, replenish and increase any depleted native species of game birds, game animals, or fish.

8. Have educational matter pertaining to wildlife published and distributed.

9. Hold exhibits throughout the Commonwealth for the purpose of educating school children, agriculturists and other persons in the preservation and propagation of wildlife in the Commonwealth.

10. Control land owned by and under control of the Commonwealth in Back Bay, its tributaries and the North Landing River from the North Carolina line to North Landing Bridge. The Board shall regulate or prohibit by regulation any drilling, dredging or other operation designed to recover or obtain shells, minerals, or other substances in order to prevent practices and operations which would harm the area for fish and wildlife.

11. Exercise powers it may deem advisable for conserving, protecting, replenishing, propagating and increasing the supply of game birds, game animals, fish and other wildlife of the Commonwealth.

12. Adopt resolutions or regulations conferring upon the Director all such powers, authorities and duties as the Board possesses and deems necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this title.

13. Administer and manage the Virginia Fish Passage Grant and Revolving Loan Fund pursuant to Article 1.1 (§ 29.1-101.2 et seq.) of Chapter 1.

14. Establish and collect admittance, parking, or other use fees at certain Department-owned facilities as determined by the Board. Any daily fee established by the Board shall not exceed $3. Any annual fee established by the Board shall not exceed the cost of an annual state resident fishing license pursuant to subdivision A 2 of § 29.1-310, or an annual state resident hunting license pursuant to subdivision 2 of § 29.1-303.

15. Establish and collect a use fee through the issuance of an annual hunting stamp required to be obtained to hunt on private lands managed by the Department through a lease agreement or other similar memorandum of agreement. The annual hunting stamp shall be in addition to the required licenses to hunt, and the cost of such stamp shall be the same as the cost of the annual state resident hunting license in § 29.1-303.

16. Revise, as it deems appropriate, through the promulgation of regulations as prescribed in Article 1 (§ 29.1-500 et seq.), the fees charged for all hunting, fishing and trapping licenses authorized under Articles 1 (§ 29.1-300 et seq.) and 2 (§ 29.1-340 et seq.) of Chapter 3, notwithstanding any other provision of this title. Beginning July 1, 2004, and no more frequently than once every three years thereafter, such license fees for residents may be increased or decreased no more than $5. Beginning July 1, 2007, and no more frequently than once every three years thereafter, the Board may increase or decrease license fees for nonresidents, authorized under Article 1 (§ 29.1-300 et seq.) of Chapter 3, no more than $50.

17. Take such regulatory or other action as it may determine to be necessary to enable the Commonwealth to become a party to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, as authorized in Article 2.1 (§ 29.1-530.5), and to implement the Compact in the Commonwealth. The promulgation of any regulations pursuant to this subdivision shall be as prescribed in Article 1 (§ 29.1-500 et seq.).

18. Adopt regulations that allow any person who holds a valid license to hunt or trap to manufacture and sell products made from wildlife that he has lawfully taken, except where the Board determines that such manufacture or sale is detrimental to public health or sound wildlife management.

Code 1950, §§ 29-6, 29-11; 1970, c. 254; 1979, c. 264; 1980, c. 301; 1987, c. 488; 1992, c. 887; 2003, c. 562; 2004, cc. 280, 1027; 2007, cc. 35, 906; 2009, c. 648; 2011, cc. 805, 841; 2016, c. 121.

§ 29.1-103.1. Control and eradication of wildlife diseases; Board authorized to promulgate regulations.

The Board, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the State Veterinarian, and representatives of appropriate agriculture agencies and organizations, may promulgate regulations pertaining to diseases in wildlife populations. The regulations shall include, but not be limited to, (i) measures to be implemented to eradicate or prevent the spread of such diseases and (ii) procedures for the condemnation and indemnification of captive wildlife. Regulations promulgated by the Board under this section shall not conflict with (a) the laws enforced by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or (b) the regulations, orders, proclamations, quarantines, or authority of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the State Veterinarian, or the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Livestock and poultry shall not be governed by any regulations promulgated under this section by the Board.

2006, c. 12.

§ 29.1-103.2. Assent to wildlife restoration projects and sport fishing restoration and management projects.

The Commonwealth hereby assents to the provisions of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq.), as amended, and to the provisions of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of August 9, 1950 (16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq.), as amended. The Director and the Board are hereby authorized to perform all such acts as may be necessary for the establishment and implementation of cooperative wildlife restoration projects and fish restoration and management projects, as defined in these federal statutes and the implementing regulations promulgated thereunder. Revenues derived from license fees paid by hunters and fishermen, as well as interest, dividends, or other income earned on such revenues, shall not be diverted and shall be used solely for the administration of the Department's fish and wildlife programs.

