|The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to reinstate the bonus points of those who were prevented from using their hunt permit-tag as a result of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001.
Individuals seeking to have their bonus points reinstated have until April 1 to apply to the Game and Fish Department but must provide "credible and verifiable evidence" that they were involuntarily prevented from using the hunt permit-tag because of circumstances related directly or indirectly to the terrorist attacks.
In addition, because Camp Navajo in northern Arizona was closed to civilians, the commission directed that any civilian issued a hunt permit-tag to hunt within Camp Navajo for the Fall 2001 season be provided a replacement tag for the same or similar hunt during the fall 2002 season, with the Game and Fish Department having the "sole discretion to determine if any individual should receive the same or similar tag."
"The words we speak can never begin to express or describe the collective horror and despair that the people of this nation endured in the aftermath of the unprecedented attack that occurred on Sept. 11. But as despicable as those acts were, the courage, strength and sacrifice of the American people in response exemplified why this country will survive and flourish as the greatest civilization," said Commissioner Hays Gilstrap.
Gilstrap said that many of the people the Arizona Game and Fish Department serves made personal sacrifices or suffered hardships that prevented them from participating in a hunting opportunity this past fall. In prior years, there have been isolated circumstances that also prevented individuals from using a hunting permit. It is generally recognized that obtaining a permit has some inherent risk that events beyond the control of the individual or the Game and Fish Department may interfere with the opportunity, and in accepting that risk, the hunter has no expectation of compensation for the lost opportunity.
"Last year, however, is unparalleled. Where we would not normally provide any remedy to those who could not hunt, we feel that because of the pervasive impact of the terrorist attacks, it is an appropriate gesture of unity that we provide some measure of relief to those who, through no choice of their own, were unable to experience their hunt this past fall," Gilstrap said.
The Game and Fish Commission authorized the department to reinstate to an individual the number of bonus points that an individual had when applying for the Fall 2001 big game hunts, plus one additional bonus point, if the Department issued a hunt-permit tag to the individual that was valid any time between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2001, and that as a result of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001, the individual was prevented from using that hunt permit-tag and in fact did not hunt with or use the hunt permit-tag.
An individual is eligible for reinstatement of bonus points if the individual can provide credible and verifiable evidence to the Game and Fish Department, which has the sole discretion to determine that the individual was "involuntarily" prevented from using the hunt permit-tag because of circumstances related directly or indirectly to the terrorist attacks.
The commission clarified that an individual is not eligible for reinstatement of bonus points if the individual had the option to use the hunt permit-tag but "chose" not to do so for any reason, including reasons related directly or indirectly to the terrorist attacks, or if circumstances related directly or indirectly only "made it more difficult" for any individual to use the hunt permit-tag.
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