August 2005 UPDATE: S.339 IS LAW.
Senator Reid attached the bill to a budget resolution and
successfully negotiated its passage out of the Senate and on
to the desk of the President where it was signed into law.
One Nevada hunter called Senator Reid "The man who saved
hunting in Nevada." That's one hunter's view, but it
not just a brag, Reid's fast action has impacted hunting in
the West forever. Resident hunters who do the huge
share of conservation for our big game animals can now count
on traditional state control of wildlife management.
Please also see Nevada info in detail from the
NV Dept. of Wildlife.
Reaffirmation of State Regulation of
Resident and Nonresident Hunting and Fishing Act of 2005
(Introduced in Senate)
S 339 IS
the authority of States to regulate certain hunting and
IN THE SENATE OF THE
February 9, 2005
(for himself, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. STEVENS, Mr. NELSON of
Nebraska, and Mr. ENSIGN) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the
History behind the legislation:
Congress was given the power to regulate interstate commerce
by Article I of the Constitution. This power to regulate has
been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court to also give
Congress the power to regulate activities which negatively
impact interstate commerce, commonly referred to as the
“negative” or “dormant Commerce Clause.”
The Court has cited the dormant Commerce Clause when denying
the states the power to unjustifiably discriminate against
or burden the interstate flow of articles of commerce. If a
state regulation has a substantial effect on interstate
commerce, then the subject matter of the state regulation,
which could be regulated by Congress under the Commerce
Clause, becomes subject to the dormant Commerce Clause.
Congress does have the power to specifically exempt a state
regulated activity from the dormant Commerce Clause. In
1890, when the Supreme Court decided that the regulation of
alcoholic beverages lay beyond the reach of the states,
Congress promptly overrode that decision with the
Webb-Kenyon Act. Thereafter, the Court upheld Congress’
authority to commit the regulation of liquor imports to
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that a
state recreational hunting regulation substantially affects
interstate commerce such that the dormant Commerce Clause
applies and ruled that state laws that distinguish between
state residents and non-residents for the purpose of
affording hunting and related privileges are
Although the Ninth Circuit found the purposes of such
regulation to be sound, the Court questioned the validity of
tag limits for non-resident hunters.
The Ninth Circuit ruling has spawned litigation in other
states, and several pending lawsuits threaten each state’s
wildlife regulatory authority.
What the Bill Would Do:
The bill creates an exemption to the dormant Commerce Clause
in order to give each state the right to regulate access to
hunting and fishing. This is done by a renunciation of
federal interest in regulating hunting and fishing. The
reasons for creating this exception include the following:
Allowing states to
distinguish and/or discriminate between residents and
non-residents ensures the protection of state wildlife
and protects resident hunting and fishing opportunities.
Protecting the public interest of individual states’
conservation efforts. Sportsmen and local organizations
are extremely active in the conservation of fish and
game. They support wildlife conservation through taxes,
fees, and locally led non-profit conservation efforts.
Respecting the traditional authority of individual
states. The regulation of wildlife has traditionally
been within a state’s purview. It is in the best
interest of the state and federal governments to ensure
that states retain the authority to regulate wildlife.
the best link for background and how this issue affects Nevada from
our own NDOW.
Nevada Department of Wildlife.
the link above or here
News from other States:
News from other States: