Compliance: The Mission of Wildlife Law Enforcement

The glorification of a poacher and the ingrained antagonism toward game laws and their enforcement has continued since early European immigration to North America. Effective wildlife law enforcement is a complicated discipline requiring selfmotivated compliance which will eventually change social attitudes and behavior regarding natural resource laws. A compliance philosophy evolved in Louisiana after implementing the results of research involving conservation officers, hunters, and violators. This team approach involves law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and convicted violators supported by mass media coverage of major poacher apprehensions and prosecutions. During a 5-year period, compliance with waterfowl regulations in Louisiana improved substantially. A video program entitled, "Innovative sentencing: A key to compliance with wildlife and fisheries laws," was produced and presented with this paper.

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