Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 2; Permit Regulation – s. 2(k), 2(p), 5, 6; transferring the right of property in wildlife; BigHorn sheep horns
Robert Swalwell appealed the decision of the Regional Wildlife Manager (“Manager”) refusing to issue him a permit for California BigHorn Sheep horns. The permit was refused because the manager estimated the value of the horns to be over $200. The Appellant requested that he be granted a permit to possess the horns, which he would make available for educational purposes.
The Board found that the Regional Manager did not err in refusing to grant Mr. Swalwell a permit under section 6(1)(d) on the basis that the horns were valued at over $200.
The Board found that Mr. Swalwell’s primary purpose for requesting possession of the horns was for personal use, and that any use for educational purposes would be secondary. Accordingly, the Board found that Mr. Swalwell did not qualify for a permit to possess the horns under section 2(k) of the Regulation.
The Board also considered the application of section 6(1)(b). The Board found that this section applied because the sheep died accidentally. The Board also found that special circumstances existed which justified issuance of a permit transferring the right of property in the horns to Mr. Swalwell. The Board made the finding that section 6(1)(d) did not confine the application of section 6(1)(b), but rather the value of the horns was one of several considerations in assessing the application. The Board held that to find otherwise would lead to an absurdity. Having determined that special circumstances existed and that issuing a permit for the horns would not be contrary to the proper management of wildlife resources, the Board directed the Manager to issue a permit transferring the right of property in the horns to Mr. Swalwell.