Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Refuge Trespass Act

Refuge Trespass Act (18 U.S.C. 41) -- The Act of June 25, 1948, (62 Stat. 686) consolidated penalty provisions of various Acts from 1905 through 1934 establishing and protecting fish and wildlife areas, and restated the intent of Congress to protect all wildlife within Federal sanctuaries, refuges, fish hatcheries and breeding grounds.

Except as provided by rules and regulations promulgated under authority of law, the Act provides that anyone who hunts, traps or willfully disturbs any wildlife on such areas, or willfully injures, molests or destroys any property of the United States on such lands or waters, shall be fined not more than $500, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Public Law 100-653, approved November 14, 1988, (102 Stat. 3825) provided that any violation of the Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq), or regulations issued under its authority, would be fined in accordance with uniform sentencing provisions established in Public Law 98-473, approved October 12, 1984, (98 Stat. 2028, 2031; 18 U.S.C. 3551 to 3586) or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This largely supersedes the provisions of the Trespass Act, although the Act was not repealed.

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