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Maine

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 12. Conservation. Part 13. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Subpart 4. Fish and Wildlife. Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research. Subchapter 3. Endangered Species; Management and Research.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: ME ST T. 12 12801 - 12810

Citation: 12 M. R. S. A. 12801 - 12810


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   These Maine statutes set forth the legislative intent to protect vulnerable species and list the relevant species.  By statute, a person is guilty of "misuse of an endangered or threatened species" if he or she imports into the State, hunts, takes or possesses, or deliberately baits, feeds, or harasses a listed species.  A warning is issued for the first infraction while the second infraction constitutes a Class E crime.


Statute in Full:

§ 12801. Declaration of purpose

§ 12802. Commissioner's authority, investigations and programs

§ 12803. Designation of endangered species

§ 12804. Conservation of endangered species

§ 12805. Cooperative agreements

§ 12806. State and local cooperation

§ 12807. Introduction of wolves to State; approval

§ 12808. Misuse of endangered or threatened species

§ 12809. Judicial enforcement

§ 12810. Delisted species

 


 

§ 12801. Declaration of purpose

The Legislature finds that various species of fish or wildlife have been and are in danger of being rendered extinct within the State of Maine, and that these species are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational and scientific value to the people of the State. The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is the policy of the State to conserve, by according such protection as is necessary to maintain and enhance their numbers, all species of fish or wildlife found in the State, as well as the ecosystems upon which they depend.

This subchapter and chapter 631 are established to carry out the purposes of this section.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 573, § 5.

 

§ 12802. Commissioner's authority, investigations and programs

1. Investigations. The commissioner may conduct investigations in order to develop information relating to population size, distribution, habitat needs, limiting factors and other biological and ecological data relating to the status and requirements for survival of any species of fish or wildlife occurring in the State, whether endangered or not.

2. Programs. The commissioner may develop programs to enhance or maintain the populations described in subsection 1.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-308, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.

 

§ 12803. Designation of endangered species

1. Standards. The commissioner shall recommend a species to be listed as endangered or threatened whenever the commissioner finds one of the following to exist:

A. The present or threatened destruction, modification or curtailment of its habitat or range;

B. Overutilization for commercial, sporting, scientific, educational or other purposes;

C. Disease or predation;

D. Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence within the State.

2. Commissioner's duties. In recommending a species to be listed as endangered or threatened, the commissioner shall:

A. Make use of the best scientific, commercial and other data available;

B. Consult, as appropriate, with federal agencies, other interested state agencies, other states having a common interest in the species and interested persons and organizations; and

C. Maintain a list of all species that the Legislature has designated to be endangered or threatened, naming each species by both its scientific and common name, if any, and specifying over what portion of its range each species so designated is endangered or threatened.

3. Legislative authority. The Legislature, as sole authority, shall designate a species as a state endangered or state threatened species. The list of state endangered or state threatened species by common name, scientific name and status is as follows:

A. Least tern, Sterna antillarum, endangered;

B. Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, endangered;

C. Piping plover, Charadrius melodus, endangered;

D. Sedge wren, Cistothorus platensis, endangered;

E. Grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum, endangered;

F. Box turtle, Terrapene carolina, endangered;

G. Black racer, Coluber constrictor, endangered;

H. Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii, endangered;

I. Northern bog lemming, Synaptomys borealis, threatened;

J. Blanding's turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, endangered;

K. Black tern, Chlidonias niger, endangered;

L. American pipit, Anthus rubescens (breeding population only), endangered;

M. Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus (breeding population only), endangered;

N. Roaring Brook mayfly, Epeorus frisoni, endangered;

O. Ringed boghaunter, Williamsonia lintneri, threatened;

P. Clayton's copper, Lycaena dorcas claytoni, endangered;

Q. Edwards' hairstreak, Satyrium edwardsii, endangered;

R. Hessel's hairstreak, Callophrys hesseli, endangered;

S. Katahdin arctic, Oenis polixenes katahdin, endangered;

T. Spotted turtle, Clemmys guttata, threatened;

U. Repealed. Laws 2009, c. 60, § 1.

V. Razorbill, Alca torda, threatened;

W. Atlantic puffin, Fratercula arctica, threatened;

X. Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, threatened;

Y. Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea, threatened;

Z. Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda, threatened;

AA. Swamp darter, Etheostoma fusiforme, threatened;

BB. Tidewater mucket, Leptodea ochracea, threatened;

CC. Yellow lampmussel, Lampsilis cariosa, threatened;

DD. Tomah mayfly, Siphlonisca aerodromia, threatened;

EE. Deleted. Laws 2007, c. 166, § 1.

