RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]
Hunting and Trapping
[33 Pa.B. 2749]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 8, 2003, meeting, proposed the following amendments:
Amend § 141.7(b) (relating to use of artificial lights) to make an editorial change to clarify a reference to the concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season; § 141.25 (relating to early goose hunting season) to make an editorial change to bring regulations in compliance with season frameworks approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service); and § 141.48 (relating to elk management units) to provide fewer but larger management areas.
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for the final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 33 Pa.B. 1351 (March 15, 2003).
The Commission has amended §§ 141.7(b), 141.25 and 141.48.
2. Purpose and Authority
With the advent of the concurrent antlered/antlerless deer season, there is no longer a need for the separate antlered deer season and antlerless deer season reference found in § 141.7(b). The final-form rulemaking corrects language in § 141.7(b) to reflect current regulations.
The Service has made changes in Federal season frameworks. One change, regarding Canada goose hunting, removes the reference to ''late goose hunting'' from the Federal regulations. The amendments to § 141.25 removes the reference to ''late goose hunting season'' to stay in compliance with the Federal regulations.
In April 2002, the elk management areas were revised to provide fewer, but larger, management areas. This revision improved hunter opportunity and management capability, except in management area 11. This area, found in the vicinity of the community of Saint Marys, is largely private agricultural and forestland with very limited public hunting access. Elk hunting harvest success was only 17% in this area, as opposed to the average of 94% in all other areas last season. The amendments to § 141.48 combine elk management units 1 and 11 into a single unit in an effort to improve hunter success rates and provide additional opportunities for a hunter to be selected for an elk license in this area of the elk range.
Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' Section 2102(a) of the code provides ''The Commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat, permitting or prohibiting hunting or furtaking, the ways, manner, methods and means of hunting or furtaking and the health and safety of persons who hunt or take wildlife or may be in the vicinity of persons who hunt or take game or wildlife in this Commonwealth.'' These provisions provide the statutory authority for the amendment to § 141.7(b).
Section 322(c)(1) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''fix seasons . . . and daily, season and possession limits for any species of game or wildlife.'' Section 2102(b)(1) of the code authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations relating to seasons and bag limits for hunting. . . .'' Section 2102(a) of the code provides ''The Commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game. . . .'' These provisions provide the statutory authority for the amendment to § 141.25.
Section 2705(15) of the code (relating to classes of licenses) provides that: ''To ensure sound management of Pennsylvania's wild elk population, the commission may promulgate regulations to establish a limited number of licenses.'' Section 322(c)(4) of the code specifically authorizes the Commission to ''Define geographic limitations or restrictions.'' Section 2102(a) of the code provides ''The commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat. . . .'' These provisions provide the statutory authority for the amendment to § 141.48.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking makes an editorial change to remove the reference to the concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season to reflect current regulations, makes an editorial change to remove the reference to ''late goose hunting'' to reflect current Federal waterfowl regulations and provides fewer, but larger, elk management units by combining elk management units 1 and 11 into a single unit.
4. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to spotlight during deer season, hunt Canadian geese and hunt elk will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
5. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.
6. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
7. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will be effective on publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
8. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, 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 Chapter 141, are amended by amending §§ 141.7, 141.25 and 141.48 and Appendix F to read as set forth at 33 Pa.B. 1351.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 33 Pa.B. 1351 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-161 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-1112. Filed for public inspection June 13, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]
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