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Overcriminalization

"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

HR 4589: A bill to provide consistent enforcement authority to the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service to respond to violations of regulations regarding the management, use, and protection of public lands under the jurisdiction of these agencies, and for other purposes

Official Title

A bill to provide consistent enforcement authority to the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service to respond to violations of regulations regarding the management, use, and protection of public lands under the jurisdiction of these agencies, and for other purposes

Analysis

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to promulgate regulations governing the use of lands within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. This bill would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to issue regulations designed to protect the national forests from destruction by fire or other depredations. This bill would revise the existing penalties for violating the Department of the Interior’s regulations and provide the same penalties for violating the Department of Agriculture’s new regulations. The knowing violation of any of these regulations would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, a fine as determined under Title 18, or both. Any other violation would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a fine as determined under Title 18, or both. Where the violation involves the use of fire and results from reckless conduct, occurs in an area subject to a complete ban on fires, and results in damage to public or private property, the fine may not be less than $500.

Legislation Details
SPONSOR

Salazar (D - CO)

STATUS:

06/22/2010: Referred to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife
06/22/2010: Referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
06/22/2010 Referred to the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry
02/03/2010: Referred to House Agriculture Committee
02/03/2010: Referred to House Natural Resources Committee