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Laws Establishing CFAB

Historical Account of the Board and Laws

In 1982, the New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Council (Council) was first established by Chapter Four of the Laws as a branch of the State Executive Department. Its purpose was to provide New York's license buying public with oversight on the disbursement of Conservation Fund monies (State Finance Law, §83 Conservation Fund) to ensure that the fund is spent in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law, specifically for the care, management, protection and enlargement of the fish and game resources of the State and for the promotion of public fishing, hunting and trapping.

In 1994, the Council was re-established as the Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB) under Chapter 308 of the laws and was moved from Executive Law to Environmental Conservation Law (§11-0327 Conservation Fund Advisory Board). This change allowed the addition of ex-officio, non-voting members to the advisory board (Senate and Assembly Environmental Committee, Senate Finance Committee, Assembly Ways and Means Committee and DEC Commissioner, or their representatives), in an effort to speed up communications and give the panel the ability to make more timely decisions.

Text from the Laws

All information below is the language taken from the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and State Finance Law (STF) that are also found online on the New York State Legislative Laws website (link in the right-hand column of this page).

Conservation Fund

§ 83. Conservation fund.

(a)

  1. The conservation fund shall consist of:
    • all monies belonging to the state received by the department of environmental conservation from the sale of licenses for hunting, for trapping, and for fishing,
    • all monies received in actions for penalties under articles eleven and thirteen of the environmental conservation law and subdivision two of section 71-1929 of the environmental conservation law, or upon the settlement or compromise thereof,
    • all fines for violation of any of the provisions of articles eleven and thirteen of the environmental conservation law,
    • all monies arising out of the operation of real property under the jurisdiction of the division of fish and wildlife in the department of environmental conservation heretofore or hereafter acquired by the state of New York, and from any concessions thereon and from any leases thereof, including monies received from the sale thereof when authorized by law,
    • all monies received from leases or rentals of shellfish grounds in the marine and coastal district,
    • all monies from gifts for fish and wildlife management pursuant to section six hundred twenty-five of the tax law,
    • monies received by the department of environmental conservation from the sale of limited edition prints of fish and wildlife paintings, as authorized by paragraph (t) of subdivision two of section 3-0301 of the environmental conservation law,
    • all monies received from the reimbursement provided for in paragraph b of subdivision seven of section 8-0109 of the environmental conservation law, and
    • all other monies arising out of the application of any provisions of articles eleven and thirteen of the environmental conservation law.

      These monies, after appropriation by the legislature, and within the amounts set forth and for the several purposes specified, shall be available to the department of environmental conservation for the care, management, protection and enlargement of the fish, game and shell fish resources of the state and for the promotion of public fishing and shooting. In the accomplishment of these objects the monies made available hereunder shall be devoted to the purchase or acquisition of lands, lands under water, waters, or rights therein as required, to payment for personal service, for maintenance and operation, and for new construction and permanent betterments, and to all other proper expenses of the department of environmental conservation in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of articles eleven and thirteen of the environmental conservation law.
  2. Marine Resources Account and Surf Clam/Ocean Quahog Account:
    1. Monies collected pursuant to sections 13-0301, 13-0311 and 13-0315 of the environmental conservation law and all fines and penalties collected pursuant to article seventy-one of such law for illegal acts relating to shellfish shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund, to be known as the marine resources account, and shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, after appropriation, for the care, management, protection and enlargement of marine fish and shellfish resources.
    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, monies arising out of the application of subdivision fourteen of section 13-0309 of the environmental conservation law, shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund, to be known as the surf clam/ocean quahog account, and shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, including contracts for such purposes with a New York state institution of higher education currently involved in local marine research, after appropriation, for the research and stock assessment of surf clams and ocean quahogs. The department shall, at a minimum, undertake two stock assessments and issue reports detailing the findings of such assessments to the governor and legislature. The first stock assessment shall be due no later than December thirty-first, two thousand two. The second stock assessment shall be due no later than December thirty-first, two thousand four, and shall be conducted in an area to be determined in consultation with the surf clam/ocean quahog management advisory board.
  3. State Fish and Game Trust Account:
    1. There is hereby created a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the state fish and game trust account to consist of all monies received by the state from the sale of lifetime hunting, fishing, trapping, archery and muzzle-loading licenses pursuant to section 11-0702 of the environmental conservation law. The state comptroller shall invest the monies in such account in securities as defined by section ninety-eight-a of this article. Any income earned by the investment of such monies, except income transferred to the conservation fund pursuant to subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, shall be added to and become a part of, and shall be used for the purposes of such account.
    2. The state comptroller shall provide an annual report of the trust account which lists the amount of the principal, the earned income, the earned income accrued to the principal, and the earned income transferred to the conservation fund pursuant to subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph not later than April tenth of each year for the state fiscal year ending the immediately preceding March thirty-first. A copy of such report shall be transmitted, forthwith, to the director of the division of the budget, the chairman of the senate finance committee, the chairman of the assembly ways and means committee, the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation and each of the eleven members of the conservation fund advisory council, created pursuant to section seven hundred of the executive law.
    3. Earned income from the sale of all lifetime licenses, except income earned on the proceeds of the sale of a lifetime license during the period from sale of such license until April first of the year following one full year of deposit of the proceeds of the sale of such lifetime license, shall be available for deposit within the conservation fund pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision in an amount equal to the cost of the appropriate annual license. The earned income which exceeds the current cost of each annual license comparable to the lifetime license shall be added to the trust account as principal. The earned income from lifetime licenses issued to persons who are under the legal age to implement such licenses shall be added to the trust account as principal until such person becomes of legal age to hunt, fish or trap.

