First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970279.01 JLB
HOUSE BILL 971045
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVES Entz and Taylor;
also SENATOR Wattenberg.
& NATURAL RESOURCES
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE DIVISION OF WILDLIFE
TO MANAGE WILD ANIMALS CAPABLE OF CAUSING ECONOMIC DAMAGE, AND
MAKING AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Prohibits the division of wildlife from adopting rules that restrict the taking of raccoons, coyotes, beavers, or muskrats to a specific season.
Eliminates the exclusion to state livestock damage liability allowed for damage caused by coyotes or bobcats. Indicates that the general assembly intends for the state to be potentially liable for damage to livestock caused by any animal that the livestock owner cannot control or the taking of which is prohibited or substantially restricted by law, unless the damage is caused by a species whose taking is prohibited by federal law.
Eliminates the provision allowing reimbursement of damages to aftermath on alfalfa without regard to historic numbers of wildlife. Makes it lawful to kill coyotes and raccoons without a permit if the killing is necessary to prevent death or injury to livestock or human life. Also makes it lawful to kill coyotes to prevent them from inflicting death or injury to certain big game or to small game, birds, or mammals.
Requires that the division of wildlife use the property
owner's established yield and not an areawide or historic yield
when reimbursing property owners for game damage to crops.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 331106 (1) (a), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:
331106. Authority to regulate taking, possession, and use of wildlife. (1) In order to provide an adequate, flexible, and coordinated statewide system of wildlife management and to maintain adequate and proper populations of wildlife species, the commission shall have authority in this state, by appropriate rules and regulations, to:
(a) (I) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPHS (II) AND (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (a), determine under what circumstances, when, in which localities, by what means, what sex of, and in what amounts and numbers the wildlife of this state may be taken and, further, to shorten, extend, or close seasons on any species of wildlife in any specific locality or the entire state when it finds after investigation that such action is necessary to assure maintenance of adequate populations of wildlife or to preserve the proper ecological balance of the environment.
(II) IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COMMISSION ADOPT ANY RULE THAT RESTRICTS THE TAKING OF RACCOONS, COYOTES, BEAVERS, OR MUSKRATS TO SPECIFIC SEASONS, EXCEPT AS THE STATE CONSTITUTION MAY OTHERWISE PROVIDE.
(III) In no event
shall the commission adopt any regulation concerning the taking
of black bears which
THAT is in conflict with the provisions of section 334101.3.
SECTION 2. 333103 (1) (a), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:
333103. No liability for damage when legislative intent. (1) The state shall not be liable for:
(a) Damage to livestock caused by
bobcats, or dogs. It is the intent
of the general assembly that, the
division shall use whatever proper means are available to effectively
minimize depredation to livestock by coyotes and bobcats
EXCEPT FOR SPECIES WHOSE TAKING IS PROHIBITED BY FEDERAL LAW,
THE STATE BE POTENTIALLY LIABLE FOR LIVESTOCK DAMAGE CAUSED BY
AN ANIMAL THAT THE LIVESTOCK OWNER IS UNABLE TO STOP OR THE TAKING
OF WHICH THE DIVISION HAS PROHIBITED, RESTRICTED TO A SPECIFIC
SEASON, OR OTHERWISE SUBSTANTIALLY RESTRICTED.
SECTION 3. 333104 (1) (d), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:
333104. State shall be liable when. (1) Subject to the limitations contained in section 333103 and in part 2 of this article, the state shall be liable only for:
(d) Damages caused by those species of
wildlife enumerated in section 331102 (2) to orchards,
nurseries, crops under cultivation, and harvested crops; damages
to lawful fences as defined in section 3546101 (1),
C.R.S., when such damages exceed ten percent of the value of the
specific fence involved; and damages to livestock forage in excess
of ten percent of historic use levels for privately owned and
fenced ranch or farm units, which are specifically limited to
hay meadows, pasture meadows, GRAIN FIELDS, artificially seeded
rangelands, and grazing land
THAT is deferred to seasonal uses. Damages
to aftermath on alfalfa shall be paid to the full extent of such
damages without regard to historic numbers of wildlife.
