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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-2224



[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 135 ]

Lands and Buildings; Unlawful Actions

[42 Pa.B. 7107]
[Saturday, November 17, 2012]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its September 25, 2012, meeting amended § 135.2 (relating to unlawful actions) to create a regulatory violation to possess, maintain, operate, occupy or travel by all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or snowmobile in a manner not in accordance with the standards in 75 Pa.C.S. (relating to Vehicle Code).

 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. 5235 (August 11, 2012).

1. Purpose and Authority

 Unauthorized ATV operation on State game lands and hunter access cooperator properties continues to be one of the top ten violations Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCO) encounter each year. Illegal ATV operation has been identified as a major source of wildlife habitat destruction across the landscapes of these lands and waters. These usage violations are very often accompanied by ATV classification offenses (registration, insurance, and the like) as set forth in 75 Pa.C.S. Under current law, WCOs do not have authority to enforce 75 Pa.C.S. summary offenses. The Commission normally forwards these violations to other enforcement authorities. This practice typically ends in mixed results. Delays and jurisdictional problems often result in significant challenges in the processing of these cases successfully. The Commission amended § 135.2 to create a regulatory violation to possess, maintain, operate, occupy or travel by ATV or snowmobile in a manner not in accordance with the standards in 75 Pa.C.S. This final-form rulemaking will ensure safe and effective enforcement of these requirements occurring on lands and waters under Commission ownership, lease, agreement or control.

 Section 721(a) of the code (relating to control of property) provides ''The administration of all lands or waters owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the commission shall be under the sole control of the director, and the commission shall promulgate regulations consistent with the purpose of this title for its use and protection as necessary to properly manage these lands or waters.'' 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 § 135.2 are adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The final-form rulemaking amends § 135.2 to create a regulatory violation to possess, maintain, operate, occupy or travel by ATV or snowmobile in a manner not in accordance with the standards in 75 Pa.C.S.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons operating snowmobiles or ATVs on lands or waters under Commission ownership, lease, agreement or jurisdiction may 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 final-form 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 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 statutes, orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 135, are amended by amending § 135.2 to read as set forth at 42 Pa.B. 5235.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 42 Pa.B. 5235 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.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-346 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-2224. Filed for public inspection November 16, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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