By: Lauren Ebrahim, Tucson News Now Intern
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously in a strike-everything ammendment to a House bill that strengthens state authority on enforcing travel management rules on federal Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.
HB 2551 is supported by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber), but the commissions support is contingent on changes that will be offered by the commission allowing the State of Arizona to decide which federal rules and regulations will become enforceable by state wildlife officers under state law.
"As the situation currently exists, federal rules, whether created from Washington D.C. or at the individual Forest Supervisor level, can force Arizona law enforcement to enforce those rules, without appropriately consulting or involving the Arizona Game and Fish Department or the local County Sheriff's Office," Game and Fish Commission Chair Jack Husted said.
The commission's support is based on its concerns that the new Forest Service travel management rules exceed science-based protection of habitat.
Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles said
that currently state law says that if a federal entity establishes
regulations related to roads, trails, routes and closed areas, they are
automatically codified by Arizona state law and if a person operates
outside the parameters of the federal regulation, that individual is
automatically in violation of state law.
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