FISH AND GAME
FISH AND GAME COMMISSION
36-106. Director of department of fish and game. (a) Office of Director Created. The commission shall appoint a director of the department of fish and game, hereinafter referred to as the director, who shall be a person with knowledge of, and experience in, the requirements for the protection, conservation, restoration, and management of the wildlife resources of the state. The director shall not hold any other public office, nor any office in any political party organization, and shall devote his entire time to the service of the state in the discharge of his official duties, under the direction of the commission.
(b) Secretary to Commission. The director or his designee shall serve as secretary to the commission.
(c) Compensation and Expenses. The director shall receive such compensation as the commission, with the concurrence and approval of the governor, may determine and shall be reimbursed at the rate provided by law for state employees for all actual and necessary traveling and other expenses incurred by him in the discharge of his official duties.
(d) Oath and Bond. Before entering upon the duties of his office, the director shall take and subscribe to the official oath of office, as provided by section 59-401, Idaho Code, and shall, in addition thereto, swear and affirm that he holds no other public office, nor any position under any political committee or party. Such oath, or affirmation, shall be signed in the office of the secretary of state.
The director shall be bonded to the state of Idaho in the time, form and manner prescribed by chapter 8, title 59, Idaho Code.
(e) Duties and Powers of Director.
1. The director shall have general supervision and control of all activities, functions, and employees of the department of fish and game, under the supervision and direction of the commission, and shall enforce all the provisions of the laws of the state, and rules and proclamations of the commission relating to wild animals, birds, and fish and, further, shall perform all the duties prescribed by section 67-2405, Idaho Code, and other laws of the state not inconsistent with this act, and shall exercise all necessary powers incident thereto not specifically conferred on the commission.
2. The director is hereby authorized to appoint as many classified employees as the commission may deem necessary to perform administrative duties, to enforce the laws and to properly implement management, propagation, and protection programs established for carrying out the purposes of the Idaho fish and game code.
3. The appointment of such employees shall be made by the director in accordance with chapter 53, title 67, Idaho Code, and rules promulgated pursuant thereto, and they shall be compensated as provided therein. Said employees shall be bonded to the state of Idaho in the time, form, and manner prescribed by chapter 8, title 59, Idaho Code.
4. The director is hereby authorized to establish and maintain fish hatcheries for the purpose of hatching, propagating, and distributing all kinds of fish.
5. (A) The director, or any person appointed by him in writing to do so, may take wildlife of any kind, dead or alive, or import the same, subject to such conditions, restrictions and rules as he may provide, for the purpose of inspection, cultivation, propagation, distribution, scientific or other purposes deemed by him to be of interest to the fish and game resources of the state.
(B) The director shall have supervision over all of the matters pertaining to the inspection, cultivation, propagation and distribution of the wildlife propagated under the provisions of title 36, Idaho Code. He shall also have the power and authority to obtain, by purchase or otherwise, wildlife of any kind or variety which he may deem most suitable for distribution in the state and may have the same properly cared for and distributed throughout the state of Idaho as he may deem necessary.
(C) The director is hereby authorized to issue a license/tag/permit to a nonresident landowner who resides in a contiguous state for the purpose of taking one (1) animal during an emergency depredation hunt which includes the landowner’s Idaho property subject to such conditions, restrictions or rules as the director may provide. The fee for this license/tag/permit shall be equal to the costs of a resident hunting license, a resident tag fee and a resident depredation permit.
(D) Unless relocation is required pursuant to subparagraph (E) herein, notwithstanding the provisions of section 36-408, Idaho Code, to the contrary, the director shall not expend any funds, or take any action, or authorize any employee or agent of the department or other person to take any action, to undertake actual transplants of bighorn sheep into areas they do not now inhabit for the purpose of augmenting existing populations until:
(i) The boards of county commissioners of the counties in which the release is proposed to take place have been given reasonable notice of the proposed release.
(ii) The affected federal and state land grazing permittees and owners or leaseholders of private land in or contiguous to the proposed release site have been given reasonable notice of the proposed release.
