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Senate | May 27, 2015 | Committee Room | Senate Agriculture and Environment

Full MP3 Audio File

And will start with representative Dickson on House Bill 640. Is there PCS? There's a PCS Chairman Bronc PCS, moves to accept the PCS, all in favor say aye. Aye! Oppose, say no. Ayes have it. Yes sir Representative Dickson. Thank you madam Chair. Madam Chair, just please to the chair when I was like to do is, go through the provisions of the bill in a pretty quick matter and then I'd ask the Chair to recognize Representative Lucas. Yes sir, that's fine. Madam Chair, members if the committee and public presence, thank you for your tender cheer this morning I will try to be sesaict and be brief. I feel like just a little bit of a historcal background for how this bill was developed would be beneficial to the members of the committee as well as members of the public. About a year ago we started investigating the idea of how to properly pass our outdoor heritage on to the next generation. I think most of us understand that as we become more urban as our population expands, if our outdoor heritage is imported to future generations, now is the time for us to give attention to how we are going to pass that along. And I would like for you to understand that when Representative Lucas and I refer to outdoor heritage, we need to look in section 1 it includes which is not limited to horse back riding, boating, sport shooting, archery, bird watching, wildlife watching, camping, swimming, hunting, tracking and fishing so that's what we mean when we say outdoor heritage and the best way to transfer that to the next generation. There are many of us that believe with the intense effort that it is combines against that are used today with the overwhelming tendency for them to remain like this, with their tender thumbs, tender eyes, and tender brains focussed own a Smartphone or an iPad. There are some of us that think maybe a little bit of an antidote of a little bit of dirt under the fingernails. A little of dirt from the outdoors on the soles of their shoes might come back some of the dirt then I hear they are putting into their minds heard the click of a mouse. SO with those thoughts in mind, about a year ago over a year ago. We reached out to about 26 stakeholder groups that we felt like were interested in passing outdoor heritage onto other folks, they range from the North Carolina Farm Bureau, The Grain, The Blue Ridge Parkway Association, The Eastern Bandit Share Key Indian. The Port Council, they Poultry Federation, the Agalinats[sp?] and the first thing that we did, we brought each of those folks into the office the Christian Action League, the folks represented the Hound Hunters across the state. We brought each one of those into the office and sit for in some instances for about an hour. No legislation was drafted, we then had two public meetings as a result of that kind of contact, then we started drafting the bill and it results here, so I'm going to briefly go through the provisions of the bill. In rapid fiber because I'm sure all of you we've looked at it and understand it pretty good. The crown jewel of this legislation is the development of the outdoor heritage trust fund and the outdoor heritage advisory council. It's impossible to explain one of these without explaining the other. These outdoor heritage trust fund is going to be set by voluntary assessments on various license that are issued. Voluntary is the key word of up to $2. The formulation of the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council who will administer this, they will take those funds and then in correlation, in collaboration with the Wildlife Resources Commission, they

will decide how to use these funds to focus on youth, 16 years old and younger to pass on these outdoor heritages that I just mentioned before the manner in which that advisory council is set up, there's 11 members, three from the house, three from the Senate, three from the government, one from the Commission of Agriculture, one from the Wildlife Resources Commission. And you can see the other details there. One of the important things, we have a lot of public land. This bill will instruct the legislative research commission to study the need for expended access on our public lands. We feel like that's an important thing. Section four of the bills will have a three strikes and your out. As we become more urban, the hunting community that I have dealt with, particularly the dog hunters, I understand that if that heritage is going to remain, and if that heritage is going to passed on to future generations, s one of the things in this bill for the first time to my knowledge that has existed in statute is that we will put 3 structs in your house with proportion with convicted of trespassing if there is a thug of subsequent violation of GS14 159 (6a) there is a pending licence for 2 years. That is for protection that's been overwhelmingly