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KEY: wildlife, predator, game laws, wildlife law

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: July 8, 2013

Notice of Continuation: New Rule

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-30-102; 23-30-104; 23-13-17

R657-64-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) This rule is promulgated under authority of Section 23-30-104 to establish procedures for:

(a) targeted predator control and general predator control programs administered by the division for the benefit of mule deer; and

(b) creation and distribution of educational and training materials related to mule deer protection.

R657-64-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-30-102 and 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Division" means the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

(b) "General predator control" means a predatory animal removal effort by the division, which uses the public to remove predators for the benefit of mule deer.

(c) "GPS" means Global Positioning System location in either the form of Latitude-Longitude coordinate or Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate.

(d) "Marked" means the permanent clipping or punching of ears on the predatory animal carcass or pelt.

(e) "Predatory animal" means a coyote.

(f) "Targeted area" means an area within the State of Utah specifically identified for predatory animal removal during a specified season.

(g) "Targeted predator control" means a predatory animal removal effort by the division or its contractors:

(i) to remove predatory animals in an area where high predation on mule deer occurs; and

(ii) that focuses on specific locations and certain times.

(h) "State" means State of Utah.

R657-64-3. Predatory Animal Control Programs.

(1) Two predatory animal control programs are created within the division to provide financial incentive to participants for the removal of coyotes detrimental to mule deer production.

(a) The General Predator Control Program provides a financial incentive to any registered participant to remove coyotes within the State.

(i) The financial incentive to participate in the program and remove coyotes under the conditions prescribed in this rule and by the division is $50 compensation per animal, unless otherwise adjusted by the division, to be paid in accordance with R657-64-4.

(b) The Targeted Predator Control Program provides compensation by contract to preapproved vendors to remove coyotes within prescribed areas of the State and during specified times of the year where predation on deer is most prevalent.

(2) Participants in either program are not granted special authority to take coyotes beyond that available to non-participants, and each shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

(3)(a) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b) participants in both programs are required to follow all relevant rules and regulations related to trapping and firearm use, as detailed in state code and rule R657-11, "Taking Furbearers."

(b) The division may exempt a participant in the Targeted Predator Control Program from specified provisions o fR657-11 which the division determines necessary to effectively control coyotes in a targeted area that are detrimental to mule deer production.

R657-64-4. General Predator Control Program.

(1) A person may participate in the General Predator Control Program, provided the applicant:

(a) completes an online application, including the applicant's:

(i) full name;

(ii) mailing address;

(iii) phone number;

(iv) e-mail address;

(v) date of birth; and

(vi) social security number;

(b) completes an online orientation and training course for participation in the program;

(c) agrees to the requirements of this rule and any additional terms and conditions specified by the division for program participation on its webpage;

(d) acknowledges and agrees to the division submitting an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 each calendar year where compensation totals require reporting under federal law;

(e) acknowledges and agrees to verify that all coyotes submitted for compensation are taken by the applicant within the State.

(f) acknowledges and agrees to collect and submit accurate GPS data documenting the precise location where each coyote is taken; and

(g) acknowledges and agrees to not interfere with USDA Wildlife Services employees conducting similar coyote removal efforts in the area.

(2) The division may deny an application to participate in the program for any of the following reasons:

(a) the application is incomplete or filled out incorrectly;

(b) the application contains false or misleading information;

(c) the applicant has failed to complete the online orientation and training course required in Subsection (1)(b);

(d) the applicant has previously violated any of the terms of this rule or participation requirements imposed by the division;

(e) the applicant's hunting privileges are suspended in the State at the time of application;

(f) the applicant has been convicted of or entered a plea in abeyance to any crime of dishonesty in the previous five years; or

(g) the applicant has committed any other crime, or violation of law or contract that bears a reasonable relationship to their reliability in accurately reporting the locations and times that predatory animals are taken.

(3) Upon approval of the application, the division shall issue a registration number authorizing the applicant's participation in the program which will remain valid until June 30th each year, unless earlier suspended pursuant to R657-64-11.

(4) Registered program participants will be eligible to receive from the division $50 for each qualifying coyote presented, unless otherwise adjusted by the division, subject to the following conditions:

(a) requests for payment shall be made only on the designated check-in dates and at the locations identified by the division;

(b) any coyote presented to the division for the incentive payment must:

(i) be taken by the participant within the State on or after July 1, 2012;

(A) Program participants are not authorized to trespass or take coyotes on tribal trust lands without written tribal authorization.

(ii) include the full pelt or the scalp with both ears attached, with neither previously marked or damaged to the extent that marking is unascertainable;

(iii) include the lower jaw removed from the carcass with canine teeth intact ;

(iv) be permanently marked by the division; and

(c) requests for payment must be on a signed, division-approved compensation form that:

(i) provides the name, mailing address, and registration number of the participant;

(ii) records the date and GPS location where each coyote is taken; and

(iii) verifies that the participant personally took the coyotes, the information provided is accurate, and all program terms and conditions have been complied with.

(5) Program participants may designate a third party to check-in their coyotes with the division at the designated times and locations, provided:

(a) the compensation form referred to in subsection (4)(c) is completed and signed by the program participant that took the coyotes;

(b) the lower jaw and either the full pelt or the scalp (with both ears attached) of each coyote is presented to the division, as required in Subsection (4)(b)(ii) and (iii), with the compensation form; and

(c) the compensation form identifies and authorizes the person that will present it to the division for compensation.