2006, c. 24.

§ 29.1-104. Acceptance of gifts, etc.

In addition to the authority granted the Board by § 29.1-103, the Board may receive gifts, grants, bequests, and devises of property, real or personal, and of money which, if accepted, shall be taken and held for any uses prescribed by the donor, grantor, or testator and in accord with the purposes of this title. The Board shall manage such properties or money in such a way as to maximize their value to the citizens of Virginia.

1973, c. 191, § 29-11.2; 1987, c. 488.

§ 29.1-105. Lease or contract respecting land or buildings.

The Board is authorized, with the approval of the Governor, to enter into contracts respecting or to lease any land or buildings leased or owned by it to private persons, corporations, associations, other governmental agencies, public authorities duly created by law or political subdivisions of the Commonwealth. The contracts or leases shall be (i) upon terms and conditions as deemed advisable by the Board, (ii) in a form to be approved by the Attorney General, and (iii) consistent with the powers, authority and responsibilities of the Board. If any such lease or contract is to be effective for a term of more than five years, it shall be authorized only after a public hearing by the Board. All amounts received pursuant to leases and contracts hereunder shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the game protection fund.

1970, c. 406, § 29-11.1; 1972, c. 520; 1973, c. 4; 1978, c. 835; 1979, c. 140; 1987, c. 488.

§ 29.1-106. Forest and watershed areas.

The Board is authorized to exercise full control of the hunting and fishing rights and privileges in and on all impounded water areas in this Commonwealth resulting from power development; and in all forest and watershed areas in this Commonwealth which are now owned, or which may hereafter be acquired, by the United States government, subject to the rights and power of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Board shall have the power to establish refuges, sanctuaries and public shooting and fishing preserves in these areas, under such regulations as it may deem proper.

Code 1950, § 29-12; 1987, c. 488.

§ 29.1-107. Rules and regulations.

All rules, resolutions, regulations and policies adopted by the Board shall be reduced to writing for the Director, shall be public documents and shall be available to the public on request.

Code 1950, § 29-7; 1987, c. 488.

§ 29.1-108. Audits and examinations.

The minute books and other records of the Board shall be open to examination by the Governor, members of the General Assembly, and Auditor of Public Accounts, or their representatives, at all times. The accounts of the Board shall be audited in the manner provided for the audit of other state agencies. In addition, the Board shall ensure that the Auditor of Public Accounts, or an entity approved by him, conducts an audit of a fiscal and compliance nature of the accounts and transactions of the Department as determined necessary by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Board may order such other audits as it deems necessary and desirable.

Code 1950, § 29-18; 1987, c. 488; 2006, cc. 69, 915; 2018, cc. 57, 307.

Article 3. Department of Wildlife Resources.

§ 29.1-109. Department of Wildlife Resources; Director.

A. The Department shall exist to provide public, informational and educational services related to this title, and to serve as the agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of all rules and regulations of the Board, the statutory provisions of this title, and related legislative acts. The Department shall employ scientific principles and procedures, as developed, researched, recognized and accepted within the bounds of comprehensive professional wildlife resource management, in the management of the Commonwealth's wildlife and natural resources.

B. The Board shall appoint a Director, subject to confirmation and reconfirmation every four years by the General Assembly, to head the Department and to act as principal administrative officer. In addition to the powers designated elsewhere in this title, the Director shall have the power to:

1. Enforce or cause to be enforced all laws for the protection, propagation and preservation of game birds and game animals of the Commonwealth and all fish in the inland waters thereof. Inland waters shall include all waters above tidewater and the brackish and freshwater streams, creeks, bays, including Back Bay, inlets, and ponds in the tidewater counties and cities. In waters of the Albemarle and Currituck watersheds, the management of the recreational and commercial harvest of blue crabs shall rest with the Marine Resources Commission.

2. Initiate prosecution of all persons who violate such laws, and seize and confiscate wild birds, wild animals and fish that have been illegally killed, caught, transported or shipped.

3. Enter into reciprocal or mutual aid agreements with other states pertaining to the enforcement of laws set forth in Chapters 3 (§ 29.1-300 et seq.), 4 (§ 29.1-400 et seq.), 5 (§ 29.1-500 et seq.), and 6 (§ 29.1-600 et seq.) across state boundaries.

4. Employ persons necessary for the administrative requirements of the Board and to designate the official position and duties of each. The salaries of all such employees shall be as provided in accordance with law.