FF. Twilight moth, Lycia rachelae, threatened;

GG. Pine barrens zanclognatha, Zanclognatha martha, threatened;

HH. Redfin pickerel, Esox americanus americanus, endangered;

II. Juniper hairstreak, Callophrys gryneus, endangered;

JJ. Rapids clubtail, Gomphus quadricolor, endangered;

KK. New England cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis, endangered;

LL. Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, threatened;

MM. Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, threatened;

NN. Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (breeding population only), threatened;

OO. Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus (breeding population only), threatened;

PP. Purple lesser fritillary, Boloria chariclea grandis, threatened;

QQ. Sleepy duskywing, Erynnis brizo, threatened;

RR. Boreal snaketail, Ophiogomphus colubrinus, threatened;

SS. Brook floater, Alasmidonta varicosa, threatened;

TT. Barrow's goldeneye, Bucephala islandia, threatened; and

UU. Least bittern, Ixobrychus exilis, endangered.

4. Process for recommendation; notice and hearings. Prior to recommending an addition, deletion or other change to the endangered and threatened species listed in subsection 3, the commissioner shall provide for public notice and public hearings on that proposed recommendation in accordance with the provisions of Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2.

5. Designation by Legislature. The Legislature may not amend the list of endangered or threatened species in subsection 3 except upon the recommendation of the commissioner.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 573, § 6; 2007, c. 166, § 1; 2009, c. 60, § 1.

 

§ 12804. Conservation of endangered species

1. Conservation of nongame and endangered species. The commissioner may establish such programs as are necessary to bring any endangered or threatened species to the point where it is no longer endangered or threatened, including:

A. Acquisition of land or aquatic habitat or interests in land or aquatic habitat;

B. Propagation;

C. Live trapping;

D. Transplantation. Prior to the transplantation, introduction or reintroduction of an endangered or threatened species in the State, the commissioner shall, in conjunction with the Department of Marine Resources, when appropriate, develop a recovery plan for that species, conduct a public hearing on that recovery plan pursuant to Title 5, Part 18 and submit that plan to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over inland fisheries and wildlife matters. The introduction or reintroduction of that species must be conducted in accordance with the recovery plan developed under this paragraph and may not begin sooner than 90 days after all conditions of this paragraph have been met; and

E. In the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given group ecosystem can not be otherwise relieved, regulated taking.

2. Habitat. For species designated as endangered or threatened under this subchapter the commissioner may by rule identify areas currently or historically providing physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species and that may require special management considerations. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

3. Protection guidelines. The commissioner may by rule develop guidelines for the protection of species designated as endangered or threatened under this subchapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

4. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 651, § 14, eff. April 18, 2008.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 573, § 7, eff. March 24, 2004; 2003, c. 655, § B-309, eff. Aug. 31, 2004; 2007, c. 651, § 14, eff. April 18, 2008; 2009, c. 561, § 34.

 

§ 12805. Cooperative agreements

The commissioner may enter into agreements with federal agencies, other states, political subdivisions of this State or private persons for the establishment and maintenance of programs for the conservation of endangered or threatened species and may receive all federal funds allocated for obligations to the State pursuant to these agreements.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2.

 

§ 12806. State and local cooperation

1. Review. A state agency or municipal government may not permit, license, fund or carry out projects that will:

A. Significantly alter the habitat identified under section 12804, subsection 2 of any species designated as threatened or endangered under this subchapter; or

B. Violate protection guidelines set forth in section 12804, subsection 3.

The commissioner shall make information under section 12804 available to all other state agencies and municipal governments for the purposes of review.

2. Variance. Notwithstanding subsection 1, state agencies and municipal governments may grant a variance from this section provided that:

A. The commissioner certifies that the proposed action would not pose a significant risk to any population of endangered or threatened species within the State; and

B. A public hearing is held on the proposed action.

3. Pending applications. Notwithstanding Title 1, section 302, applications pending at the time of adoption of habitats and guidelines under section 12804, subsections 2 and 3 are governed by this section.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2.

 

§ 12807. Introduction of wolves to State; approval

A person may not release a wolf in the State for the purpose of reintroducing that species into the State without the prior approval of both Houses of the Legislature and the commissioner.

A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2.

 

§ 12808. Misuse of endangered or threatened species

For the purposes of this section, "to take," "take" and "taking" mean the act or omission that results in the death of any endangered or threatened species.

1. Prohibited acts regarding endangered or threatened species; negligence. Except as provided in subsections 2 and 3, a person may not negligently:

A. Import into the State or export out of the State any endangered or threatened species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class E crime;

B. Hunt, take, trap or possess any endangered or threatened species within the State. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class E crime;

C. Possess, process, sell, offer for sale, deliver, carry, transport or ship, by any means whatsoever, any endangered or threatened species or any part of an endangered or threatened species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class E crime; or

D. Feed, set bait for or harass any endangered or threatened species. A law enforcement officer, as defined in Title 25, section 2801-A, subsection 5, must issue a warning to a person who violates this paragraph for the first time. A person who violates this paragraph after having previously been given a warning under this paragraph commits a Class E crime.

