17-315. Wildlife theft prevention fund; authorized expenditures

A. The wildlife theft prevention fund is established consisting of:

1. Monies received from civil penalties pursuant to section 17-314.

2. Money received from donations to the fund.

3. Monies appropriated by the legislature for the purposes provided in this article.

4. Monies received as fines, forfeitures and penalties collected for violations of this title.

B. Monies in the wildlife theft prevention fund shall be expended only for the following purposes:

1. The financing of reward payments to persons, other than peace officers, game and fish department personnel and members of their immediate families, responsible for information leading to the arrest of any person for unlawfully taking, wounding or killing, possessing, transporting or selling wildlife and attendant acts of vandalism. The commission shall establish the schedule of rewards to be paid for information received and payment shall be made from monies available for this purpose.

2. The financing of a statewide telephone reporting system under the name of "operation game thief", which shall be established by the director under the guidance of the commission.

3. The promotion of the public recognition and awareness of the wildlife theft prevention program.

4. Investigations of the unlawful taking, possession or use of wildlife.

5. Investigations of fraud related to licenses, permits, tags or stamps.

C. The wildlife theft prevention fund shall be expended in conformity with the laws governing state financial operations. Balances remaining at the end of the fiscal year are exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to lapsing of appropriations.