National Park Protective Act

1894

An Act to protect the birds and animals in Yellowstone National Park, and to punish crimes in said Park, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Yellowstone National Park, as its boundaries now are defined, or as they may be hereafter defined or extended, shall be under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States; and that all the laws applicable to places under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States shall have force and effect in said Park: Provided, however, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to forbid the service in the Park of any civil or criminal process of any court having jurisdiction in the States of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. All fugitives from justice taking refuge in said Park shall be subject to the same laws as refugees from justice found in the State of Wyoming.

Sec. 2. That said Park, for all the purposes of this Act, shall constitute a part of the United States judicial district of Wyoming, and the district and circuit courts of the United States in and for said district shall have jurisdiction of all offenses committed within said Park.

Sec. 3. That if any offense shall be committed in said Yellowstone National Park, which offense is not prohibited or the punishment is not specially provided for by any law of the United States or by any regulation of the Secretary of the Interior, the offender shall be subject to the same punishment as the laws of the State of Wyoming in force at the time of the commission of the offense may provide for a like offense in the said State; and no subsequent repeal of any such law of the State of Wyoming shall affect any prosecution for said offense committed within said Park.

Sec. 4. That all hunting, or the killing, wounding, or capturing at any time of any bird or wild animal, except dangerous animals, when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying human life or inflicting an injury, is prohibited within the limits of said Park; nor shall any fish be taken out of the waters of the Park by means of seines, nets, traps, or by the use of drugs or any explosive substances or compounds, or in any other way than by hook and line, and then only at such seasons and in such times and manner as may be directed by the Secretary of the Interior. That the Secretary of the Interior shall make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary and proper for the management and care of the Park, and for the protection of the property therein, especially for the preservation from injury or spoliation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonderful objects within said Park; and for the protection of the animals and birds in the Park from capture or destruction, or to prevent their being frightened or driven from the Park; and he shall make rules and regulations governing the taking of fish from the streams or lakes in the Park. Possession within the said Park of the dead bodies, or any part thereof, of any wild bird or animal shall be prima facie evidence that the person or persons having the same are guilty of violating this Act. Any person or persons, or stage or express company or railway company, receiving for transportation any of the said animals, birds or fish so killed, taken or caught shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined for every such offense not exceeding three hundred dollars. Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or any rule or regulation that may be promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior with reference to the management and care of the Park, or for the protection of the property therein, for the preservation from injury or spoliation of timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities or wonderful objects within said Park, or for the protection of the animals, birds and fish in the said Park, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subjected to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, and be adjudged to pay all costs of the proceedings.

That all guns, traps, teams, horses, or means of transportation of every nature or description used by any person or persons within said Park limits, when engaged in killing, trapping, ensnaring or capturing such wild beasts, birds, or wild animals, shall be forfeited to the United States, and may be seized by the officers in said Park and held pending the prosecution of any person or persons arrested under charge of violating the provisions of this Act, and upon conviction under this Act of such person or persons using said guns, traps, teams, horses, or other means of transportation, such forfeiture shall be adjudicated as a penalty in addition to the other punishment provided in this Act. Such forfeited property shall be disposed of and accounted for by and under the authority of the Secretary of the Interior.

Sec. 5. That the United States circuit court in said district shall appoint a commissioner, who shall reside in the Park, who shall have jurisdiction to hear and act upon all complaints made, of any and all violations of the law, or of the rules and regulations made by the Secretary of the Interior for the government of the Park, and for the protection of the animals, birds and fish, and objects of interest therein, and for other purposes authorized by this Act. Such commissioner shall have power, upon sworn information, to issue process in the name of the United States for the arrest of any person charged with the commission of any misdemeanor, or charged with the violation of the rules and regulations, or with the violation of any provision of this Act prescribed for the government of said Park, and for the protection of the animals, birds and fish in the said Park, and to try the person so charged; and, if found guilty, to impose the punishment and adjudge the forfeiture prescribed. In all cases of conviction an appeal shall lie from the judgment of said commissioner to the United States district court for the district of Wyoming, said appeal to be governed by the laws of the State of Wyoming providing for appeals in cases of misdemeanor from justices of the peace to the district court of said State; but the United States circuit court in said district may prescribe rules of procedure and practice for said commissioner in the trial of cases and for appeal to said United States district court. Said commissioner shall also have power to issue process as hereinbefore provided for the arrest of any person charged with the commission of any felony within the Park, and to summarily hear the evidence introduced, and, if he shall determine that probable cause is shown for holding the person so charged for trial, shall cause such person to be safely conveyed to a secure place for confinement, within the jurisdiction of the United States district court in said State of Wyoming, and shall certify a transcript of the record of his proceedings and the testimony in the case to the said court, which court shall have jurisdiction of the case: Provided, That the said commissioner shall grant bail in all cases bailable under the laws of the United States or of said State. All process issued by the commissioner shall be directed to the marshal of the United States for the district of Wyoming; but nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing the arrest by any officer of the Government or employee of the United States in the Park without process of any person taken in the act of violating the law or any regulation of the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That the said commissioner shall only exercise such authority and powers as are conferred by this Act.

Sec. 6. That the marshal of the United States for the district of Wyoming may appoint one or more deputy marshals for said Park, who shall reside in said Park, and the said United States district and circuit courts shall hold one session of said courts annually at the town of Sheridan, in the State of Wyoming, and may also hold other sessions at any other place in said State of Wyoming or in said National Park at such dates as the said courts may order.

Sec. 7. That the commissioner provided for in this Act shall, in addition to the fees allowed by law to commissioners of the circuit courts of the United States, be paid an annual salary of one thousand dollars, payable quarterly, and the marshal of the United States and his deputies, and the attorney of the United States and his assistants in said district, shall be paid the same compensation and fees as are now provided by law for like services in said district.

Sec. 8. That all costs and expenses arising in cases under this Act, and properly chargeable to the United States, shall be certified, approved and paid as like costs and expenses in the courts of the United States are certified, approved and paid under the laws of the United States.

Sec. 9. That the Secretary of the Interior shall cause to be erected in the Park a suitable building to be used as a jail, and also having in said building an office for the use of the commissioner; the cost of such building not to exceed five thousand dollars, to be paid out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated upon the certificate of the Secretary as a voucher therefor.

Sec. 10. That this Act shall not be construed to repeal existing laws conferring upon the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of War certain powers with reference to the protection, improvement and control of the said Yellowstone National Park.

Approved May 7, 1894.