Wildlife Diseases - Authority & Jurisdiction - West Virginia

In order to protect and preserve forest resources of the State of West Virginia from ravages of bark beetles, defoliators, rusts, blights, wilts and other destructive forest pests and diseases, and thereby enhance the growth and maintenance of forests(,) promote the stability of forest-using industries and employment associated therewith(,) reduce the fire risk created by dying and dead trees injured or killed by insects or diseases(,) conserve forest cover on watersheds and protect recreational and other forest values, it shall be the policy of the state of West Virginia independently and through cooperation with adjoining states, the federal government, and private timber owners and other private organizations, to prevent, retard, control, suppress, or eradicate incipient, potential or emergency outbreaks of destructive insects and diseases on, or threatening, all forest land irrespective of ownership. (a) Authority.--The director is authorized either directly or in cooperation with other agencies, subject to such conditions as he may deem necessary and using such funds as have been, or may hereafter be made available for those purposes, to conduct surveys on any forest land to detect and appraise infestations of forest insect pests and tree diseases, to determine the measures which should be applied on such lands, in order to prevent, retard, control, suppress or eradicate incipient, threatening, potential or emergency outbreaks of such insects or disease pests, and to plan, organize, direct and carry out such measures as he may deem necessary to accomplish the objectives and provisions of this section: Provided, that actual control measures shall be conducted with the cooperation and consent of the quarantine and regulatory official of the department of agriculture.; (e) Rulemaking. -- The director shall propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to: . . . (6) Establish protocols for ensuring elk imported to the state are healthy, tested for tuberculosis, brucellosis and other diseases of critical concern, and from an area where chronic wasting disease has not been detected.; In addition to all other powers, duties and responsibilities granted and assigned to the director in this chapter and elsewhere by law, the director is hereby authorized and empowered to: . . . (7) Suspend open hunting season upon any or all wildlife in any or all counties of the state with the prior approval of the Governor in case of an emergency such as a drought, forest fire hazard or epizootic disease among wildlife. The suspension shall continue during the existence of the emergency and until rescinded by the director. Suspension, or reopening after such suspension, of open seasons may be made upon twenty-four hours' notice by delivery of a copy of the order of suspension or reopening to the wire press agencies at the state Capitol; As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning: “Commission” means the Natural Resources Commission. “Commissioner” means a member of the advisory commission of the Natural Resources Commission. “Director” means the Director of the Division of Natural Resources.;

Citation: W. Va. Code, § 20-3-19; W. Va. Code, § 20-2-5h; W. Va. Code, § 20-1-7; W. Va. Code, § 20-1-2;