RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 147 ]
Special Permits; Deer Control
[50 Pa.B. 2273]
[Saturday, May 2, 2020]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 7, 2020, meeting amended § 147.674 (relating to issuance of DMAP harvest permits) to increase the number of Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) harvest permits that a person may receive for each DMAP unit or area from two to four, except for those DMAP areas designated by the Commission that will remain at a maximum of two harvest permits per person.
This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 1387 (March 7, 2020).
1. Purpose and Authority
A longstanding provision of the DMAP regulations has limited individual hunters to receiving no more than two DMAP permits for each unit or area enrolled in the program. The Commission has reviewed this limitation and determined that it may be unreasonably limiting private landowners from effectively using the program to harvest enough deer on their lands to meet their deer management goals. This issue has been raised by both DMAP users and Commission staff as part of an ongoing broad review of the DMAP and Red Tag programs. However, the Commission is equally cautious against moving too far towards privatizing access to antlerless deer harvest under the DMAP program and outside of the standard antlerless deer license allocations. Both external users and Commission staff agree that an increase in the number of DMAP permits per unit is warranted, except in certain areas designated by the Commission. The Commission amended § 147.674 to increase the number of DMAP harvest permits that a person may receive for each DMAP unit or area from two to four, except for those DMAP areas designated by the Commission that will remain at a maximum of two harvest permits per person. The Commission intends to designate DMAP units within large land areas that are sold over the counter and without coupons as the units that will remain at a maximum of two harvest permits per person. This includes State game lands and State forest lands and certain large tracts of private lands.
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.'' The amendments to § 147.674 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This final-form rulemaking amends § 147.674 to increase the number of DMAP harvest permits that a person may receive for each DMAP unit or area from two to four, except for those DMAP areas designated by the Commission that will remain at a maximum of two harvest permits per person.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt or take white-tailed deer within this Commonwealth may be affected by this final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
The Commission received a total of eight official comments regarding this final-form rulemaking. Two comments were in support and six were in opposition to increase the number of DMAP harvest permits that a person may receive for each DMAP unit or area from two to four.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This final-form rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
This 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 this final-form rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, 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), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law, and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking; and adoption of regulations).
(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 the authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 147, are amended by amending § 147.674 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and Annex A 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.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-451 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 147. SPECIAL PERMITS
Subchapter R. DEER CONTROL
§ 147.674. Issuance of DMAP harvest permits.
(a) DMAP harvest permits will be made available without regard to quota limitations and will be issued through the Commission's PALS.
(b) Four harvest permits for the DMAP area may be issued each license year to persons who possess a valid Pennsylvania hunting license, except for those DMAP areas designated by the Commission that will remain at a maximum of two harvest permits per person.
(c) Coupon holders shall submit the completed coupons and remittance as determined by the Director. The fee for the harvest permit is $10 for residents and $35 for nonresidents. A fee of $6 will be assessed for the replacement of any DMAP harvest permit.
(d) While hunting deer, the DMAP harvest permit shall be possessed by the hunter at all times.
(e) In DMAP areas designated by the Director, applicants may apply for DMAP harvest permits without possessing a coupon as long as harvest permits remain available for that area.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-599. Filed for public inspection May 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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