The habitat partnership program (program) assists the division of parks and wildlife (division) with reducing wildlife conflicts and meeting game management objectives. The act:
- Authorizes the director of the division (director) to independently appoint members of the habitat partnership council (council) that, in part, advises local habitat partnership committees (committees) that help implement program objectives;
- Expands the scope of the program to assist the division with private land conservation and wildlife migration corridor efforts;
- With respect to reducing wildlife conflicts, prioritizes conflicts that arise from forage and fence issues related to big game ungulate species, which are big game species that are hooved mammals;
- Authorizes the council to allocate an annual budget to each committee, subject to final approval by the director, and expend funds in areas of the state that are not covered by a committee;
- Requires the director to set terms for committee members; and
- Identifies the council and each committee as an independent organizational unit for purposes of purchasing, accounting, and procurement-related issues.
The act clarifies that any balance of unexpended and unencumbered money in the habitat partnership cash fund (fund) at the end of a fiscal year that exceeds the amount transferred to the fund at the beginning of the fiscal year from the wildlife cash fund reverts to the wildlife cash fund and continues the fund indefinitely.
The act also exempts the program from the "Procurement Code".
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)