113-306. Administrative authority of Wildlife Resources Commission; disposition of license funds; delegation of powers; injunctive relief; emergency powers.

(a) In the overall best interests of the conservation of wildlife resources, the Wildlife Resources Commission may lease or purchase lands, equipment, and other property; accept gifts and grants on behalf of the State; establish wildlife refuges, management areas, and boating and fishing access areas, either alone or in cooperation with others; provide matching funds for entering into projects with some other governmental agency or with some scientific, educational, or charitable foundation or institution; condemn lands in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 40A of the General Statutes and other governing provisions of law; and sell, lease, or give away property acquired by it. Provided, that any private person selected to receive gifts or benefits by the Wildlife Resources Commission be selected:

(1) With regard to the overall public interest that may result; and

(2) From a defined class upon such a rational basis open to all within the class as to prevent constitutional infirmity with respect to requirements of equal protection of the laws or prohibitions against granting exclusive privileges or emoluments.

(b) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, all money credited to, held by, or to be received by the Wildlife Resources Commission from the sale of licenses authorized by this Subchapter must be consolidated and placed in the Wildlife Resources Fund.

(c) The Wildlife Resources Commission may, within the terms of policies set by rule, delegate to the Executive Director all administrative powers granted to it.

(d) The Wildlife Resources Commission is hereby authorized and directed to develop a plan and policy of wildlife management for all lands owned by the State of North Carolina which are suitable for this purpose. The Division of State Property and Construction of the Department of Administration shall determine which lands are suitable for the purpose of wildlife management. Nothing in the wildlife management plan shall prohibit, restrict, or require the change in use of State property which is presently being used or will in the future be used to carry out the goals and objectives of the State agency utilizing such land. Each plan of wildlife management developed by the Wildlife Resources Commission shall consider the question of public hunting; and whenever and wherever possible and consistent with the primary land use of the controlling agency, public hunting shall be allowed under cooperative agreement with the Wildlife Resources Commission. Any dispute over the question of public hunting shall be resolved by the Division of State Property and Construction.

(e) Subject to any policy directives adopted by the members of the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Executive Director in his discretion may institute an action in the name of the Wildlife Resources Commission in the appropriate court for injunctive relief to prevent irreparable injury to wildlife resources or to prevent or regulate any activity within the jurisdiction of the Wildlife Resources Commission which constitutes a public nuisance or presents a threat to public health or safety.

(f) The Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules governing the exercise of emergency powers by the Executive Director when the Commission determines that such powers are necessary to respond to a wildlife disease that threatens irreparable injury to wildlife or the public. The rules shall provide that the Executive Director must consult with the Commission, the State Veterinarian, and the Governor prior to implementing the emergency powers. The rules shall also specify the method by which the public will be notified of the exercise of emergency powers. The exercise of emergency powers shall not extend for more than 90 days after the Commission's determination that a disease outbreak has occurred, unless a temporary rule is adopted by the Commission in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.1 to replace the emergency powers. If a temporary rule is adopted prior to the expiration of the 90 days, the Executive Director may continue to exercise emergency powers until either a permanent rule to replace the temporary rule becomes effective or the temporary rule expires as provided by G.S. 150B-21.1(d). The Commission's determination that a disease outbreak has occurred shall constitute a basis for adoption of a temporary rule. The emergency powers that may be authorized by rules adopted pursuant to this subsection include:

(1) Prohibiting activities that aid in the transmission or movement of the disease.

(2) Implementing activities to reduce infection opportunities.

(3) Implementing requirements to assist in the detection and isolation of the disease. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1977, c. 759; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1981, c. 482, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, ss. 98, 106; 2007-401, s. 1.)