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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-1721


[58 PA. CODE CH. 147]

Special Permits; Deer Control

[34 Pa.B. 5166]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its June 29, 2004, meeting, proposed to amend § 147.663 (relating to fencing).

   The proposed rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

   The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

1.  Introduction

   The Commission is proposing to amend § 147.663 to permit the Executive Director to establish approved woven wire fencing designs and specifications.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   Section 147.661 (relating to general) provides for permits to control deer within fenced enclosures constructed for the purpose of improving forest regeneration. The fences are constructed by managers of private and public forest land, including the Commission. Currently, § 147.663 requires these fences to be constructed of woven wire and be at least 8 feet high with the bottom edge tight to the ground. The industry standard fencing commonly used in this application is built from two widths of 47 woven wire with the bottom 1 foot (approximately) folded over the ground to the outside, leaving an approximate total aboveground height of only 7 feet. The fences are in widespread use by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Commission and clearly do not meet the Commission's current regulatory requirements. Upgrading existing 7-foot fences to meet current regulatory requirements would require substantial modification and add cost to forest management practices and would not likely result in any greater effectiveness in excluding deer. In fact, the foot of fencing sealing the structure at the ground actually increases the effectiveness of the fencing more than the additional 1 foot in height. The Commission is proposing to amend § 147.663 to permit the Executive Director to establish approved woven wire fencing designs and specifications to be consistent with current industry standards.

   Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to authority to issue permits) provides ''The commission may, as deemed necessary to properly manage the game or wildlife resources, promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit and promulgate regulations to control the activities which may be performed under authority of any permit issued.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''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.'' The amendment to § 147.663 is proposed under this authority.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking will permit the Executive Director to establish approved woven wire fencing designs and specifications.

4.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to apply for a deer control permit will be affected by the proposed rulemaking.

5.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

6.  Effective Date

   The proposed rulemaking will be effective on final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.


   Comments can be sent to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797 until September 27, 2004.

8.   Contact Person

   For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note: 48-195. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




Subchapter R. DEER CONTROL


§ 147.663. Fencing.

   Fences shall be inspected and approved by a Commission officer as part of the application.

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   (2)  The fence shall be constructed of woven wire [at lease 8 feet high with the bottom edge maintained tight to the ground, and with openings no larger than 6 inches square] according to the design and specifications approved by the Director, or high tensile electrified wire at least 5 feet high. Woven wire fencing may not have openings larger than 6 inches square. Individual wires on electrified fencing may not be spaced greater than 10 inches apart. Other designs of barrier-type fencing exclosures may be acceptable if the Commission is satisfied the design will exclude deer. Fences constructed after April 4, 2000, shall be woven wire as described in this paragraph to be eligible for a deer control forestry permit.

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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-1721. Filed for public inspection September 17, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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