[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 147 ]
Special Permits; Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
[42 Pa.B. 5236]
[Saturday, August 11, 2012]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its June 26, 2012, meeting to amend § 147.724 (relating to nuisance wildlife control operator examination) to require applicants to take the required examination within 180 days of the final approval of their applications by the Bureau of Wildlife Protection (Bureau) and limit approved applicants to a total of two opportunities to take the examination each permit year. The Commission also proposed to rescind § 147.724a and add these requirements to § 147.724.
The proposed rulemaking will not have an 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).
The proposed rulemaking was made public at the June 26, 2012, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent, until September 21, 2012, to the Director, Bureau of Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
1. Purpose and Authority
Each year the Commission processes a few hundred nuisance wildlife control operator applications. The application process ends with an examination that shall be passed with a minimum score of 80% before a permit will be issued. In numerous instances, applicants never take the examination or contact the Commission after an extended period of time and request the opportunity to take the examination. Currently, § 147.724 does not limit an applicant from taking the examination months or even years after their initial application. This deferral in time often results in unreasonable administrative difficulties for the Commission in its attempt to accommodate the delayed testing for these applicants. The Commission is proposing to amend § 147.724 to require applicants to take the required examination within 180 days of the final approval of their applications by the Bureau.
The nuisance wildlife control operator examination has a high failure rate. This is normally the result of the applicant not reviewing or studying the materials provided by the Commission. The Commission has recently identified a significant rise in the number of applicants retesting, sometimes multiple times in a single year, in an attempt to learn the material from the test and ultimately pass the examination. Currently, § 147.724 does not limit the number of times an approved applicant can take the required examination. The Commission is also proposing to amend § 147.724 to limit approved applicants to a total of two opportunities to take the examination each permit year.
Lastly, the Commission is proposing to rescind § 147.724a and add the requirements to § 147.724. This amendment is nonsubstantive and does not create or remove regulatory requirements.
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 § 147.724 and rescission of § 147.724a are proposed under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed rulemaking will amend § 147.724 to require applicants to take the required examination within 180 days of the final approval of their applications by the Bureau and limit approved applicants to a total of two opportunities to take the examination each permit year. The proposed rulemaking will also rescind § 147.724a and add the requirements to § 147.724.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to apply for a nuisance wildlife control operator permit may be affected by the proposed rulemaking.
4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
5. Effective Date
The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
6. Contact Person
For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
CARL G. ROE,
Fiscal Note: 48-348. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 147. SPECIAL PERMITS
Subchapter T. NUISANCE WILDLIFE CONTROL OPERATOR
§ 147.724. Nuisance wildlife control operator examination.
(a) New agents [shall be] are required to obtain a minimum score of 80% on a supervised written examination approved by the Director.
(b) The examination [shall include] must cover the following subject matter:
* * * * *
(4) Diseases and parasites.
(5) Public relations.
(c) New or existing agents seeking certification to control white-tailed deer are required to pass an additional separate examination after passing the basic examination. This examination is subject to the same examination subject matter and minimum score standards under subsections (a) and (b).
(d) New or existing agents applying for certification shall take the required examination within 180 days of final approval of their applications by the Bureau of Wildlife Protection.
(e) New or existing agents are eligible to take each certification examination a maximum of two times each permit year.
§ 147.724a. [Nuisance deer control examination] (Reserved).
[(a) New agents shall be required to obtain a minimum score of 80% on a supervised written examination approved by the Director.
(b) The examination must include the following subject matter:
(1) Biology, life history and habits of white-tailed deer.
(2) Control methods, care and handling and euthanasia.
(3) Laws and regulations.
(4) Diseases and parasites.
(5) Public relations.]
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1518. Filed for public inspection August 10, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]
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