Historic levels shall be designated by the claimant at the time
of making a claim. Historic levels shall be expressed in average
numbers of wildlife present on the property in question based
on the twentyyear period ending January 1, 1973. If the
division does not agree with the claimant on normal historic levels
or any element of a damage settlement, the matter shall be submitted
to arbitration within ten days of notice by either party. The
arbitration panel shall consist of one arbitrator chosen by the
landowner, one arbitrator chosen by the division, and one arbitrator
chosen by the other two arbitrators. If the two arbitrators cannot
agree within ten days on a third arbitrator, a request by either
party shall be made to the district court for the judicial district
of the county in which the damage is located for appointment of
a third impartial arbitrator. The division and the landowner
shall equally share the cost of the use of the third arbitrator.
Historic levels or any element settled by arbitration may be
included in an appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction, and
the court shall not be bound by the finding of the arbitration
SECTION 4. 333106 (3) and (4), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., are amended to read:
333106. Excessive damage permit to take wildlife harassment by dogs. (3) Nothing in this section shall make it unlawful to trap, kill, or otherwise dispose of bears, mountain lions, COYOTES, RACCOONS, or dogs in situations when it is necessary to prevent them from inflicting death or injury to livestock or human life and additionally, in the case of COYOTES OR dogs, when it is necessary to prevent them from inflicting death or injury to big game other than bear or mountain lion and to small game, birds, and mammals. The division may bring a civil action against the owner of any dog inflicting death or injury to any big game other than bear or mountain lion and to small game, birds, and mammals for the value of each game animal injured or killed. The minimum value of each animal shall be as set forth in section 336110.
(4) It shall not be necessary or requisite
to obtain from the division any permit for the taking of bears,
mountain lions, coyotes, RACCOONS, bobcats, or dogs. No dog shall
be killed within the city limits of any town, city, or municipality
or while in the possession of or under the control of any person
unless otherwise permitted by law. All bears and mountain lions
THAT are taken or destroyed under this section shall be reported
to the division within five days after the killing thereof.
SECTION 5. 333107, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION to read:
333107. Claims procedure. (4) THE DIVISION SHALL, WHEN CALCULATING THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT PAYABLE FOR GAME DAMAGE TO CROPS, BASE SUCH CALCULATION ON THE PROPERTY OWNER'S ESTABLISHED YIELD AND NOT ON AN AREAWIDE OR COUNTYWIDE AVERAGE OR HISTORIC YIELD UNLESS THE PROPERTY OWNER HAS NO ESTABLISHED YIELD.
SECTION 6. 333203 (2) (b) (I) and (3), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., are amended to read:
333203. Claims procedure.
(2) (b) (I) If the division does not agree
with the claimant on
levels, or any element of a damage
settlement, the matter shall be submitted to arbitration within
ten days of notice by either party unless the claimant waives
arbitration. The arbitration panel shall consist of one arbitrator
chosen by the landowner, one arbitrator chosen by the division,
and one arbitrator chosen by the other two arbitrators. If the
two arbitrators cannot agree within ten days on a third arbitrator,
a request by either party shall be made to the district court
for the judicial district of the county in which the damage is
located for appointment of a third impartial arbitrator. The
division and the landowner shall equally share the cost of the
use of the third arbitrator.
(3) (a) For payment to a claimant, the controller shall draw a warrant upon a voucher approved by the division and the state treasurer shall pay the amount of settlement out of the wildlife cash fund.
(b) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL ANNUALLY APPROPRIATE FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE WILDLIFE CASH FUND AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO PAY PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS ARISING UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
SECTION 7. Appropriation. In addition to any other appropriation, there is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the wildlife cash fund not otherwise appropriated, to the department of natural resources for allocation to the division of wildlife, for game damage claims, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1997, the sum of ___________ dollars ($______), or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the implementation of this act.
SECTION 8. Effective date applicability. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to damages to property sustained on or after said date.
SECTION 9. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.