The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 5403. Protection of endangered and threatened species
(a) Except as authorized under this chapter, a person shall not:
(1) take, possess, or transport wildlife or wild plants that are members of a threatened or endangered species; or
(2) destroy or adversely impact critical habitat.
(b) Any person who takes a threatened or endangered species shall report the taking to the Secretary.
(c) The Secretary may, with advice of the Endangered Species Committee and after the consultation required under subsection 5408(e) of this section, adopt rules for the protection, conservation, or recovery of endangered and threatened species. The rules may establish application requirements for an individual permit or general permits issued under this section, including requirements that differ from the requirements of subsection 5408(h) of this title.
(d) The Secretary may bring an environmental enforcement action against any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section or rules adopted under this chapter in accordance with chapters 201 and 211 of this title.
(e) Instead of bringing an environmental enforcement action for a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter, the Secretary may refer violations of this chapter to the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife for criminal enforcement.
(f) In a criminal enforcement action, a person who knowingly violates a requirement of this chapter or a rule of the Secretary adopted under subsection (c) of this section related to taking, possessing, transporting, buying, or selling a threatened or endangered species shall be fined in accordance with section 4518 of this title, and the person shall pay restitution under section 4514 of this title.
(g) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section by knowingly injuring a member of a threatened or endangered species or knowingly destroying or adversely impacting critical habitat and who is subject to criminal prosecution may be required by the court to pay restitution for:
(1) actual costs and related expenses incurred in treating and caring for the injured plant or animal to the person incurring these expenses, including the costs of veterinarian services and Agency of Natural Resources staff time; or
(2) reasonable mitigation and restoration costs such as species restoration plans; habitat protection; and enhancement, transplanting, cultivation, and propagation. (Added 1981, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1987, No. 216 (Adj. Sess.); 2015, No. 61, § 8, eff. June 17, 2015; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)