(iii) The president pro tempore of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives have received from the director a plan for the forthcoming year that details, to the best of the department’s ability, the proposed transplants which shall include the estimated numbers of bighorn sheep to be transplanted and a description of the areas the proposed transplant or transplants are planned for.
Upon request, the department shall grant one (1) hearing per transplant or relocation if any affected individual or entity expresses written concern within ten (10) days of notification regarding any transplants or relocations of bighorn sheep and shall take into consideration these concerns in approving, modifying or canceling any proposed bighorn sheep transplant or relocation. Any such hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days of the request. It is the policy of the state of Idaho that existing sheep or livestock operations in the area of any bighorn sheep transplant or relocation are recognized and that the potential risk, if any, of disease transmission and loss of bighorn sheep when the same invade domestic livestock or sheep operations is accepted. Prior to any transplant or relocation of bighorn sheep into areas they do not now inhabit or a transplant or relocation for the purpose of augmenting existing populations, the department shall provide for any affected federal or state land grazing permittees or owners or leaseholders of private land a written agreement signed by all federal, state and private entities responsible for the transplant or relocation stating that the existing sheep or livestock operations in the area of any such bighorn sheep transplant or relocation are recognized and that the potential risk, if any, of disease transmission and loss of bighorn sheep when the same invade domestic livestock or sheep operations is accepted.
(E) The Idaho department of fish and game: (1) shall develop a state management plan to maintain a viable, self-sustaining population of bighorn sheep in Idaho which shall consider as part of the plan the current federal or state domestic sheep grazing allotment(s) that currently have any bighorn sheep upon or in proximity to the allotment(s); (2) within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this act will cooperatively develop best management practices with the permittee(s) on the allotment(s). Upon commencement of the implementation of best management practices, the director shall certify that the risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep. The director’s certification shall continue for as long as the best management practices are implemented. The director may also certify that the risk of disease transmission, if any, between bighorn and domestic sheep is acceptable for the viability of the bighorn sheep based upon a finding that other factors exist, including but not limited to previous exposure to pathogens that make separation between bighorn and domestic sheep unnecessary.
6. (A) The director shall have the power, at any time when it is desired to introduce any new species, or if at any time any species of wildlife of the state of Idaho shall be threatened with excessive shooting, trapping, or angling or otherwise, to close any open season or to reduce the bag limit or possession limit for such species for such time as he may designate; in the event an emergency is declared to exist, such closure shall become effective forthwith upon written order of the director; in all other cases, upon publication and posting as provided in section 36-105, Idaho Code.
(B) (i) In order to protect property from damage by wildlife, including bear and turkey, the fish and game commission may delegate to the director or his designee the authority to declare an open season upon that particular species of wildlife to reduce its population. The director or his designee shall make an order embodying his findings in respect to when, under what circumstances, in which localities, by what means, and in what amounts, numbers and sex the wildlife subject to the hunt may be taken. In the event an emergency is declared to exist, such open season shall become effective forthwith upon written order of the director or his designee; in all other cases, upon publication and posting as provided in section 36-105, Idaho Code.
(ii) In the event a kill permit is issued by the director or his designee, the individual or landowner with the kill permit, in conjunction with their responsibility for field dressing the animals taken, may keep one (1) animal for their personal use. In the event the director or his designee issues a subsequent kill permit for the same individual or landowner due to continued depredation, the director or his designee may authorize the individual or landowner to keep a second subsequently taken animal for their personal use.
(C) Any season closure order issued under authority hereof shall be published in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the order for at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks, and such order shall be posted in public places in each county as the director may direct.
(D) During the closure of any open season or the opening of any special depredation season by the director, all provisions of laws relating to the closed season or the special depredation season on such wildlife shall be in force and whoever violates any of the provisions shall be subject to the penalties prescribed therefor.
