(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) DEPARTMENT. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
(2) DEPARTMENT-MANAGED LANDS. Privately owned lands that are leased or managed by the department.
(3) DEPARTMENT-OWNED LANDS. Lands owned by the department and lands owned by the state over which the department holds management authority.
(4) HUNTING. The lawful pursuit, trapping, shooting, capture, collection, or killing of wildlife or the lawful attempt to pursue, trap, shoot, capture, collect, or kill wildlife.
(b) Department-owned lands and department-managed lands shall be open to access and use for hunting except as limited by the department for reasons of demonstrable public safety, fish or wildlife management, homeland security, or as otherwise limited by law.
(c) The department, in exercising its authority pursuant to state law, shall exercise its authority, consistent with this section in a manner that supports, promotes, and enhances hunting opportunities to the extent authorized by state law.
(d) Department land management decisions and actions shall not result in any net loss of habitat land acreage available for hunting opportunities on department-owned lands that exist on March 22, 2010. The department shall expeditiously find replacement acreage for hunting to compensate for closures of any existing hunting land. Replacement land, to the greatest extent possible, shall be located within the same administrative region of the department and shall be consistent with the hunting discipline that the department allowed on the closed land.
(e) Any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall assist, coordinate, and cooperate with the department to allow hunting on the lands if the lands are determined by the department to be suitable for hunting. To ensure no net loss of land acreage available for hunting, state agencies and water management districts shall cooperate with the department to open new, additional hunting lands to replace lost hunting acreage. Lands officially designated as units within the state park system may not be considered for replacement hunting lands and may only be opened for hunting when necessary as a wildlife control or management tool as determined by the Division of State Parks of the department.
(f) By October 1 of each year, the division director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries of the department shall submit to the Legislature a written report describing all of the following:
(1) The acreage owned or managed by the department that was closed to hunting during the previous fiscal year and the reasons for the closures.
(2) The acreage owned or managed by the department that was opened to hunting to compensate for closures of existing land pursuant to this section.
(g) By October 1 of each year, any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall submit a written report to the department and the Legislature describing all of the following:
(1) A list of properties that were open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(2) A list of properties that were not open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(3) The acreage for each property and the county where each property is located, except for right-of-way lands and parcels under 50 acres.
Last modified: May 3, 2021