positively received from all of the clubs that I talked to. Now to that part which is the controversly is centered on in that section 5. Every started we have been frustrated by people describing this as a Sandy Hanting Bill. I hope that's not intentional, because we believe in this General Assembly that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is important as we propose our legislation to folks. And there have been people who've gone across the state with the scare tactics are referring to this bill as a Sandy Hunting Bill. Ladies and gentlemen, we've had Sandy Hunting in North Carolina for a great number of years, this bill proposes to amend the method of take existing in our currently existing sandy hunting. And what we think that we've done, is that we put in the hand of the most responsible people. This can only take place with written permission from a private property owner on his property who better to judge, what takes place on their property on any day of the week than the one who owns it. So it's with written permission on private property only, and then we put other safe guards on it, for example part of consideration for the 8 based community, we said that it can not take place in closure than 500 yards from the place of worship that's a tremendous amount of land ladies and gentlemen plus the fact that under the gem that you can potentially take under the this provision you would not use high powered rifles except if you're shooting from a stationary position still hunting deer so there will be no moving targets would have power rifles. It will basically shotguns for rabbits, squirrel, quail et cetera. In addition to that I'm sure that all of you are familiar with Barkhor square this distance that we're exempting from places of worship is 162 acres. So there will be 162 acres around every place of worship across the state that this will not be allowed to. We put the same restriction on residence those restrictions don't exist on Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday plus the fact right now folks who want to run their deer dogs for training can run a deer food church yard while the preacher is preaching. They just can't shoot at them with a gun they can shoot at them with a bow and arrow. And of course there are other

exempts there the hunting of migratory birds is because of the folks that hurt duck and stuff they are not willing to give up nine compensatory days. For that now the provision that is added in your PCS here today the further restriction is it say what I just described cannot take place until afternoon on Sunday that's what your PCS says, alright we add a further safe guard if putting in the hands of the Properties owner isn't enough, then we allow the board of county commissioner by owners after two years to make this form of hunting illegal in there counties. So, with all of those safeguards in mind, I'd ask you to consider then some other things we've been killing the baby bears at 50 pounds this bill would move up to 75 pounds. Retrieval is very important to the dow hunting community, and this's one reason that some of the dow hunters got here with me about this Bill, because they came to me and wanted me to guarantee them that they could go on your property and retrieve there dow. Well, I couldn't do that and I wouldn't do it if I could however we do say to try to enhance that should I owner allow a person to go on his land to retrieve a dow, that property owner owes that individual the same liability that they would to a trespasser which should encourage them not to worry about the liability and then lastly we make this statement and I believe it whole heatedly it is the intended for the general assembly to recognize that hunting with dogs is a viable part of the out door head to the state of North Carolina, and it's further the entire of the general assembly to encourage cooperative and neighborly agreements between land owners and hunters to allow legal retrieval of hunting dogs, and so ladies and gentlemen that is a brief description of what this bill does, please wipe out of your mind that you're going to vote up and down on Sunday hunting. That happened several years ago. What you're going to vote on is an additional method of take to the existing Sandy Hunting law, with the restrictions and the protections that we've incorporated into this bill, with the provision you've added excluding being able to do this before noon on Sunday. I would sincerely ask you for your support for this bill. Madam Chair if you would recognise representative Lucas I would appreciate it. Representative Lucas. Thank you Madam Chair, members of the representative Dickson has done a very thorough job explaining what this bill does and so I'll be rather brief, simply say that this is just another way to attempt to capture the interest of our youth. Many of our youth really, as we know are going somewhat astray, and if we can capture just one it's well worth time and the effort. This