|Wildlife, Nevada Department of|
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE
The Nevada state agency now known as the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) was created by the 1929 Nevada Legislature as the Nevada Fish and Game Commission (1929 Nevada Statutes, Chapter 178). The enabling legislation authorized the Commission to provide for the protection, propagation, restoration, domestication, introduction, purchase, and disposition of wild animals, wild birds and fish. It also provided for the licensing and regulation of hunting, trapping, game farming, and game fishing. Previously, these functions were the responsibility of county fish and game commissions.
The Commission consisted of five members appointed by the governor. The Commission was financed by the Fish and Game Preservation Fund which received revenue from the sale of licenses and appropriations from the Legislature. The state was divided into 17 districts for Commission oversight; in turn they were grouped into 5 divisions for administrative purposes.
County advisory Boards in each Nevada county, appointed by County Commissioners submitted recommendations for setting seasons for fishing, hunting and trapping.
The wildlife of Nevada is so important to the state that the state Legislature incorporated a statement regarding wildlife into the Nevada Revised Statutes:
Wildlife in this State not domesticated and in its natural habitat is part of the natural resources belonging to the people of the State of Nevada. The preservation, protection, management and restoration of wildlife within the State contribute immeasurably to the aesthetic, recreational and economic aspects of these natural resources. NRS 501.100.
Furthermore, the Legislature inserted a corollary into the NRS regarding hunting:
The Legislature declares that hunting permitted by law in the State: 1) is a valuable activity in the management of game mammals and game birds. 2) Results in financial support for conservation programs that benefit many species, including nongame wildlife. 3) Is an excellent source of food, recreational opportunities and employment. 4) Contributes significantly to the economy of this State and the quality of life of its citizens. 5) Provides a beneficial use for firearms, archery equipment and other legal weapons used to take game mammals and game birds, following the pioneer spirit of Nevada. NRS 501.102.
In 1967 the State Legislature, recognizing the need for a thorough review, ordered a study of the Fish and Game Commission. For the previous twenty years laws had been added in a piecemeal fashion and many no longer reflected the changing conditions in Nevada population and development. The report was reflected in legislation of 1969 which became Chapter 679.
With Chapter 679 the Legislature created the State Fish and Game Department (Department) to administer and enforce fish and game laws, reserving policy making functions for the Fish and Game Commission (Commission). In addition, a Fish and Game Advisory Board was created consisting of one member from each county and Carson City, and county game management boards of members appointed by County Commissioners.
In 1979 the Legislature changed the names of the commission and department to the Nevada Wildlife Commission and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
The Commission is responsible for establishing broad policies for the protection, propagation, restoration, transplanting, introduction and management of wildlife in Nevada; setting annual and permanent regulations; reviewing budgets; and receiving input on wildlife and boating matters from the county advisory boards and others.
Headed by a director appointed by the Commission, the Department is authorized to hire employees and appoint wardens to enforce laws and regulations; enter into cooperative agreements with the federal government, and enter into legal agreements such as deeds and leases for the acquisition of wildlife resources.
NDOW is organized into seven divisions: law enforcement, game, fisheries, conservation and education, habitats, wildlife diversity, and operations. There are three regions: eastern, southern, and northern.