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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-1071



[58 PA. CODE CH. 147]

Special Permits; Depredation Permits

[36 Pa.B. 2977]
[Saturday, June 17, 2006]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 24, 2006, meeting, adopted an amendment to § 147.745 (relating to exclusions).

   The final-form rulemaking will have no 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 36 Pa.B. 25 (January 7, 2006).

1.  Purpose and Authority

   The Commission recently adopted various classification changes to the State endangered/threatened status for several bird species. In most cases, these changes were prompted by recent declines in population due to habitat loss or alteration, disturbance and competition at breeding sites. These classification changes are important because they will add further protection to imperiled populations of these species. Despite the importance of protecting our most imperiled species and promoting their recovery within this Commonwealth, it is also important to manage these species' impact on human property and economic endeavors, even when a species is classified as endangered or threatened. Section 2121(b) of the code (relating to killing game or wildlife to protect property) epitomizes this need for balance by acknowledging that a person may kill an endangered or threatened species destroying agricultural crops if the person first gives the Commission the opportunity to trap and transfer the animal causing the damage. Unfortunately, trap and transfer efforts do not generally provide a permanent solution to the problem, nor do these efforts protect and conserve the endangered or threatened species.

   Depredation permits are special permits issued to take certain wildlife to protect property and help prevent economic loss. As currently written, § 147.745 prohibits the issuance of a depredation permit for the taking of any endangered or threatened species, whether Federally or State listed. The Commission amended § 147.745 to allow a depredation permit to be issued for a limited take of State listed endangered or threatened species if the taking is part of an integrated damage management program and the taking would not be detrimental to the sustainability of the Statewide population of the species.

   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 amendment of § 147.745 was adopted under this authority.

2.  Regulatory Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking amends § 147.745 to allow the issuance of depredation permits for a limited take of State listed endangered or threatened species if the taking were part of an integrated damage management program and the taking would not be detrimental to the sustainability of the Statewide population of the species.

3.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to obtain a depredation permit to take any State listed endangered or threatened species may be affected by the final-form rulemaking.

4.  Comment and Response Summary

   There were no official comments received regarding this 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 Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 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 147, are amended by amending § 147.745 to read as set forth at 36 Pa.B. 25.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 36 Pa.B. 25 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 48-224 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-1071. Filed for public inspection June 16, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]

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