also provides ample opportunity to increase the activities as we do the voluntary check off with those who are interested in this sport. It's nothing new on Sunday sports. We have myriad of activities that occur on Sundays including NASCAR. Including boarding, swimming diving, activities, football activities, soccer activities, dance activities, all of these activities. golf occur in Sundays. This is just another quill if you would in the another arrow in the quiver as we attempt to capture our youth, and we really think this is a good way to do it. Thank you representative Lucas we have four individuals from the public that would like to speak, and we request that you could come to the podium and limit and our sergeant of arms would let you know when I'm going to call the four names and if you'll just follow each other that would be great. Henry Mccleese, Cameron

Doles, Rebecca Ravier and Reverend Creech Thank you, madam Chair, my name is Henry Mccleese I represent Kencor and Kentucky high and Bermerco counties each of which has passed opposing sandy hanting and of course I represent the North Carolina Sporting Dog Association. The only significant item in this bill is Sunday hunting you've been told this is a property right issue as the bill allows gun hunting but only owned private land. This is not a property rights issue if I stand on my own land and murder somebody I can't use this as a defence that I'm not guilty because it  was on my own land, I'm guilty of murder you shall not murder is one of the 10 commandments. It's against the law to murder in North Carolina because it's against God's law. Our whole western civilization, and specifically the common law of the England which is where our laws come from, is based on the Bible. The Bible is the basis for American law. It's against the law to steal in our statutes because stealing is against God's law. It's wrong, and sometimes it's good to speak in terms of right and wrong, just to remind ourselves that there is a higher law than the North Carolina general statutes. There is someone above us, and His laws do not change. They're not amended. His Word doesn't change. He said remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Holy meaning set aside the sacred things. Keep the Sabbath set aside. Please vote against Sunday thank you so much. Thank you. Do we have Cameron Bolts[sp?] Hey, my name is Cameron Botez[sp?], I'm here as a private citizen. I wear a lot of different hats. I'm in property management. I manage around 6, 000 acres in Eastern North Carolina. I'm an ordained minister, and I also have three kids. Today, I'm want to be here on behalf of my three children the opportunities for kids to get in the outdoors are reducing. It feels to me like everyday. Representative Dickson said there's a thousand distractions that are coming up, and to me time spent with my kids in the outdoors is the crown jewel of my time with my kids it's its incredibly valuable time in the track, time in the stand, but most of all time seeing God's creation. I wish I could stand in front of you, and say that I could take off work two days a week and pull my kids out of school with ease and then we can go and do that, it just cant happen that way, Saturday is really our only opportunity my kids are not strong enough to pull back a bow, I could. I can leave my kids at home and I can go and pull back a bow. But I'm not going to do that. I want to take my kids with me, and I feel like this bill gives an opportunity to take my kids with me. The other thing on one of my other hats and property management is we deal with a lot of trespassing issues. Right now it's essentially a slap on the wrist, if somebody trespasses, it's $25 fine, and what they've learnt is they've learnt it's cheaper to pay a few trespassing tickets, than it is to lease land, so we are constantly dealing with that. This Bill gives us some backbone in that department and lastly, as a Buffer County resident, we desperately need opportunities for economic output in our county. We are 201 County, this represent it's an incredible opportunity with no additional infrastructure. Folks can come to our county and enjoy the amazing creation. Thank you. Thank you sir and then we have Rebecca, I think Lavere. If I completely remembered your name you can straighten it out when you get this that just fine thanks senator. My name is Rebecca luveir I'm hunting police liaison from the national rights association I'm here today in support of HB 640 just one no on Sunday Hanning. Obviously it's a pro-hanning issue, it is expanding opportunity to hunt, it's, secondly is a pro-property rights issue, we are talking about an activity that is six days a week, if it is legal six days a week and the government tells you you cannot do it on one day a week, they're encroaching on your private property rights, so, we urge favorable passage of HP640. Thank you. And reverend Creech[sp?] Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee.

