Refuge Trespass Act Law and Legal Definition

The Refuge Trespass Act (“Act”) is a federal legislation enacted by Congress in June 25, 1948. The purpose of the Act is to provide protection to all wildlife within federal sanctuaries, refuges, and fish hatcheries. [18 USCS § 41]. The Act prohibits the following activities causing disturbance or injury on wildlife refuges :

1.Hunting, trapping, capturing, willfully disturbing or killing any bird, fish, or wild animal of any kind;

2.Taking or destroying the eggs or nest of any such bird or fish, on any lands or waters which are set apart or reserved as sanctuaries, refuges or breeding grounds under any law of the U.S.; or

3.Willfully injuring, molesting, or destroying any property of the U.S. on any such lands or waters.

Additionally, the act directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to expand the scope of conservation monitoring, assessment, and management beyond refuge boundaries to encompass surrounding landscapes.[