113-267. Replacement costs of marine, estuarine, and wildlife resources; rules authorized; prima facie evidence.

To provide information to the courts and other officials taking action under G.S. 15A-1343(b1)(5), under G.S. 143-215.3(a)(7), or under any other pertinent authority of law, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission are authorized to adopt rules setting forth the factors that should be considered in determining the replacement costs of fish and wildlife and other marine, estuarine, and wildlife resources that have been taken, injured, removed, harmfully altered, damaged, or destroyed. The Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission may make similar rules respecting costs of investigations required by G.S. 143-215.3(a)(7) or which are made pursuant to a court order. For common offenses resulting in the destruction of marine, estuarine, and wildlife resources the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt schedules of costs which reasonably state the likely replacement costs and necessary investigative costs when appropriate. Rules of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission stating scheduled costs or cost factors must be treated as prima facie evidence of the actual costs, but do not prevent a court or jury from examining the reasonableness of the rules or from assessing the special factors in a case which may make the true costs either higher or lower than the amount stated in the rules. The term "replacement costs" must be broadly construed to include indirect costs of replacement through habitat improvement or restoration, establishment of sanctuaries, and other recognized conservation techniques when direct stocking or replacement is not feasible. (1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1985, c. 509, s. 7; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)