My name is Rev. Mark Creech, I'm Executive Director of the Christian Action League. This legislation has been one of the hardest measures to address it's in my 16 year tenure as the leads director. There're so many unavoidable, wrong any perceptions for someone like me who would oppose it. You're trying to impose your religion on us. You're not recognizing separation of church and state. You're picking on hunters, even you're probably an animal rights extremist or believe something is wrong with hunting. All of these are misperceptions of the truth. Let me simply clarify by saying that there's nothing in our constitution or Bill of Rights it says religion cannot provide a moral compass for public policy. In fact the historical evidence shows that christian principles were at the heart of our founding and prosperity, and one principal even recognized and honored in law through the decades was the sacred insitution Sunday is a day of reset, a day for family and a day for worship. We love our country, we love our flag, we love its people, freedom, the declaration of independence independence, our tremendous constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our liberty was bought at an incredible price, the price of blood, something we celebrate did over the weekend but to preserve our liberty and the valuable documents I just mentioned, we also have to be God fearing, God loving, God honoring people and to secure constitutional government we need that pause for work pause for my normal routines my pursuit for profit for my interesting recreation and pleasure in applied and peaceful hours of nobler and higher aspirations to the [xx] of this debate but I want to assure you that I know the christian actually is so much concerned about a law or laws that restricts access free society as we are promoting the benefits that accrue from the tradition but christian Sabbath the Dutch [xx] Thank you reverent Trinch Rep. Dickson do you have any comments before we go to members? Yes Mum very briefly first of all I would like to thank all the speakers for their participation in the discussion here this morning I would make a couple of comments relative to those comments, number one one their is 40 other states South Carolina Virginia and Tennessee already do exactly what we are proposing to do here I would also say that if I am permitted to the observance of the Sabbath is one of the greatest opportunities that we have in order to win the favor of our Heavenly Father, the Sabbath was instituted as a result of the end of creation, it continued to be observed from the deliverance of the children of Israel. The Sabbath itself was actually moved, wasn't? From the last day of the week to the day of the week, as a result of the rising of our Saviour, so the Sabbath is important. Has there anybody here that can tell me where I can best observed the Sabbath according to the dictates of my own believe. Revered Cliche has been an absolute gentleman and a statesman. He is the first person that I invited into my office, and we had an gauging and beneficial. Reverend Critch would tell you of the criticism that he reviewed earlier. Jimmy said none of those things, and so ladies and gentlemen, the issue before us is, can I do with my property, what I want to do with it.

Blue laws came into being in an attempt to force people to worship. do you think they've done over the past couple of centuries. Please vote to support this Bill. Madam Chair stand ready for any questions. Senator Tucker do you have a question? No ma'am, just want to comment on the Bill, so if you want to take questions first, I'll, kindly come back to me. OK. Senator Smith Unger. Thank you Madam Chair. On page 4 of the Bill section 5, 5c specifically that restricts the county's ability to pass an orderness until after October 1st, 2017. Is there inability to making that date October 1st 2016 or even 2015. Representative Dickson Thank you Madam Chair, thank you Senator for that question, let me tell you how that came into being from various counties, I'll just give one instance, one of the particular counties is a friend of a friend, as the Interim County Manager to get his board to pass a opposing this bill. That request was granted and that resolution was put on the consent agenda with 14 items, and that county passed a resolution opposing this bill without any of the commissioners seeing one word of it. Without one word of discussion about it. Later on when that county found out what had happened, they began to backtrack. That's a long way of answering your question because of the great the amount of misinformation which was unfair to this bill. We put that in as a safeguard saying let's taste it, let's try, and let's see if we have the same experiences that 40 other counties have with none of the advance effects that folks are talking about, and then after two years which is a good finish, that's the reason senator that we put that and you like that, to get a fair test. Follow up. within a reasonable time the October 1st, 2016 that's a full, 12 months provided this moves forward to implementation or enactment. Representative Dickson Thank you madam chair we believe that the 2 year frame would give us the data. It's going to take for this to come into effect, and the two year frame would give us the data to more I had a quite league judge whether we made a good decision in doing this or not, so I would be opposed to change in if for many thing other than two years earlier Final follow up Madam Chair, I represent a County 7 of which passed resolutions and neither of those Counties one of the counties that you mention I'm having a hard time reconciling there are many things about this bill that I like the ristriction upto 12 noon but provided historical lesson let's really look at what we're talking about to keep this short the reason we honor the support in the Judeo christian Heritage on Sunday, is because of what we've just celebrated this past Sunday, and that is the arrival of the Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, and so we have changed that to Sunday. I am not going to stand here as a firm believer in God and impose on you what your sabbath should be and how you should honor it but it's hard for me to support this bill when you're taking away the local ability to hope out out of the counties would support this, and I would support this bill if the Counties can pass and order this, and I feel that it's unfair to restrict that, but at the same time I do believe in private property rights, but just to be honest with you, if you are going to implement this and have this act in October 1st 2015, I don't see why you can't immediately provide that local up doubt for the ordinances. Thank you. Senator McInnis I think I saw your hand for a favorable report to the PCS. Are there other questions from committee members, Senator Tucker did you have a statement? Yes ma'am thank you.

