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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-1886




[58 PA. CODE CHS. 135, 141 and 143]

Lands and Buildings, Hunting and Trapping

[26 Pa.B. 5440]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its October 8, 1996, under the authority of 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Game and Wildlife Code) (code), adopted the following changes:

   Amending § 135.48 (relative to State Game Lands) to provide additional recreational time to use specified roads on certain State Game Lands by individuals issued a Disabled Persons Permit under section 2923(a) of the code (relating to disabled person permits) and give those permitted individuals the opportunity to be accompanied by their properly licensed children.

   Amending § 141.25 (relating to early and late goose hunting seasons) by removing the existing language in subsection (d) concerning the required permit since it no longer applies due to the issuance of the new migratory game bird license.

   Amending Chapter 143 (relating to hunting and furtaking licenses) by the adding Subchapter J (relating to migratory game bird license). This new subchapter provides for the implementation of the new license authorized by the act.

Amendment to § 135.48

1.  Introduction

   During meetings held between representatives of the Commission and representatives of organizations of sportsmen with disabilities (Sportsmen), the Sportsmen requested changes to Commission regulations relating to disabled access to State Game Lands. After careful staff consideration of these requests, the Commission, at its June 25, 1996, meeting, proposed and at its October 8, 1996, meeting finally adopted an amendment changing § 135.48 relating to State Game Lands roads open to vehicular traffic for disabled persons, to permit additional access for sportsmen holding disabled permits. These changes are adopted under section 721(a) of the code (relating to control of property) and are consistent with the spirit of Title II of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   As was indicated in the Introduction, representatives of the Commission are regularly meeting with representatives of groups of sportsmen with disabilities to discuss matters of mutual concern. During one of these meetings, a request was made to open the designated roads on game lands prior to the hunting season to allow individuals holding disabled permits to scout for deer. At another meeting, a request was made to allow children, who cannot legally hunt alone, to accompany a disabled permit holder in addition to the one person currently authorized. After careful consideration, it was decided that both of these requests could be granted in the form of the proposed changes.

   Section 721(a) of the code authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations necessary to properly manage lands under its control. Section 2923 of the code provides for disabled person permits and allows individuals holding these permits to hunt from a vehicle.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   Both of these changes relax current restrictions. Children accompanying a disabled permit holder would be required to hold a valid junior hunting or furtakers license.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals holding disabled person permits and their families will be affected by the changes.

5.  Comment and Response

   No written comments were received.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The changes will not involve an additional cost or paperwork.

Amendment to § 141.25

1.  Introduction

   By the act of April 4, 1996 (P. L. , No. 19) (Act 19), the General Assembly adopted changes to sections 102, 2705 and 2709 of the code (relating to definitions; classes of licenses; and license costs and fees) to provide for migratory game bird licenses. With the passage of Act 19, there is no longer a need for the special permit created for the early and late Canada goose seasons. As a result, the Commission at its meeting held on June 25, 1996, proposed and at its meeting held on October 8, 1996, finally adopted an amendment eliminating § 141.25(d). This action is being taken under section 2901(b) of the code (relating to regulations).

2.  Purpose and Authority

   The early and late Canada goose permit was created originally to obtain information with regard to goose harvests in the seasons involved. This information will now be obtained through return of survey cards completed as part of the migratory game bird license issuing process. The permit is therefore unnecessary and the Commission is proposing changes to the regulations to eliminate it. The permit was created under section 2901(b) of the code and is being eliminated under that same authority.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The change eliminates a requirement.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals hunting Canada geese in the early or late seasons will be affected.

5.  Comments and Response

   No written comments were received.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   Current cost and paperwork requirements will be eliminated as a result of the change.

Amendment to Chapter 143

1.  Introduction

   By Act 19, the General Assembly adopted changes to sections 102, 2705 and 2709 of the code to provide for migratory game bird licenses. Section 2705(14) of the code specifically provides for such licenses to be ''. . . subject to the regulations, requirements and conditions which the Commission shall establish.'' At its meeting held on June 25, 1996, the Commission proposed and at its meeting held on October 8, 1996, finally adopted amendments adding Subchapter J relating to hunting and furtaker licenses, to provide for the implementing regulations.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   By final rule adopted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service published in the Federal Register on August 18, 1995 (Vol. 60, No. 160), 50 CFR Part 20 was amended to provide for a Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (Program). That regulation contemplated that the Commonwealth would start participating in the Program in 1996.

   In order to implement the Commonwealth's participation in the Program, the General Assembly enacted Act 19, which changed the aforementioned sections of the code to provide for a migratory game bird license. Those revisions specifically contemplated the adoption by the Commission of implementing regulations. In addition, section 2721 of the code requires that license issuance be in accordance with regulations of the Commission. The amendments fulfill these purposes. In addition to providing procedures for the issuance of migratory game bird licenses, the amendments provide for submission of the survey cards required by the Federal program.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   Act 19 requires the purchasing of a migratory game bird license in order to hunt migratory game birds. The amendments will provide detailed procedures and require return of the survey card under the Federal program.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals who wish to hunt migratory game birds in this Commonwealth and authorized hunting license issuing agents will be affected by the amendments.

5.  Comments and Response

   No written comments were received.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The only cost to the public for the migratory game bird license is 75¢ which is the hunting license issuing agent's fee. A simple application for the license and survey card would need to be completed prior to issuance. Hunting license issuing agents will be required to return completed survey cards directly to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service once per month. It is anticipated that costs of the program to the Commission will be approximately $59,000. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service should reimburse the Commission for all costs.

Effective Dates

   These amendments are effective on final adoption and publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact James R. Fagan, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.


   The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 135, 141 and 143, are amended by amending §§ 135.48, 141.25 and adding §§ 143.181--143.188 to read as set forth at 26 Pa.B. 3645 (August 3, 1996).

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 26 Pa.B. 3645 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (c)  This order shall become effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48-94 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1886. Filed for public inspection November 8, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]

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