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SECTION 11-0501
Fish and wildlife management practices cooperative program
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 11, TITLE 5
§ 11-0501. Fish and wildlife management practices cooperative program.

1. Purpose.

The cooperative program provided in this section is authorized for the
purpose of obtaining on the privately owned or leased lands and waters
of the state practices of fish and wildlife management which will
preserve and develop the fish and wildlife resources of the state and
improve access to them for recreational purposes by the people of the
state.

2. Definitions.

a. "Fish and wildlife management" means management of either fish or
wildlife, or both.

b. "Region" means a fish and wildlife management region established as
provided in subdivision 3.

c. "Regional board" means a board constituted as provided in
subdivision 4. "State board" means the board constituted as provided in
subdivision 5.

d. "Cooperator" means a person with whom an agreement is made as
provided in subdivision 9.

e. "Regional supervisor for natural resources" means the employee of
the department bearing that title in each region.

f. "Department", "commissioner", "fish" and "wildlife" have the
meanings stated in section 11-0103.

3. Fish and wildlife management regions.

The commissioner shall establish not to exceed fifteen fish and
wildlife management regions of one or more counties each, which shall
include all counties of the state not wholly included within a city.

4. Regional fish and wildlife management boards.

a. A regional fish and wildlife management board shall be appointed in
each of the regions established under subdivision 3 of this section.
Such regional board shall consist of three members from each county
within the region which has appointed its members. In each county, one
member shall be a member of or represent the board of supervisors or
county legislative body, one member shall represent the landowners of
the county and one member shall represent the sportsmen of the county.
Such members from each county shall be appointed by the chairman of the
board of supervisors of such county with the approval of the board of
supervisors, except that in a county having a county president, a county
executive or other chief executive officer, the chief executive officer
shall appoint the members representing such county with the approval of
the board of supervisors of such county. In a county having an elected
legislative body the presiding officer shall appoint the members
representing such county with the approval of the legislative body. If
there is no presiding officer then the members representing such county
shall be appointed by the legislative body as a whole. If a member of
the board of supervisors or legislative body is not available to
actively participate on the fish and wildlife management board, a
representative shall be selected who is an elected county official or
who is employed by the county government in a position having
administrative or managerial authority. A landowner representative must
actually reside upon rural lands within the county and actually be
engaged in the operation of such lands for production of agricultural
commodities or forest products. If a landowner representative with such
qualifications is not available to actively participate on the fish and
wildlife management board, a representative may be appointed who has
been for at least five of the past ten years, before commencing his
first term in any series of consecutive terms, engaged in such operation
of rural lands, and who resides within the county he represents. If no
landowner representative with either of these qualifications is
available to actively participate on the fish and wildlife management
board a representative may be appointed who is a resource manager
engaged in such operations on rural lands, and designated by the
corporate owner of those lands to represent the landowner's agricultural
or silvicultural interests. In the case of certain counties designated
by the full state board with a scarcity of rural lands operated for
production of agricultural commodities or forest products, the landowner
representative shall own such rural lands in New York state, whether or
not those properties lie within the county wherein he resides and
represents. A sportsman representative must be a resident of the county.
The said chief executive officer, presiding officer or legislative body
shall receive and consider for appointment as the landowner
representative, the recommendations made by the county farm bureau and
Pomona grange, and for appointment as the sportsmen's representative,
the recommendations made by the county units of organized sportsmen's
groups, as well as considering the advantages of new representatives.
The term of office of regional board members shall be two calendar
years. A member shall be eligible for reappointment to successive terms
of office where otherwise qualified. The term of the sportsmen's
representative and the board of supervisors or county legislative body
representative shall expire at the end of the odd numbered years; the
term of the landowner representative shall expire at the end of the even
numbered years. An alternate board of supervisors or county legislative
body representative, sportsmen's representative and landowner
representative may also be appointed, who shall be available to serve in
the event of the temporary inability of the member sportsmen's
representative or member landowner representative or board of
supervisors or county legislative body representative to so function. A
vacancy in membership of a regional board shall be filled in the same
manner as the original appointment for the balance of the unexpired term
during which the vacancy occurs; if a supervisor member or county
legislative body member shall cease to be a supervisor or member of the
legislative body before the expiration of his term as a member of the
regional board, a successor shall be appointed for the unexpired balance
of the term as a member of the regional board. The chairman of the Board
of Directors of each soil and water conservation district and the
chairman of each regional forest practice board within the fish and
wildlife management region, or his or their representatives, shall be
advisory members without vote.

b. Each regional board shall elect annually from its members a
chairman, a vice chairman and a representative to the state board and
may elect a secretary. The regional supervisor for natural resources may
serve as secretary of the board if the board so requests, but in any
event such supervisor's services shall always be available to the board.

5. State fish and wildlife management board.

a. There shall be a state fish and wildlife management board which
shall consist of three representatives, one each representing
landowners, sportsmen, and county legislative bodies, from each of the
existing regional boards, and, as advisory members of the board without
vote, the following persons during their term of office as such, or
their representatives: the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation,
the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, the Commissioner of
Transportation, the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation, the dean of the New York State College of Agriculture and
Life Sciences, the president of the State University of New York College
of Environmental Science and Forestry, the chairman of the State Soil
and Water Conservation Committee, the chairman of the State Forest
Practice Board, the president of the New York Farm Bureau, the Master of
the New York State Grange, the president of the New York State
Conservation Council, and the president of the New York State Division
of Izaak Walton League.

b. Each member other than the advisory members shall be elected by and
from the membership of the respective regional boards for a term of one
year from the day of his election, unless within such period he shall
cease to be a member of the regional board which elected him, in which
event he shall cease to be a member of the state board on the day he
ceases to be a member of such regional board. Any vacancy in the state
board other than in the office of an advisory member shall be filled for
the balance of the unexpired term so vacated by election from its
membership by the regional board in which such vacancy occurred.

c. The members of the state board shall elect one of their voting
members to serve as chairman, and another as vice chairman, to serve in
the absence or inability to serve of the chairman. An officer of the
department designated by the commissioner may act as secretary for the
board if the board so elect; otherwise a secretary shall be elected from
the membership.

d. The state board shall meet at the call of the chairman or secretary
when and where necessary within the state.