5. Perform such acts as may be necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative fish and wildlife projects with the federal government as prescribed by acts of Congress and in compliance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior.

6. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of his duties and the execution of his powers, including, but not limited to, contracts with the United States, other state agencies and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

7. When practicable, consult with, and keep informed, wildlife and boating constituent organizations so as to benefit Virginia's wildlife and natural resources and accomplish the Department's mission.

Code 1950, §§ 29-8, 29-16; 1952, c. 680, § 29-1.1; 1954, c. 632, § 29-15; 1962, c. 469, § 29-14; 1974, c. 59, § 29-2; 1979, c. 264, § 29-13; 1987, c. 488; 1999, c. 215; 2000, c. 10; 2006, cc. 69, 915; 2012, c. 595; 2015, c. 68; 2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-110. Disbursements, accounts for Department; Board.

A. The disbursements of the Department and the Board shall be limited to the amount appropriated by the General Assembly from the game protection fund to expenditures from the Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund. In no event shall the Commonwealth pay obligations that may be incurred by the Department or Board or be liable in any manner for such obligations except to the extent of the game protection fund and the Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund.

B. Accounts for salaries, allowances, wages and expenses authorized by the Board shall be certified to the Comptroller for payment as the Board may direct by resolution.

Code 1950, §§ 29-21, 29-22; 1956, c. 337; 1987, cc. 95, 488.

§ 29.1-111. Sale of timber; portion of proceeds to be paid to locality.

A. The Director is authorized to manage and harvest timber on lands owned by the Board in accordance with the best timber and game management practices, and to sell the timber. Proceeds from the sale of such timber shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the game protection fund.

B. When the Director authorizes the selling of timber which is standing, or which has been cut from timber standing on land owned by the Board, the Board shall pay to the locality in which the standing timber is located twenty-five percent of the proceeds of the sale of the timber, after deducting the cost of any road constructed by the Department which is necessary for the sale of the timber.

Code 1950, § 29-23; 1964, c. 532, § 29-23.01; 1987, c. 488.

§ 29.1-112. Payment of license and permit fees.

The Director may authorize the acceptance of any method of payment authorized by § 2.2-614.1 in lieu of money for payment of any fees collected by the Department or agents acting on behalf of the Department for any licenses or permits issued under this title or for any merchandise sold by the Department.

1999, c. 254; 2002, c. 719.

§ 29.1-113. Admittance, parking, and use at certain Department-owned facilities or Department-leased land; civil penalty.

A. No person shall make use of, gain admittance to, or attempt to use or gain admittance to any Department-owned or Department-managed facility or boat ramp where the Department charges a fee established by the Board pursuant to § 29.1-103, unless the person pays such fee. However, such fee shall not apply to (i) any person holding a valid hunting, trapping, or fishing permit or an access permit or current certificate of boat registration issued by the Department; (ii) any person 16 years of age or younger; or (iii) any person who is a passenger in but not the owner or operator of a paddlecraft or registered vessel.

B. No person shall hunt on private lands managed by the Department through a lease agreement or other similar memorandum of agreement where the Department issues an annual hunting stamp without having purchased a valid annual hunting stamp.

C. Any person violating subsection A or B may, in lieu of any criminal penalty, be assessed a civil penalty of up to $50 by the Department. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the Game Protection Fund established pursuant to § 29.1-101.

D. No owner or driver shall cause or permit a vehicle to stand:

1. On property owned or managed by the Department outside of a designated parking space, except for a reasonable time in order to receive or discharge passengers or in the case of an emergency;

2. In any designated parking space on property owned or managed by the Department in violation of any posted rule regarding use of the space; or

3. In any space on property owned or managed by the Department designated for use by persons with disabilities unless the vehicle displays a license plate or decal issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a similar identification issued by a similar authority of another state or the District of Columbia, that authorizes parking in such a designated space. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 29.1-554, any regulation of the Board, or any other trespass provision in the Code of Virginia, no person violating this subsection shall be subject to a criminal penalty. Any person violating this subsection may, in lieu of any criminal penalty, be assessed a civil penalty of $25, which shall be paid into the Game Protection Fund.

2003, c. 562; 2004, c. 280; 2011, c. 768; 2020, c. 321.

§ 29.1-114. Hunting from aircraft feral hogs.

Notwithstanding § 5.1-17, employees of the Department and employees of federal agencies whose responsibilities include fisheries and wildlife management, in the performance of such employees' official duties, may hunt or kill feral hogs in False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge from aircraft, with the permission of the landowner. However, no such activity shall occur during waterfowl season.

2016, c. 116; 2020, c. 958.