Commission Changes Civil Restitution Values

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has amended the restitution or penalty values that game law violators must pay when they illegally kill wildlife, in some cases increasing restitution values that have not changed since 1985.

The commission action changes the values by which restitution amounts for wildlife species are calculated and had not been changed since 1985, with the exception of the rules governing the value of trophy wildlife species, which were adopted in 1996. Since then economic factors such as inflation have come into play. In addition the cost to the department of administering and enforcing the rules has increased for the same economic reasons.

Kris Bishop, an assistant chief of TPWD's law enforcement division, gave a presentation to the commission about the values.

"People need to realize the consequences of poaching in Texas. They are stealing the state's resources and should be held accountable for the present-day value of those resources," she said.

The amendment to Texas Administrative Code 69.30, concerning Trophy Wildlife Species changes the dollar-value coefficient used to calculate the final restitution value for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep. This change reflects the approximate current market value of trophy-quality hunting opportunity for the four big game species. The new dollar-value coefficient for each species was obtained by deriving a function for the curve from the lowest Boone & Crockett score for which trophy restitution can be assessed through the highest Boone and Crockett score, intersecting the mean market values for each, which were obtained by consulting department personnel, landowners, and published advertising for trophy hunting opportunity.

The amendment also removes references to elk, because the Texas legislature in 1997 designated elk as an exotic species and the department no longer possesses any regulatory authority with respect to that species.

Some of the Restitution Values
New [Old]

* $5 [$3] American coot
* $13.50 [$8] Armadillo
* $26 [$15.50] Bobwhite quail
* $59.50 [$35.50] Gray fox
* $105.50 [$63] Javelina
* $273.50 [$163] White-tailed doe
* $881.50 [$525.50] Eastern turkey
* $1,929.50 [$1,150.50] Ocelot (endangered)
* $4,780.50 [$2,850.50] Desert bighorn sheep
* $11,907.50 [$7,100.50] Bald eagle (threatened)

An additional amount is added to the base value if the species is listed in this state as endangered or threatened. The recovery value for each individual of an endangered species is equal to $1,000 plus the base value. The recovery value for each individual of a threatened species is equal to $500 plus the base value.

These new amounts will go into effect 20 days after the changes are posted in the Texas Register.