[58 PA. CODE CH. 135]
Use of and Permissible Activities on State Game Lands
[32 Pa.B. 1224]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its January 15, 2002, meeting, proposed the following amendments:
Amend §§ 135.2 and 135.41 (relating to unlawful actions; and State game lands) to restrict specified detrimental uses and further define permitted acts and unlawful activities.
These proposed amendments will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
These proposed amendments were made public at the January 15, 2002, meeting of the Commission, and comments on this proposal can be sent to the Director of Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, until March 29, 2002.
Section 722(a) of the code (relating to use of property) provides that land or water titles which have been acquired by the Commission ''. . . may be used only to create and maintain public hunting and furtaking, game or wildlife propagation areas . . . or other uses incidental to hunting, furtaking and game or wildlife resource management.'' Section 721(a) of the code (relating to control of property) places the administration of all lands and waters owned or controlled by the Commission under the sole control of the Executive Director and authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations ''. . . for its use and protection as necessary to properly manage these lands or waters.''
The Commission has allowed various recreational uses of the State game lands system. Unfortunately an increase of these recreational uses has resulted in a corresponding increase in user conflicts and habit degradation and fragmentation. The Commission at its January 15, 2002, meeting proposed amendments to §§ 135.2 and 135.41 to place restrictions on some of these recreational uses and to clarify permitted acts.
2. Purpose and Authority
The purpose and authority of the proposed amendments are outlined in the Introduction of this Preamble. The amendments would clarify existing regulations regarding use of and permissible activities on game lands, and restrict certain recreational uses by the time of year, areas to be used and number of participants. The proposed amendments would also make it unlawful, while on State game lands, to consume or possess alcohol, possess controlled substances or engage in any commercial activity without the written permission of the Executive Director.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed amendments would make it unlawful to violate restrictions on specified recreational uses or to engage in prohibited activities.
4. Persons Affected
Individuals wishing to use State game lands for specified detrimental uses will be limited. Individuals wishing to use State game lands for other uses will be affected.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
There will be additional costs to the Commission in posting designated routes for specified users as well as posting new regulations on State game lands to inform users of changes. Usual, customary costs associated with signage for any new program can be expected. The anticipated costs are minimal.
6. Effective Dates
The proposed amendments will be effective February 1, 2003, and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding these amendments, contact David E. Overcash, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: 48-140. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 135. LANDS AND BUILDINGS
Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 135.2. Unlawful actions.
In addition to the prohibitions in the act on lands, waters or buildings under Commission ownership, lease or jurisdiction, it is unlawful, except with the permission of the person in charge of the lands, to:
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(2) [Contaminate, pollute or degrade springs or streams.] Plant, gather, cut, dig, remove or otherwise injure plants or parts thereof, including trees, shrubs, vines, flowering plants, cultivated crops, mushrooms and fruits of berry-producing plants.
(3) [Graze or permit the grazing of domestic livestock.] Travel on lands by means of vehicle or conveyance propelled by motorized power. This prohibition does not include the travel by individuals permanently confined to a wheelchair propelled by electric power obtained from batteries. Individuals desiring to hunt from an electric powered wheelchair shall have a disabled person permit under section 2923 of the code (relating to disabled person permits).
(4) [Place private advertisements, signs or posters.] Swim in a dam, pond, lake or stream.
(5) [Plant, gather, cut, dig, remove or otherwise injure plants or parts thereof, including trees, shrubs, vines, flowering plants, cultivated crops, mushrooms and fruits of berry-producing plants.] Injure, destroy or cause damage to property--real, personal or mixed.
(6) [Travel on lands by means of a vehicle or conveyance propelled by motorized power. This prohibition does not include the travel by individuals permanently confined to a wheelchair propelled by electric power obtained from batteries. Individuals desiring to hunt from an electric powered wheelchair shall have a disabled person permit under section 2923 of the code (relating to disabled person permits).] Remove or attempt to remove any manmade or natural object except wildlife and fish lawfully taken during the open season. Objects which may not be removed include animals, rocks, minerals, sand and historical or archaeological artifacts.
(7) [Ride animals on fields, except during sanctioned field trials and then only in accordance with the permit.] Participate in, become a part of, contribute to or engage in disorderly conduct as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 5503 and 5505 (relating to disorderly conduct; and public drunkenness).
(8) [Drive motor vehicles with or without attachments having a gross weight in excess of 11,000 pounds.] Kindle, use or maintain an open fire.
(9) [Use boats propelled by a motor.] Travel on roads open to vehicular travel with vehicle or conveyance propelled by motorized power which is not licensed or authorized for operation on a public highway under 75 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Vehicle Code).
