Simpson v. Department of Fish and Wildlife

255 P.3d 565 (2011)

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Simpson v. Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oregon Court of Appeals
255 P.3d 565 (2011)

Facts

Steven Simpson and several other licensed game ranchers (the ranchers) (plaintiffs) owned a variety of exotic animals, including barbary sheep, fallow deer, ibex, Russian boars, and water buffalo. The ranchers sued the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (agency) (defendant) after the agency adopted a regulation changing the definition of “wildlife” to include all species generally found in a wild state. The ranchers were concerned that this new agency definition of wildlife, when combined with a long-standing agency rule that declared all wildlife to be the property of the state, would mean that their exotic animals, which were properly purchased, were now Oregon’s property. The agency issued a decision declaring that Oregon did not hold an ownership interest in the ranchers’ animals, but the ranchers did not believe this was an accurate reading of existing law and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rosenblum, J.)

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