Free fishing, hunting licenses for disabled veterans among new laws enacted in 2008
TOPEKA – The 2008 Kansas Legislature and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius have approved several new laws affecting outdoor recreation in Kansas. Bills passed into law this year include the following:

  • Senate Bill 157 -- requires the department to purchase vessel liability insurance for all of department-owned boats;
  • Senate Bill 267 -- allows the court system to suspend or revoke Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) privileges for noncompliance with a KDWP citation, similar to what is currently done with traffic citations;
  • Senate Bill 474 -- removes the requirement for a field trial permit for field trials conducted on controlled shooting areas (CSA) during the CSA operating season. The bill also removes the requirement for residents to possess a hunting license to hunt prairie dogs;
  • Senate Bill 475 -- allows the name change of the Kansas Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Inc. to the Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Inc. The name change is due to the Kansas chapter of FHFH separating from the national organization and creating its own independent state organization;
  • House Bill 2657 -- modifies the current statute concerning operation of a motorboat on state waters, prohibiting operation on state waters of a motorboat with exhaust noise emitting a sound level in excess of 92 decibels on the "A" weighted scale when subjected to a stationary sound level test. The owner of a motorboat in violation of the noise standard would have 60 days from the date of the violation to bring the vessel into compliance, and the boat may not be operated on state waters until the department certifies compliance;
  • House Bill 2748 -- allows the secretary of KDWP to establish requirements relating to tagging of wild turkey by regulation. KDWP requested introduction of this bill to allow more flexibility in future wild turkey management options; and
  • House Bill 2923 -- provides annual hunting and fishing licenses at no cost to honorably discharged resident veterans with certified service-related disabilities of 30 percent or more, and appropriates revenues from the State General Fund to reimburse the Wildlife Fee Fund for the licenses.