(b) Lands and property rights may be acquired by the department of environmental conservation with monies made available for such purposes from the conservation fund by purchase, by acquisition pursuant to the provisions of the eminent domain procedure law or by gift.

(c) All payments made from the conservation fund shall be made by the department of taxation and finance after audit and upon warrant of the comptroller on vouchers approved by the commissioner of environmental conservation. After appropriations made available from the conservation fund shall cease to have force and effect, any balances remaining unexpended and not required to meet the proper and necessary expenses of the division of fish and wildlife shall revert to such fund.

(d) As to monies accruing to the fund by reason of the enactment of a chapter of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-five entitled "An Act to amend the environmental conservation law and the state finance law, in relation to fees for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, "one dollar of the fee increase provided therein for each hunting, fishing and trapping license shall be dedicated to expansion of hunting and fishing opportunity by: acquisition of public rights or opportunities to utilize suitable lands for hunting and fishing; habitat management and improvement; and species propagation of game, game birds and game fish.

(e) Migratory Bird Stamps:

  1. All monies, revenue and interest received by the department from the sale of voluntary migratory bird stamps and art prints shall be credited to the conservation fund as provided by section eighty-three of this chapter. After payment of administrative costs for preparation and sale of voluntary stamps and art prints, fifty percent of these monies shall be available to the department, pursuant to appropriation, exclusively for acquisition, preservation, improvement and development of wetlands and development and maintenance of access sites within the state. The remaining fifty percent of these monies shall be disbursed to an appropriate nonprofit organization for the development of waterfowl habitat projects within the Dominion of Canada which specifically provide migratory birds for the Atlantic Flyway after obtaining evidence that the projects are acceptable to the department of environmental conservation and the appropriate governmental agencies having jurisdiction over the project area.
  2. Notwithstanding any other general or special law, rule or regulation, all monies, revenue and interest arising out of the sale of voluntary migratory bird stamps, other than that retained by the issuing agent or officer, and art prints pursuant to section 11-0307 of the environmental conservation law and this section shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund, to be known as the migratory bird account, and shall be dedicated to and available by appropriation only for the purposes set forth in this subdivision, which may only be altered or amended by law.

(f) Guide's License Account:
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, all monies, revenue penalties and interest arising out of the fees for the issuance of guide licenses pursuant to section 11-0533 of the environmental conservation law and this section shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund, to be known as the guide's license account, and shall be dedicated to and available by appropriation only for the administration of and purposes set forth in section 11-0533 of the environmental conservation law, which may only be altered or amended by law.

(g) All monies, fees, fines and penalties arising out of the administration and enforcement of the tidal wetlands act (article twenty-five of the environmental conservation law) shall be deposited into the marine resources account of the conservation fund.

(h) Habitat Account:
All monies, revenues and interest thereon received as a result of the application of subdivision seventeen of section 11-0305 of the environmental conservation law authorizing the issuance and sale of voluntary habitat stamps, other than the amount retained by the issuing agent or officer, shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the habitat account. All of such monies, revenues and interest shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, pursuant to appropriation, exclusively for fish and wildlife habitat management, protection and restoration, and the improvement and development of public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and study.

(i) Venison Donation Account:
All monies, revenues and interest thereon received as a result of the application of subdivision eighteen of section 11-0305 of the environmental conservation law authorizing a one dollar voluntary contribution mechanism on all hunting and fishing licenses shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the venison donation account. All of such monies, revenues and interest shall be made available by the department of environmental conservation, pursuant to appropriation, to an appropriate nonprofit organization for implementation of a venison donation program.