First of all to Representative Dickson, Representative Lucas and back to you Jimmy on effort you made here, you and I know each other well and I know where you stand, I know your heart and I appreciate you taking this tough decision to bring fourth this for the youth as you will know I like everything about this bill except one thing and as we went through the process I had a very well established famous North Carolinian came to my office and lobby me hard to vote for this bill The National Rifle Association and I'm honored as you may know I have plenty opportunity if you could do that and I had to tell him no I couldn't do it forward most things. Jimmy when you and I grow up we weed more grass on sundays it just didn't happen things have changed times have changed I still want to honor the seventh day but I'm also a realist also understand politics. I also understand you richest position you not wanting to put in place untill afternoon when you started out but since you've done the PCS and since you've done you've best to compromise and to honor sunday's and not to allow hunting until afternoon then I will be in full support of this bill thank you. We have a motion in the floor a favourable to the sorry Senator Ray Excuse me! Thank you madam chair it's a good bill and I don't intend to vote against but I feel on abound a conscious bound to raise a question with regards to 500 yards. If the 500 yards has to do with noise abatement, it ain't going to work given certain atmospheric conditions. The report will be heard from more than 500 yards. My major concern however is that I'm not sure the lethality of some of the weapons that can be used when you're handling high velocity weapons. I know 1000 yards is lethal range for some, there are number of ways you can hunt from a stand you're shooting down that's true. I don't know you want to go out and get exercise and walk while you're hunting. The chances are there for an accident, I just want to express their concern for the record thank you.   Representative.   Go ahead. Is there anybody else? Okay, go ahead Senator Jackson. Thank you Madam Chairman Representative Dakes and I want to sort in some ways reinterate what Senator Tucker said thank you for working on these, as we've learn that sometimes the bills we introduce are not the most pleasurable to work on but this is going to give you Daniel homework you brought in all the right folks and I know there's accusation to the Sunday hunting party in this bill, but as you say this that's really a mind of thing because we would not creating on Sunday hunting it's already available today to anyone and it is about property protection to me, in this bill it's also about helping our young people get back out in that door, since we all know that it's hard for young people nowadays to get into the outdoors because of the iPods and the the key [xx] and all the other things they have to play would sit on the couch and that as we have seen is not always the best use of their time but I commend you for bringing this bill and I commend you for being willing and I want to correct senator Tucker for something he said. Senator Tucker I don't believe Representative Dickson had any control of the PCS, I think we in the senate did that and that I did speak with representative Dickson last as a courtesy to give him a heads up that that he would be coming. I understand from speaking Representative Dickson that he had rather the bill go back the way t came, but that's not going to be the case in this bill as a gentleman as he is agreed to work in this and we don't always get what we want but I think this is a good start and madam Chairman I'd also like to say just for the record I originally, and I think Jimmy would admit to this, was not really crazy about this bill. I didn't like the idea of [xx] talked my family about it and they

were adamantly opposed to it, but then I what I consider to be great individuals, North Carolinians and mentors of mine made the comment, we can pretty much do anything we want on Sunday. There's not a thing we can't do pretty much on Sunday. And all we're doing is changing the take and I go back in thinking and I'm not saying this is in a boastful manner, I'm not a Bible scholar by new imagination but I have read it through  many times and I encourage folks to do that, but I go back to an argument we had or debate let me rephrase it, it was not an argument, it was a debate, we had in our church many, many years ago, and it was about something going on Sunday and I remember an elderly gentleman, who's deceased he said something that really stuck home. That we going out to eat on Sundays, and there's a lady she still living in our church today even though she's nearly blind, she would cook it's own Saturdays so she won't let the cook on Sundays, and I remember that gentleman saying, and he said you know we can't blame the local restore from [xx] he says if