A law signed Jul. 15 by Gov. Jack Markell strengthens protections for Delaware's natural resources by helping the state identify and appropriately punish those who commit egregious crimes against wildlife.
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader David McBride, (D-Hawk's Nest), along with Reps. Debra Heffernan, (D-Edgewood Hills), and W. Charles Paradee, (D-West Dover), Senate Bill 117 makes Delaware a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. The 40 states involved in the compact share information about lawbreakers who have lost their hunting, fishing, and/or trapping privileges due to major offenses, such as poaching against wildlife or fisheries resources. Delaware will join this process and gain access to records from the 39 other members, allowing the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to deny licenses to those who have committed outrageous acts elsewhere. In addition, violators in Delaware will risk losing privileges in all of the other states.
Markell commended community leaders, such as Delaware Nature Society Environmental Advocate Brenna Goggin, for bringing together diverse groups to build a strong coalition of support for the bill. Hunting advocates, such as members of Quality Deer Management and Ducks Unlimited, joined animal rights advocates from organizations like the Humane Society in recognizing an opportunity to put aside differences for the benefit of hunters, fishermen, wildlife and the quality of life in Delaware.