RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 147]
[36 Pa.B. 3251]
[Saturday, July 1, 2006]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 18, 2006, meeting, adopted amendments to §§ 147.552--147.554 (relating to application; permit; and subpermit).
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 36 Pa.B. 1401 (March 25, 2006).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Commission recognizes the unique challenges faced by farmers in this Commonwealth's most urban areas. White-tailed deer have certainly proven themselves able to create significant agricultural destruction, even in moderate numbers. Unfortunately, for farmers in highly developed or urban areas deer population issues are complicated. As a measure to help combat high deer populations and their associated problems, the Commission provides farmers with a number of deer management programs, including agricultural deer control permits. The permits generally allow for a focused deer harvest in a designated area in addition to the harvest authorized by the various traditional hunting seasons. Unfortunately, it appears that despite the availability of these permits, farmers in Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 5C and 5D continue to suffer significant agricultural destruction.
In response to the aforementioned damage, a number of farmers or those representing their interests, or both, have requested additional relief from the Commission. Specifically, these individuals are requesting that the following requirements be eliminated for permittees in WMUs 5C and 5D: 1) minimum of 2 years and current enrollment in one of the Commission's public access programs; 2) conspicuous posting of deer control permit signs on the boundaries of and along all public roadways traversing the permitted property; and 3) limitation preventing permittees from issuing more than one subpermit to a qualified individual. Although the Commission's staff has some reservation in eliminating public access requirements from agricultural deer control permits, the Commission is nonetheless convinced that it needs to provide some measure of additional relief to affected farmers in WMUs 5C and 5D. Therefore, the Commission amended §§ 147.552, 147.553 and 147.554 to modify the public access, signage posting and subpermit issuance requirements for agricultural deer control permit permittees in WMUs 5C and 5D.
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 amendments to §§ 147.552, 147.553 and 147.554 were adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking amends §§ 147.552, 147.553 and 147.554 to modify the public access, signage posting and subpermit issuance requirements for Agricultural Deer Control Permit permittees in WMUs 5C and 5D.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to obtain an agricultural deer control permit or operate under the authority of another's agricultural deer control permit in WMUs 5C and 5D will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
The Commission received two comments regarding this rulemaking, both in support of either limiting or ending the Red Tag Program.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. 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 147, are amended by amending §§ 147.552--147.554 to read as set forth at 36 Pa.B. 1401.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 36 Pa.B. 1401 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.
CARL G. ROE,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-227 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-1204. Filed for public inspection June 30, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]
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