(10) [Fish from dam breasts posted against fishing.] Violate, fail or neglect to follow instructions posted on signs authorized by the Director.
(11) [Swim in a dam, pond, lake or stream.] Travel by mechanical or motorized conveyance or ride animals on newly constructed, seeded or planted roads, or other areas, when posted against the travel.
[(12) Injure, destroy or cause damage to property--real, personal or mixed.
(13) Remove sand, clay, stone, minerals or other products.
(14) Participate in, become a part of or contribute to boisterous, immoral or indecent conduct.
(15) Kindle, use or maintain an open fire.
(16) Travel on roads open to vehicular travel with a vehicle or conveyance propelled by motorized power which is not licensed or authorized for operation on a public highway under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 101--9910 (relating to the Vehicle Code).
(17) Violate, fail or neglect to follow instructions posted on signs authorized by the Director.
(18) Travel by mechanical or motorized conveyance or ride animals on newly constructed, seeded or planted roads, or other areas, when posted against the travel.]
Subchapter C. STATE GAME LANDS
§ 135.41. State game lands.
(a) Restrictions limited. The following exceptions to § 135.2 (relating to unlawful actions) pertain to lands and waters designated as State game lands:
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(2) [Open fires are permitted, except when the fire index rating used by the Bureau of Forestry, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is high, very high or extreme.] Small open fires for cooking or warming purposes are permitted only at places where adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire which may damage adjacent areas and shall be attended at all times and completely extinguished before leaving the site of the fire. Open fires are prohibited when the fire index rating used by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is high, very high or extreme. A person causing a wildfire, in addition to possible criminal penalty, is liable for all damages, cost of extinguishing and fines.
(3) Snowmobiles, as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 7702 (relating to definitions) may be driven beginning on the third Sunday in January  through April 1 on designated areas, roads and trails marked with appropriate signs, so long as snowmobiles are registered and display valid registration plate as required under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 7711.1 and 7711.2 (relating to registration of snowmobile or ATV; and limited registration of snowmobile or ATV).
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(c) In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and § 135.2 (relating to unlawful actions), except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:
(1) Contaminate, pollute or degrade groundwaters or surface waters or any waterways.
(2) Graze or permit the grazing of livestock, place or maintain beehives or beekeeping apparatus.
(3) Solicit, or place advertisements, signs or posters.
(4) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.
(5) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the second Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.
(6) Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, on roads open to foot travel only.
(7) Drive motor vehicles with or without attachments having a registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 12,000 pounds.
(8) Use boats propelled by a motor. Battery powered electric motors may be used on waterways unless posted otherwise.
(9) Consume, possess or transport any alcohol, liquor, beer, malt or brewed alcoholic beverage.
(10) Use or possess any controlled substance as defined or classified under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. §§ 780-101--780-143).
(11) Occupy, use or construct, place or maintain structures or other tangible property, except that portable hunting blinds or stands may be used, provided no visible damage is caused to trees.
(12) Feed wildlife or lay or place any food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals.
(13) Release domestic animals, captive bred or captive raised game or wildlife.
(14) Operate a motor vehicle in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property or in excess of posted speed limits, or where no speed limit is posted, in excess of 25 miles per hour.
(15) Target shoot with firearms, bows and arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles in a manner that could cause injury to persons or property, or on areas posted closed to those activities.
(16) Except as provided in Subchapter J (relating to shooting ranges), discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, or device capable of launching projectiles that is not a lawful device to hunt game or wildlife.
(17) Engage in an activity or event involving more than ten persons, which may conflict with the intended purposes or uses as defined in section 722 of the act (relating to use of property), or poses a potential environmental or safety problem.
(18) Sell, distribute, deliver, service, guide or rent any equipment, material or commodity or otherwise transact or engage in any commercial activity. Commercial activity is any activity in which a person directly or indirectly accepts consideration of value as compensation for the provision of goods or services, including transportation.
(19) Use State game lands for any personal, organizational or commercial purpose other than the intended use as defined in section 722 of the code (relating to use of property).
(20) Operate under authority of a contract, lease, agreement or permit and fail to abide by the terms and conditions contained in the contract, lease, agreement or permit.
(21) Except on Sundays, be present on State game lands from the second Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January and the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive when not engaged in lawful hunting or trapping and fail to wear a minimum of 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange-colored material on the head, chest and back combined or, in lieu thereof, a hat of the same colored material. The material shall be worn so it is visible in a 360° arc. Persons using shooting ranges are exempted from this requirement.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-345. Filed for public inspection March 1, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]
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