(A) The chief of the division of wildlife, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may acquire by gift, lease, purchase, or otherwise lands or surface rights upon lands and waters or surface rights upon waters for wild animals, fish or game management, preservation, propagation, and protection, outdoor and nature activities, public fishing and hunting grounds, and flora and fauna preservation. The chief, with the approval of the director, may receive by grant, devise, bequest, donation, or assignment evidences of indebtedness, the proceeds of which are to be used for the purchase of such lands or surface rights upon lands and waters or surface rights upon waters.
(1) The chief shall adopt rules for the protection of state-owned or leased lands and waters and property under the control of the division of wildlife against wrongful use or occupancy that will ensure the carrying out of the intent of this section, protect those lands, waters, and property from depredations, and preserve them from molestation, spoilation, destruction, or any improper use or occupancy thereof, including rules with respect to recreational activities and for the government and use of such lands, waters, and property.
(2) The chief may adopt rules benefiting wild animals, fish or game management, preservation, propagation, and protection, outdoor and nature activities, public fishing and hunting grounds, and flora and fauna preservation, and regulating the taking and possession of wild animals on any lands or waters owned or leased or under the division's supervision and control and, for a specified period of years, may prohibit or recall the taking and possession of any wild animal on any portion of such lands or waters. The division clearly shall define and mark the boundaries of the lands and waters owned or leased or under its supervision and control upon which the taking of any wild animal is prohibited.
(C) The chief, with the approval of the director, may acquire by gift, lease, or purchase land for the purpose of establishing state fish hatcheries and game farms and may erect on it buildings or structures that are necessary.
The title to or lease of such lands and waters shall be taken by the chief in the name of the state. The lease or purchase price of all such lands and waters may be paid from hunting and trapping and fishing licenses and any other funds.
(D) To provide more public recreation, stream and lake agreements for public fishing only may be obtained under rules adopted by the chief.
(E) The chief, with the approval of the director, may establish user fees for the use of special public facilities or participation in special activities on lands and waters administered by the division. The special facilities and activities may include hunting or fishing on special designated public lands and waters intensively managed or stocked with artificially propagated game birds or fish, field trial facilities, wildlife nature centers, firearm ranges, boat mooring facilities, camping sites, and other similar special facilities and activities. The chief shall determine whether the user fees are refundable and shall ensure that that information is provided at the time the user fees are paid.
(F) The chief, with the approval of the director, may enter into lease agreements for rental of concessions or other special projects situated on state-owned or leased lands or waters or other property under the division's control. The chief shall set and collect the fees for concession rentals or other special projects; regulate through contracts between the division and concessionaires the sale of tangible objects at concessions or other special projects; and keep a record of all such fee payments showing the amount received, from whom received, and for what purpose the fee was collected.
(G) The chief may sell or donate conservation-related items or items that promote wildlife conservation, including, but not limited to, stamps, pins, badges, books, bulletins, maps, publications, calendars, and any other educational article or artifact pertaining to wild animals; sell confiscated or forfeited items; and sell surplus structures and equipment, and timber or crops from lands owned, administered, leased, or controlled by the division. The chief, with the approval of the director, also may engage in campaigns and special events that promote wildlife conservation by selling or donating wildlife-related materials, memberships, and other items of promotional value.
(H) The chief may sell, lease, or transfer minerals or mineral rights, with the approval of the director, when the chief and the director determine it to be in the best interest of the state. Upon approval of the director, the chief may make, execute, and deliver contracts, including leases, to mine, drill, or excavate iron ore, stone, coal, salt, and other minerals, other than oil or gas, upon and under lands owned by the state and administered by the division to any person who complies with the terms of such a contract. No such contract shall be valid for more than fifty years from its effective date. Consideration for minerals and mineral rights shall be by rental or royalty basis as prescribed by the chief and payable as prescribed by contract. Moneys collected under this division shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the wildlife habitat fund created in section 1531.33 of the Revised Code. Contracts entered into under this division also may provide for consideration for minerals or mineral rights in the form of acquisition of lands as provided under divisions (A) and (C) of this section.
(I) All moneys received under divisions (E), (F), and (G) of this section shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of a fund that shall be used for the purposes outlined in section 1533.15 of the Revised Code and for the management of other wild animals for their ecological and nonconsumptive recreational value or benefit.
(J) The chief, with the approval of the director, may barter or sell wild animals to other states, state or federal agencies, and conservation or zoological organizations. Moneys received from the sale of wild animals shall be deposited into the wildlife fund created in section 1531.17 of the Revised Code.
(K) The chief shall adopt rules establishing standards and guidelines for the administration of contraceptive chemicals to noncaptive wild animals. The rules may specify chemical delivery methods and devices and monitoring requirements.
The chief shall establish criteria for the issuance of and shall issue permits for the administration of contraceptive chemicals to noncaptive wild animals. No person shall administer contraceptive chemicals to noncaptive wild animals without a permit issued by the chief.
(L) All fees set by the chief under this section shall be approved by the wildlife council.
(M) Information contained in the wildlife diversity database that is established pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section and section 1531.25 of the Revised Code may be made available to any individual or public or private agency for research, educational, environmental, land management, or other similar purposes that are not detrimental to the conservation of a species or feature. Information regarding sensitive site locations of species that are listed pursuant to section 1531.25 of the Revised Code and of features that are included in the wildlife diversity database is not subject to section 149.43 of the Revised Code if the chief determines that the release of the information could be detrimental to the conservation of a species or feature.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.35, HB 133, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.
Effective Date: 03-18-1999; 04-06-2007; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007