this congregation would stay away from it they close, so we do hope we want you on Sunday and I recommend you for this bill thank you. Thank you Senator Jackson, Senator Smith Ingram thank you Madam Chair on page of the bill line 30 section F, council member shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred for the performance of there duties. Do we you have a physical nor do we know how much this problem and how this committee is going cause the council. Representative Dickson. Senator after we discuss that, with Gold Mayor Jack to direct us to his resource commission and based on his experience with the wild life resource commissioner he felt like there would be no need for an appropriation that he can handle it within his budget and he supports this bill to 100%. Senator Ford Thank you Madam Chair, my questions are similar along the lines of finance, I don't see a referral to finance but I also see a 2$ impact and I want hundred voucher taken is on enter. Stay okay thanks. Thank you Madam Chair first of all it's a volunteery fee but second of all it's a, part one section one is a study it's directing wild life resource commission heritage by advising the council to come up with a plan for the trust funds to receive funds through donations of not more than $2, so this doesn't actually create the voluntary fee, this tells wildlife to, in addition to the [xx] council the study what the fee should be, and then when we would come back and create Trust Fund potentially based on what they say, that's when they will go to finance. Rep. Dickson? That was the answer that it will take additional legislation to do that and that's when it will take a deep in finance Representative. I mean, sorry sen. Alexander, on the representative mode here. He moved my fine neighbor side he wished, Rep. Dickson great deal one thing as I read this this has nothing to do with prohibiting arch-ring honey on Sunday, does it sir? Representative Dickson. Senator Alexander this upsets no existing hunting laws any other question Senator [xx] do you want to make your motion again? No bill of motions don't matter madam chair I just want to ask a question. Representative Dickson this precludes anyone from doing any type of hunting with a gun on public land on Sunday, the people that use our public lands for horse back riding and bird watching they will not have to be impacted by this at all. Is that my understanding? Representative Dickson. That is exactly correct and the North Carolina horse council supports this bill 100%. OK. We have a motion on the floor from Senator, Chairman Brock.

Thank you madam Chair, just asking a question. When you're looking at what counties have exemption up turn to page four line one. It seems like some counties already have some exemptions. Can you explain explain to me why they've exemptions and other counties do not. Representative Dickson. What was that, page number nine again? Page four line one. Representative Lucas if you want to come up with it's fine May I address the question madam chair.   Representative Dickson.   Senator Brown in our talk and negotiations and talking with other states and many folks brought up things like population density where is the factors like that some states, actually went into individual counties and try to delineate population density and turned into a night mares the advice that I received was as a starting point if you address population density, do it county wide and do it from a reference that you can build on for the future. This 700, 000 population, there are two counties, Mecklenburg and Wake. Each of this counties have over 500, 000 more population than other counties and we put that 700, 000 population barrier in there for that reason. Senator Brock? Follow up. Follow up. If we're looking at population density, you may have a county that is very dense or rather very dense population in one part of the county not the other therefore that is diluted in that argument. Comments? Representative Dickson.  In those densely populated areas, Senator Brock I think the individual property owners would be smart enough not to allow people to hunt on their land. Least in my speculation persons property how do you handle that when someone who is completely surrounded by land who has an option to hunt but you have someone who's land surrounds it. Representative Dickson. I have always learnt to with as much respect as possible to avoid hypothetical questions and that's one that I'll avoid. I'll just make a comment. Follow up. All my families farm is not. Is not hypothetical, is what happens when land's been passed down for hundreds of years, it's been split off? It's going to cause a lot of issues in my neck of the woods. We have a motion on the floor for favorable report to the committee substitute unfavorable to the regional, all in favor say aye aye. Oppose no. No. Ayes have it, the meeting's adjourned. Thank you. Thank.