By Malcolm Mafi
The New Hampshire state legislature recently passed legislation requiring the state to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. This national law enforcement network is crucial, because without interstate cooperation, poachers or other criminals who lose their state hunting or fishing license due to their violations can simply move to another state and resume criminal operations. The Compact was started in 1989 between Nevada, Oregon, and Colorado—since that time, 39 different states have become members, and membership is now pending in five states.
Now that Governor Maggie Hassan has signed the legislation, New Hampshire will soon join the Compact and have reciprocal agreements with the other states involved. Through this interstate cooperation, New Hampshire will refuse to issue hunting or fishing licenses to poachers from other member states, and New Hampshire poachers will not be allowed to continue their crimes in other Compact member states. This type of interstate cooperation is crucial to combat the thousands of poaching incidents that occur each year, especially since fewer than 20 percent of poached animals are recovered by law enforcement and most poachers are able to escape punishment for their crimes. With conservation officers spread thinly over large areas, interstate collaboration and heavy penalties are necessary to deter poaching before it happens.
In the well-spoken words of Joanna Bourbeau of the Humane Society of the United States: “The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is a valuable resource for cracking down on poaching and will help New Hampshire’s conservation officers protect our wildlife. We’re so grateful to Senator Woodburn for sponsoring this bill and to the entire New Hampshire legislature and Governor Hassan for supporting this much needed legislation.” Please sign the petition below to thank Governor Hassan for signing this important legislation, and adding her state to the Compact that can protect wildlife animals from poaching.
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