1-A. Prohibited acts regarding endangered or threatened species; intentional. Except as provided in subsections 2 and 3, a person may not intentionally:

A. Import into the State or export out of the State any endangered or threatened species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime;

B. Hunt, take, trap or possess any endangered or threatened species within the State. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime;

C. Possess, process, sell, offer for sale, deliver, carry, transport or ship, by any means whatsoever, any endangered or threatened species or any part of an endangered or threatened species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime; or

D. Feed, set bait for or harass any endangered or threatened species. A law enforcement officer, as defined in Title 25, section 2801-A, subsection 5, must issue a warning to a person who violates this paragraph for the first time. A person who violates this paragraph after having previously been given a warning under this paragraph commits a Class D crime.

2. Exceptions for certain purposes. Notwithstanding subsections 1 and 1-A or section 10650 as it applies to rules adopted in accordance with this subchapter, the commissioner may:

A. Under such terms and conditions as the commissioner may prescribe, permit any act prohibited by this section or by rule for educational or scientific purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of an endangered or threatened species; and

B. Under such terms and conditions as the commissioner may prescribe, permit any endangered or threatened species that enters the State and is being transported to a point outside the State to be so entered and transported without restriction in accordance with the terms of any federal or state permit.

3. Exceptions; incidental take plan. Notwithstanding subsection 1, the commissioner may:

A. Permit the taking of any endangered species or threatened species if:

(1) Such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity;

(2) The taking will not impair the recovery of any endangered species or threatened species; and

(3) The person develops and implements an incidental take plan approved by the commissioner to take an endangered species or threatened species pursuant to paragraph B; and

B. Allow a plan that minimizes the incidental taking of an endangered species or threatened species that specifies the following:

(1) A description of the specific activities sought to be authorized by the incidental take permit and an analysis of potential alternatives;

(2) The individual and cumulative effects that may reasonably be anticipated to result from the proposed actions covered by the plan;

(3) The recovery measures the applicant will implement to prevent, minimize and mitigate the individual and cumulative effects and any provisions that are necessary to prevent, minimize and mitigate circumstances that are likely to impair the recovery of any endangered or threatened species covered by the plan;

(4) The procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the recovery measures in the plan;

(5) The anticipated costs of implementing the plan and the availability of necessary funding for the applicant to implement the plan; and

(6) Other modifications to the plan or other additional measures, if any, that the department may require and such other matters as the department determines to be necessary for the recovery of species consistent with this section.

The department shall seek input from knowledgeable individuals or groups on each incidental take plan for endangered or threatened species.

If any person fails to abide by the terms of any permit authorizing the incidental taking of an endangered or threatened species, the permit must be immediately suspended or revoked.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, §§ B-310 to B-313, eff. Aug. 31, 2004; 2005, c. 477, § 23, eff. March 8, 2006.

 

§ 12809. Judicial enforcement

1. General. In the event of a violation of this subchapter, any rule adopted pursuant to this subchapter or any license or permit granted under this subchapter, the Attorney General may institute injunctive proceedings to enjoin any further violation, a civil or criminal action, or any appropriate combination of those proceedings without recourse to any other provision of law administered by the department.

2. Restoration. The court may order restoration of any area affected by any activity found to be in violation of this subchapter, any rule adopted pursuant to this subchapter or any license or permit granted under this subchapter, to its condition prior to the violation or as near to that condition as possible. When the court finds that the violation was willful, the court shall order restoration under this subchapter, unless the restoration would result in:

A. A threat to public health and safety;

B. Environmental damage; or

C. A substantial injustice.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2.

 

§ 12810. Delisted species

1. Definition. For purposes of this section, “delisted species” means a species that was listed as a state endangered or threatened species under section 12803 and after 2007 was removed from that list by the Legislature. The following is a delisted species:

A. Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

2. Prohibited acts regarding delisted species. Except as otherwise authorized by the commissioner pursuant to this Part, a person may not intentionally:

A. Import into the State or export out of the State a delisted species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime;

B. Hunt, trap or possess a delisted species within the State. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime;

C. Process, sell, offer for sale, deliver, carry, transport or ship, by any means whatsoever, a delisted species or any part of a delisted species. A person who violates this paragraph commits a Class D crime; or

D. Feed, set bait for or harass a delisted species. A law enforcement officer, as defined in Title 25, section 2801-A, subsection 5, must issue a warning to a person who violates this paragraph for the first time. A person who violates this paragraph after having previously been given a warning under this paragraph commits a Class D crime.

CREDIT(S)

2009, c. 60, § 2.

 



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