RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]
Hunting and Trapping; Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas
[42 Pa.B. 3590]
[Saturday, June 23, 2012]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 24, 2012, meeting amended § 141.28 (relating to wild pheasant recovery areas) to eliminate the Pike Run wildlife pheasant recovery area (WPRA) and include crows to the list of species that can be hunted within WPRAs from the first Sunday in February through July 31.
The final-form rulemaking will not have an 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 42 Pa.B. 1236 (March 10, 2012).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Pike Run WPRA study in southwestern Pennsylvania has concluded unsuccessfully. Habitat patch analysis shows that Pike Run meets only one of five habitat targets in the pheasant model. Pheasant densities are at one hen per square mile, far short of the ten hens per square mile objective. In light of the area's habitat characteristics and low pheasant densities, and in keeping with the pheasant management plan, it was proposed that this area be opened to either sex pheasant hunting and stocking of game farm pheasants be reinstated beginning with the 2012-2013 season. To complement this season change, the Commission amended § 141.28 to eliminate the Pike Run WPRA. The Commission additionally amended § 141.28(b)(2) to include crows along with waterfowl and woodchucks to the list of species that can be hunted within WPRAs from the first Sunday in February through July 31. This addition will not have a detrimental effect on pheasant recovery.
Section 322(c)(4) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically authorizes the Commission to ''define geographic limitations or restrictions.'' Section 2102(c) of the code (relating to regulations) directs that ''The commission shall promulgate regulations concerning the transportation, introduction into the wild, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale or purchase of game or wildlife or the disturbing of game or wildlife in their natural habitat.'' Section 2102(a) of the code 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 § 141.28 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking amends § 141.28 by eliminating the Pike Run WPRA and including crows to the list of species that can be hunted within WPRAs from the first Sunday in February through July 31.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt wild pheasants, release propagated pheasants, train dogs or hunt small game within the area designated as the Pike Run WPRA will be affected by the final-form rulemaking. Persons wishing to hunt crows within an area designated as a WPRA from the first Sunday in February through July 31 will also be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding the final-form rulemaking.
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 Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendment 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 amendment 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 § 141.28 to read as set forth at 42 Pa.B. 1236.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 42 Pa.B. 1236 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 48-334 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1156. Filed for public inspection June 22, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]
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