Letter to the Editor: Smith has it wrong about NDOW
In Mark Smith’s Letter to the Editor, published February 5th, he writes that NDOW is in violation of Nevada Revised Statues regarding trapping.
He states, “NDOW regularly sets traps illegally, violating the NRS prohibitions on setting traps on private property without permission and on setting traps on or within 200 feet of public roadways. Many traps set in or near Incline Village in the past three years, including the one for which the current charges have been filed, has been set in violation of these Statutes.”
Indeed, NRS 503.240 states that, “It is unlawful for any person to hunt, fish in nonnavigable waters or trap upon land which is private property…”
And NRS 503.580 states that, “It is unlawful for any person, company or corporation to place or set any steel trap, used for the purpose of trapping mammals, larger than a No. 1 Newhouse trap, within 200 feet of any public road or highway within this State.”
If we continue to read the Nevada Revised Statutes, we find in the General Provisions, NRS 0.039, that a “person” (which NRS 503.240 & 503.580 apply to) is defined as a “natural person, any form of business or social organization and any other nongovernmental legal entity including, but not limited to, a corporation, partnership, association, trust or unincorporated organization. The term does not include a government, governmental agency or political subdivision of a government.”
Because the Nevada Department of Wildlife is a government agency and not a “person,” they are exempt from the laws prohibiting trapping on private property and within 200 feet of a public roadway.
Just as a police officer may use deadly force when a regular person may not. It is damaging to the agency to publicly suggest that they are acting outside the law in this manner.