[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 139 ]
Seasons and Bag Limits; Wildlife Management Units
[43 Pa.B. 1718]
[Saturday, March 30, 2013]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its January 29, 2013, meeting to amend § 139.17 (relating to wildlife management units) to provide updated wildlife management unit (WMU) boundaries.
The proposed rulemaking will not have 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 January 29, 2013, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 12, 2013, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
1. Purpose and Authority
A uniform system of WMUs was implemented in 2003 to replace the system of multiple species-specific management units. The primary objective of this new WMU system was to develop and implement wildlife management decisions on a system of more homogenous units based on physiographic, land cover and use, human population density and land ownership. WMU boundaries were defined using readily recognizable features on the landscape rather than hard to identify political boundaries. In 2008, the Commission conducted a 5-year evaluation of the structure of the WMU system which resulted in the development and implementation of four WMU map revisions. The Commission again conducted a 5-year evaluation of the structure of the WMU system and developed two WMU map revisions: 1) split current WMU 2G into WMU 2G (eastern part) and WMU 2H (western part) on a line from Coudersport (RT 6) to DuBois (I-80) following RT 872 to RT 607 to RT 155 to RT 120 to RT 555 to RT 255 to RT 80; and 2) modify the description of the boundary line between WMUs 3C and 3D to differentiate RT 6 from Industrial RT 6 to clarify that in the Scranton area, Industrial RT 6, the Casey Highway, is used as the boundary between these WMUs. The proposed amendments to WMU boundary lines will have minimal impact on wildlife databases. Therefore, the Commission is proposing to amend § 139.17 to provide updated WMU boundaries.
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(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 § 139.17 were proposed under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed rulemaking will amend § 139.17 to provide updated WMU boundaries.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt or trap game or wildlife within this Commonwealth will 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 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: 48-354. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
(Editor's Note: As part of this proposed rulemaking, the Commission is replacing the map which appears in 58 Pa. Code page 139-18, serial page (340220) with the following map.)
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 139. SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
§ 139.17. Wildlife management units.
* * * * *
(b) The outline map of Pennsylvania [found in Appendix B] sets forth wildlife management units.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-563. Filed for public inspection March 29, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]
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