(a) It is the policy of this state to conserve its natural resources and to prevent the willful or negligent destruction of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibia.
The state may recover damages in a civil action against any person or local agency which unlawfully or negligently takes or destroys any bird, mammal, fish, reptile, or amphibian protected by the laws of this state.
(b) The measure of damages is the amount which will compensate for all the detriment proximately caused by the destruction of the birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibia.
(c) An action to recover damages under this section shall be brought in the name of the people of the state, in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the cause of action arose. The State Water Resources Control Board shall be notified of, and may join in, any action brought under this section when the activities alleged to have caused the destruction of any bird, mammal, fish, reptile, or amphibian may involve either the unlawful discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state or other violation of Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code.
(d) This section does not apply to persons or local agencies engaged in agricultural pest control, to the destruction of fish in irrigation canals or works or irrigation drainages, or to the destruction of birds or mammals killed while damaging crops as provided by law.
(e) No damages may be recovered against a local agency pursuant to this section if civil penalties are assessed against the local agency for the same detriment pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code.
(f) Any recovery or settlement of money damages, including, but not limited to, civil penalties, arising out of any civil action filed and maintained by the Attorney General in the enforcement of this section shall be deposited by the department in the subaccounts of the Fish and Wildlife Pollution Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund as specified in Section 13011.
(g) For purposes of this section, “local agency” includes any city, county, city and county, district, public authority, or other political subdivision.
(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 720, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018