6. Regional and state board members; expenses.

Regional and state board members, including advisory members, shall
receive no salary, but their necessary traveling expenses when attending
meetings of the regional or state boards shall be paid from moneys
appropriated to the department for travel and shall be paid on vouchers
certified by the chairman of the appropriate regional board or state
board upon the audit of the comptroller in the manner provided by law.

7. Duties of regional boards.

a. Each regional board shall formulate a statement of fish and
wildlife management practices appropriate for its region and submit it
for approval to the state board and the commissioner. After such a
statement of practices has been approved by the state board and the
commissioner, the regional board shall formally adopt such statement of
practices and encourage landowners, lessees and sportsmen within the
region to adopt and carry out the practices approved.

b. A copy of each resolution so adopting a statement of practices
shall be filed in the principal office of the department.

c. Any practices formulated in specific terms shall, unless otherwise
expressly limited by the words "without variation", "without
alternative", or the like, be interpreted as permitting such variations
or alternatives as shall be accepted by the regional board as satisfying
the purpose of the practices. But no such variation or alternatives
shall be deemed to be a compliance with the practices for purposes of
subdivisions 9 and 10 unless the approval of the regional board is
recorded in writing.

8. Duties of the state board.

a. The state board shall pass upon and approve or disapprove the fish
and wildlife management practices formulated by the regional boards. The
state board may, with the advice of the commissioner, and upon
recommendations from the regional boards, formulate recommended uniform
fish and wildlife management practices for similar ecological types
within the various ecological regions of the state. Such uniform
practices may thereafter be incorporated expressly or by reference in
the statement of practices formulated by regional boards, but shall not
be operative as practices of any region unless so incorporated.

b. The state board shall also have the following duties and powers:

(1) to recommend to the regional boards such policies and procedures
for the carrying out of fish and wildlife management practices as it
deems appropriate;

(2) to keep the several regional boards informed of the activities and
experience of all other regional boards in the state and to facilitate
an interchange of advice and experience between such regional boards and
cooperation between them, and to provide advice and assistance in
coordinating the programs of the several regional boards.

c. The state board may submit to the commissioner, recommendations
with respect to matters delegated by statute to the department in any
case where a statute or regulation of the department may affect the
carrying out of fish and wildlife management practices under this
section.

9. Cooperation agreements.

a. The commissioner shall have power, through his representative, to
enter into an agreement in writing with an owner or lessee of rural
lands or waters lying within a fish and wildlife management region or an
interest in such lands or waters, or with two or more such owners or
lessees who agree jointly and severally, for furnishing of services and
benefits as provided in subdivision 10, in exchange for and subject to
the condition that such owner or lessee, or owners or lessees, adopt and
carry out for a specified period of time, upon such premises or
specified parts thereof, one or more of the fish and wildlife management
practices adopted by the regional board.

b. The commissioner shall provide standard forms for such cooperation
agreements.

c. The agreement shall state the period during which it shall be in
force and may provide for renewal. It may also provide for termination
before the expiration of such period, and for the conditions upon which
and the manner in which any privilege of termination may be exercised.

d. Without limitation by paragraph c or by any term of the agreement
pursuant to paragraph c the failure of a cooperator, or of any one of
two or more cooperators who agree jointly and severally, to perform his
agreement shall relieve the commissioner and the state from the
obligation to furnish the services and benefits provided for in
subdivision 10.

10. State assistance.

a. Upon the establishment of such region, the commissioner may, and
upon organization of the regional board, the commissioner shall provide
personnel from the department to assist the boards and the cooperators
within the region.

b. The commissioner shall furnish to cooperators:

(1) technical services;

(2) trees and shrubs from any of the nurseries operated by the
department without charge at the nursery, to the extent and subject to
the conditions specified in the agreement with the cooperator;

(3) a subscription, without cost, to the New York State
Conservationist magazine.

c. The commissioner may also furnish to cooperators such further
technical assistance, labor and materials, as may be required in
compliance with practices approved by the region and authorized by order
of the commissioner.

d. The commissioner may also furnish to premises covered by an
agreement and to fish and wildlife upon such premises such protection by
way of posting, patrol by environmental conservation officers or forest
rangers, inspection or checking stations, fire patrols or other
appropriate means, within the limitation of appropriations and of the
manpower available as may be advisable in his judgment to protect fish
and wildlife resources, provide for public safety and encourage the
opening of private lands and waters to public hunting and fishing; but
neither this subdivision nor any provision of any agreement pursuant to
this section shall be deemed to constitute an undertaking by the state
or the department on its behalf to furnish such posting, patrol or
protection and neither such agreement nor any provision of the Fish and
Wildlife Law shall be deemed to create a ground of liability of the
state for damage to person or property caused by the failure or neglect
of the state or its agents, officers or employees to furnish such
posting, patrol or protection.

e. The agreement with the cooperator may provide for use by him for
purposes compatible with its function in wildlife management, of any
structure or facility created or maintained on his premises with funds
of the department, or for furnishing to him the incidental products of
any activity conducted on his premises for purposes of wildlife
management.