There is hereby created within the department of natural resources a division of wildlife and a wildlife council.
The council shall have eight members, not more than four of whom shall be of the same political party, who shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate and shall be persons interested in the conservation of the natural resources of the state. At least two of the eight members shall be engaged in farming as their principal means of support. Terms of office shall be for four years, commencing on the first day of February and ending on the thirty-first day of January. Each member shall hold office from the date of his appointment until the end of the term for which he was appointed. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or incapacity of a member of the council, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a successor who shall hold office for the remainder of the term for which his predecessor was appointed. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of his term until his successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.
The council shall hold at least four regular quarterly meetings each year. Special meetings may be held at the behest of the chairman or a majority of the members. The council shall annually select from among its members a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretary to keep a record of its proceedings.
The governor may at any time remove any member of the council for misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance in office.
A majority vote of the members of the council is necessary in all matters.
The division shall cooperate with the other divisions of the department and with all agencies of the state and federal government for the promotion of a general program of conservation.
All division rules relating to establishment of seasons, bag limits, size, species, method of taking, and possession shall be adopted only upon approval of the wildlife council. The wildlife council shall not approve or disapprove such rules prior to fifteen days following a public hearing held upon the rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
The wildlife council shall do all of the following:
(A) Be represented by not less than three of its members at all public hearings held pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the purpose of establishment of seasons, bag limits, size, species, methods of taking, and possession;
(B) Advise on policies of the division and the planning, development, and institution of programs and policies of the division;
(C) Investigate, consider, and make recommendations in all matters pertaining to the protection, preservation, propagation, possession, and management of wild animals throughout the state, as provided in this chapter and Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code;
(D) Report to the governor from time to time the results of its investigations concerning the wildlife resources of the state with recommendations of such measures as it considers necessary or suitable to conserve or develop those resources and preserve them as far as practicable.
Effective Date: 10-20-1994