The Legislature finds that it is in the mutual interest of the department and certain land management agencies of the United States to cooperate in the enforcement of state statutes and regulations within and adjacent to units of the National Park System, National Forests and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects located within the State of West Virginia.
Accordingly, the director of the department of natural resources may enter into a written agreement with a federal agency providing for the appointment of employees of the federal agency as special natural resources police officers and setting forth the terms and conditions within which the federal employees may exercise the powers and duties of special natural resources police officers. The terms and conditions in the agreement shall grant a special natural resources police officer appointed pursuant to the agreement the same powers and duties as prescribed for a full-time salaried natural resources police officer of the department, but shall limit a special natural resources police officer in the exercise of his or her powers and duties to areas within the boundaries of the federal units to which the officer is assigned in his or her federal employment and to situations outside the boundaries of the federal units where the exercise is for the mutual aid of natural resources police officers as set forth in the agreement.
Any federal employee whose duties involve the enforcement of the criminal laws of the United States and who possesses a valid law-enforcement certification issued by a federal land management agency which certifies the meeting of requirements at least equivalent to the law-enforcement officer training requirements promulgated pursuant to article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code, may be certified under the provisions of said article twenty-nine and appointed as a special natural resources police officer under the provisions of this section. Any special natural resources police officer so appointed may not receive compensation or benefits from the state or any political subdivisions thereof for the performance of his or her duties as a special natural resources police officer.