(6) Compensation for qualified coyotes will be documented by written receipt at the time of submission to the division and payment by check will be mailed at a later date.

(7) Participants shall be responsible for disposing of coyote pelts and ears presented to the division for compensation, but the division may retain the lower jaw.

R657-64-5. Targeted Predator Control Program.

(1) The division may award contracts and compensate eligible vendors for targeted coyote removal services in areas of the State and at times specified in the contract.

(a) Selected vendors will be compensated as prescribed in the contract and are ineligible to receive the $50 incentive under the General Predator Control Program in R657-64-4 for coyotes taken under contract in the Targeted Predator Control Program.

(b) Vendors participating in the Targeted Predator Control Program must submit to the division the lower jaw removed from the carcass with canine teeth intact and either the full pelt or the scalp with both ears attached for each coyote for which compensation credit is sought.

(i) The division will document each animal and mark its ears, and may retain its lower jaw.

(c) Contract vendors shall:

(i) be responsible for disposal of all coyote pelts and ears presented to the division for compensation credit, but the division may retain the lower jaw;

(ii) not interfere with USDA Wildlife Services employees conducting similar coyote removal efforts within a targeted area;

(iii) verify that all coyotes presented for compensation credit were taken:

(A) by them personally or by another person operating under their direct supervision; and

(B) within the areas and time periods prescribed in the contract; and

(iv) provide and verify the accuracy of GPS data documenting the precise location where each coyote is taken.

(2)(a) The division may establish a list or pool of preapproved vendors for participation in the Targeted Predator Control Program.

(b) Preapproved vendors are eligible to receive a coyote removal contract.

(c) The division may select one or more of the approved vendors for use in each targeted area for the season.

(d) The division has full discretion to select any vendor to contract with among the pool of preapproved vendors and is under no obligation to use all the vendors or to provide equal opportunity to them.

(e) The division is not bound to select vendors in any year, and does not guarantee that any vendor will be selected.

(3)(a) A person or business entity may become a preapproved vendor in the Targeted Predator Control Program by complying with the following:

(i) complete and submit to the division an application on the form provided by the division; and

(ii) participate in the General Predator Control Program under R657-64-4 for one or more years with compensation credit awarded by the division for 25 or more coyotes each year.

(A) In the case of a business entity, one or more of the entity's principals or owners must satisfy the requirements in Subsection (3)(a)(ii).

(b) The division may deny an application for preapproved vendor status in the Targeted Predator Control Program for any of the following reasons:

(i) the application is incomplete or filled out incorrectly;

(ii) the application contains false or misleading information;

(iii) the applicant has previously violated any of the terms of this rule or participation requirements imposed by the division;

(iv) the applicant's hunting privileges are suspended in the State at the time of application;

(v) the applicant has been convicted of or entered a plea in abeyance to any crime of dishonesty in the previous five years; or

(vi) the applicant has committed any other crime, or violation of law or contract that bears a reasonable relationship to their reliability in accurately reporting the locations and times that predatory animals are taken.

R657-64-6. Trap Locations.

(1) Program participants and contract vendors are required to provide GPS data documenting the precise location where each coyote is taken.

(2) To the extent GPS data discloses the location of trap lines and public disclosure of that data exposes the traps to the possibility of theft and damage, the data may be classified as "protected" under Section 63G-2-305(2) and restricted from public disclosure pursuant to Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, provided the requirements of Subsection (3) are satisfied.

(3) Any person desiring to protect GPS data from public disclosure that locates trap lines must submit to the division a written claim of confidentiality explaining:

(a) the financial and commercial harm reasonably expected to occur if the data is subject to public disclosure; and

(b) why the person submitting the data has a greater interest in prohibiting access than the public in obtaining access.

R657-64-7. Coordination.

(1) The division will coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Board created in Section 4-23-4 to:

(a) minimize unnecessary duplication of predatory animal control efforts;

(b) prevent interference between predatory animal control programs administered under Title 4, Chapter 23, Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act and this rule; and

(c) enhance the effectiveness of predatory animal control efforts and maximize the benefit to both mule deer and livestock.

R657-64-8. Education and Training.

The division may conduct and administer training, education, and outreach activities related to mule deer protection and predator control.

R657-64-9. Appropriation of Funds.

(1) Funding for the predatory animal control programs in this rule is appropriated annually by the Legislature.

(2) Should appropriated funding be reduced or eliminated, funds available for compensation in the two predatory animal control programs may be ended without prior public notice.

(3) Once the annual funding allocation for coyote removal is expended for the general or targeted control programs in a given year, no further payments will be made for that year, regardless of pelts or ears that may be held by program participants.

R657-64-10. Liability.

(1)(a) Any person who participates in either predatory animal control program under this rule assumes full and complete liability and responsibility for their acts and omissions while engaged in removing coyotes or redeeming them for compensation.

(b) To the extent provided under the Utah Governmental Immunity Act and the liability limitations in this rule, the division shall not be liable in any civil action for any act or omission of a program participant while removing coyotes or redeeming them for compensation.

(2) It is the responsibility of program participants to read, understand and comply with this rule and all other applicable federal, state, county, and municipal laws, regulations, and ordinances.

R657-64-11. Violations.

(1) The division may suspend, terminate, or deny any authorization under this rule to participate in either or both predatory animal control programs for any of the violations listed in R657-64-4(2) or R657-64-5(3)(b).

(2) Providing false information to the division or otherwise violating the provisions of this rule may be criminally prosecuted under applicable offenses defined in the Utah Code.

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