(j) Outdoor Recreation and Trail Maintenance Account:
All monies, revenue and interest thereon received as a result of the issuance and sale of voluntary outdoor recreation and trail maintenance pins and patches pursuant to section 11-0329 of the environmental conservation law, other than the amount retained by the issuing agent or officer, shall be deposited in a special account within the conservation fund to be known as the outdoor recreation and trail maintenance account. All of such monies, revenues and interest shall be available to the department of environmental conservation, pursuant to appropriation, exclusively for outdoor recreation, trail maintenance, and the development and improvement of public access to outdoor recreation and trails.

Conservation Fund Advisory Board

§ 11-0327. Conservation fund advisory board.

1. Creation of conservation fund advisory board.

  1. The conservation fund advisory council is hereby continued and reestablished in the department to be the conservation fund advisory board, which shall make recommendations to state agencies on state government plans, policies, and programs affecting fish and wildlife as more specifically outlined below. Such board shall be composed of eleven voting members, including a member designated by the state fish and wildlife management board, a member designated by the New York state conservation council, three members appointed by the governor, two members appointed by the temporary president of the senate,one member appointed by the minority leader of the senate, two members appointed by the speaker of the assembly, and one member appointed by the minority leader of the assembly. None of the members shall be employees of the department. Of the members appointed by the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the minority leader of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, and the minority leader of the assembly, no two shall be residents of the same department of environmental conservation region. Each member shall be a resident of the region which that person is appointed to represent. The board shall be representative of individual and organized sportsmen's interests in each region of the state. In addition to these voting members, the commissioner and the chairmen of the senate finance committee, the senate environmental conservation committee, the assembly ways and means committee and the assembly committee on environmental conservation or their designees shall serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the advisory board.
  2. Persons designated or appointed to the advisory board, excluding ex officio members, shall have demonstrated a long-standing interest, knowledge and experience in fish and wildlife management, including hunting or fishing, as evidenced in part by the holding of a valid New York state hunting, fishing or trapping license at the time they are designated or appointed to such board and for each of the three years immediately preceding their designation or appointment to such board. One member, who may not be an ex officio member, shall be elected chairman of the advisory board by a majority vote of the members of such board, excluding ex officio members.
  3. The designation or appointment of any person to the advisory board, excluding ex officio members, shall be considered terminated if, in the course of any one-year period commencing from the date of their designation or appointment, such person shall have accrued three unexcused absences from meetings of the board. Excuses for absences are to be accepted at the discretion of the chairman. In the event of such termination, the resulting vacancy shall be filled as described in subdivision five of this section.

2. Meetings of the advisory board. The board shall meet at least quarterly at the call of the chairman.

3. Duties of the advisory board. The advisory board shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. To review the allocations and expenditures of the department for fish and wildlife purposes as provided in section 11-0303 of this title and report to the commissioner by November fifteenth of each year. To assist the board in its review, the department shall by September first of each year make available to the board, the governor and the legislature current and anticipated income and expenditures for the fish and wildlife programs, including planned expenditures by time and activity code for the next fiscal year. Such report shall include the findings of the advisory board regarding such allocations and expenditures, including expenditures and appropriations from the conservation fund and the extent to which such expenditures and appropriations are consistent with the requirements of state law. The report shall also include recommended maximum annual fees for the licenses and stamps identified in subdivision 3 of section 11-0715 of this article. In recommending such fees the board shall consider economic indicators, the status of the conservation fund and such program indicators as it may deem appropriate. The commissioner shall submit such report, in its entirety, to the governor and the legislature.
  2. To make reports and release information from time to time, as it deems necessary, to sportsmen and the general public regarding the conservation fund and the fish and wildlife program.
  3. To consult with fish and wildlife interests and render annual reports to the commissioner on fiscal needs and make recommendations on how such needs shall be met.
  4. To assist the department's efforts to expand the available sources of income for the conservation fund and advise the department with respect to the needs of various fish and wildlife programs.
  5. To adopt, promulgate, amend or rescind suitable procedural rules with respect to the composition, internal organization and functioning of the board; and such other rules, regulations and procedures as may be necessary or desirable to effectuate the purposes of this section.
  6. To work to encourage both residents and non-residents to hunt, fish and trap in New York, and to promote conservation and management of New York's natural resources.

4. Advisory board members; expenses. Conservation fund advisory board members shall receive no salary, but the necessary traveling expenses of voting members when attending meetings of the board shall be paid from monies appropriated to the board for travel and shall be paid on vouchers certified by the chairman of the board upon the audit of the comptroller in the manner provided by law.

5. Term of office. All voting members of the board shall serve terms of three years. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be made for the remainder of the affected term in the same manner as the original appointment was made. Such appointment shall be made within sixty days of the date the position becomes vacant.

6. State assistance. The commissioner shall, at any time requested by the board, make any and all information readily available to the board which the board indicates is needed to properly and thoroughly carry out its responsibilities. The commissioner shall also make available to the board such secretarial and/or clerical aid reasonably necessary to allow the board to carry out its duties and responsibilities.