Arkansas - Statutory Protections


The General Assembly finds that: (1) Recreational hunting is an important and traditional recreational activity in which some fourteen million (14,000,000) Americans sixteen (16) years of age and older participate; (2) Hunters have been and continue to be among the foremost supporters of sound wildlife management and conservation practices in the United States; (3) Persons who hunt and hunting-related organizations provide direct assistance to wildlife managers and enforcement officers of federal, state, and local governments; (4) Purchases of hunting licenses, permits, and stamps and payment of excise taxes on goods used by hunters have generated billions of dollars for wildlife conservation, research, and management; (5) Recreational hunting is an essential component of effective wildlife management, in that it is an important tool for reducing conflicts between people and wildlife and provides incentives for the conservation of wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems on which wildlife depend; and (6) Recreational hunting is an environmentally acceptable activity that occurs and can be provided on state public lands without adverse effects on other uses of that land.

Ark. Code Ann. § 15-41-302 (West)

(a) Subject to valid existing rights, commission-managed lands shall be open to access and use for recreational hunting except as limited by the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission for reasons of public safety or homeland security or as otherwise limited by law. (b)(1) The commission shall exercise its authority consistent with subsection (a) of this section in a manner to support, promote, and enhance recreational hunting opportunities to the extent authorized by law. (2) The commission is not required to give preference to hunting over other uses of commission-managed lands or over land or water management priorities established by state law. (c)(1) To the greatest practicable extent, commission land management decisions and actions may not result in any net loss of land acreage available for hunting opportunities on commission-managed lands that exists on August 12, 2005. (2) This subchapter does not apply to commission-owned lands under contract to private persons or entities. (d) On or before October 1 of each year, the commission shall submit to the House and Senate cochairs of the Legislative Council a written report describing: (1) The acreage administered by the commission that has been closed during the previous year to recreational hunting and the reasons for the closures; and (2) The acreage administered by the commission that was opened to recreational hunting to compensate for the acreage that was closed during the previous year. (e) This subchapter does not compel the opening to recreational hunting of national parks or national monuments administered by the National Park Service.

Ark. Code Ann. § 15-41-304 (West)