(E) Prior to the opening of any special depredation hunt, the director or his designee shall be authorized to provide up to a maximum of fifty percent (50%) of the available permits for such big game to the landholder(s) of privately owned land within the hunt area or his designees. If the landholder(s) chooses to designate hunters, he must provide a written list of the names of designated individuals to the department. If the landholder(s) fails to designate licensed hunters, then the department will issue the total available permits in the manner set by rule. All hunters must have a current hunting license and shall have equal access to both public and private lands within the hunt boundaries. It shall be unlawful for any landholder(s) to receive any form of compensation from a person who obtains or uses a depredation controlled hunt permit.
7. The director shall make an annual report to the governor, the legislature, and the secretary of state of the doings and conditions of his office.
8. The director may sell or cause to be sold publications and materials in accordance with section 59-1012, Idaho Code.
9. Any deer, elk, antelope, moose, bighorn sheep or bison imported or transported by the department of fish and game shall be tested for the presence of certain communicable diseases that can be transmitted to domestic livestock. Those communicable diseases to be tested for shall be arrived at by mutual agreement between the department of fish and game and the department of agriculture. Any moneys expended by the department of fish and game on wildlife disease research shall be mutually agreed upon by the department of fish and game and the department of agriculture.
In addition, a comprehensive animal health program for all deer, elk, antelope, moose, bighorn sheep, or bison imported into, transported, or resident within the state of Idaho shall be implemented after said program is mutually agreed upon by the department of fish and game and the department of agriculture.
10. In order to monitor and evaluate the disease status of wildlife and to protect Idaho’s livestock resources, any suspicion by fish and game personnel of a potential communicable disease process in wildlife shall be reported within twenty-four (24) hours to the department of agriculture. All samples collected for disease monitoring or disease evaluation of wildlife shall be submitted to the division of animal industries, department of agriculture.
11. (A) The director is authorized to enter into an agreement with an independent contractor for the purpose of providing a telephone order and credit card payment service for controlled hunt permits, licenses, tags, and permits.
(B) The contractor may collect a fee for its service in an amount to be set by contract.
(C) All moneys collected for the telephone orders of such licenses, tags, and permits shall be and remain the property of the state, and such moneys shall be directly deposited by the contractor into the state treasurer’s account in accordance with the provisions of section 59-1014, Idaho Code. The contractor shall furnish a good and sufficient surety bond to the state of Idaho in an amount sufficient to cover the amount of the telephone orders and potential refunds.
(D) The refund of moneys for unsuccessful controlled hunt permit applications and licenses, tags, and permits approved by the department may be made by the contractor crediting the applicant’s or licensee’s credit card account.
12. The director may define activities or facilities that primarily provide a benefit: to the department; to a person; for personal use; to a commercial enterprise; or for a commercial purpose.
13. The director shall consult with other agencies to identify eligible land suitable for the location or relocation of shooting ranges.
[36-106, added 1976, ch. 95, sec. 2, p. 321; am. 1983, ch. 59, sec. 2, p. 137; am. 1984, ch. 154, sec. 1, p. 368; am. 1987, ch. 211, sec. 2, p. 445; am. 1988, ch. 260, sec. 1, p. 504; am. 1989, ch. 284, sec. 1, p. 695; am. 1990, ch. 9, sec. 1, p. 15; am. 1990, ch. 10, sec. 1, p. 18; am. 1993, ch. 309, sec. 1, p. 1140; am. 1994, ch. 82, sec. 2, p. 194; am. 1994, ch. 218, sec. 4, p. 684; am. 1997, ch. 284, sec. 1, p. 863; am. 1998, ch. 170, sec. 3, p. 572; am. 1999, ch. 370, sec. 22, p. 1002; am. 2000, ch. 211, sec. 2, p. 543; am. 2004, ch. 176, sec. 1, p. 555; am. 2005, ch. 35, sec. 1, p. 151; am. 2009, ch. 314, sec. 1, p. 913; am. 2014, ch. 104, sec. 2, p. 308; am. 2017, ch. 199, sec. 1, p. 498; am. 2019, ch. 161, sec. 5, p. 529; am. 2020, ch. 85, sec. 2, p. 225.]