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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-570



[58 PA. CODE CHS. 141 AND 147]

Hunting and Trapping; Special Permits

[38 Pa.B. 1472]
[Saturday, March 29, 2008]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 29, 2008, meeting, adopted the following rulemaking:

   Amend § 141.4 (relating to hunting hours) and create Chapter 147, Subchapter W (relating to snow goose conservation hunt permit) to define and create the regulatory structure necessary to implement the new snow goose conservation hunt program within this Commonwealth.

   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 37 Pa.B. 6751 (December 22, 2007).

1.  Purpose and Authority

   In recent years, continental snow goose populations have experienced a rapid growth in their population. This dramatic increase in population size has in turn resulted in extensive, possibly irreversible, damage to arctic and subarctic breeding habitats of the continental snow goose, as well as other bird populations dependant on these habitats. The Federal government has proposed, by means of a Light Goose Management Final Environmental Impact Statement, to reduce and stabilize snow goose populations primarily by allowing additional hunting methods and days. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service intends to establish a conservation order that will authorize states, beginning in 2008, to use hunters to harvest snow geese during the period when all waterfowl seasons, excluding falconry, are closed inside or outside the migratory bird hunting season framework. Participating states are required to monitor and assess hunting activity and harvest conducted under this conservation order and annually report to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service each September. To this end, the Commission has amended § 141.4 and created Chapter 147, Subchapter W to define and create the regulatory structure necessary to implement the new snow goose conservation hunt program within this Commonwealth.

   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.'' 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 § 141.4 and creation of Chapter 147, Subchapter W were adopted under this authority.

2.  Regulatory Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking amended § 141.4 and created Chapter 147, Subchapter W to define and create the regulatory structure necessary to implement the new snow goose conservation hunt program within this Commonwealth.

3.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing for additional opportunities to hunt snow geese within this Commonwealth may be affected by this 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 may result in a nominal increase in additional cost and paperwork to the Commission in implementing this new program, however, such an increase should be absorbed by the Commission's current budget or staffing, or both.

6.  Effective Date

   The final 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).

   (2)  The adoption of these 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 statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 141 and 147, are amended by amending § 141.4 and adding §§ 147.781, 147.782 and 147.784 to read as set forth at 37 Pa.B. 6751 and by adding § 147.783 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order, 37 Pa.B. 6751 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (c)  The order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48-260 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A





§ 147.783.  Permit.

   (a)  A snow goose conservation hunt permit issued under this subchapter authorizes the permittee to harvest snow geese within this Commonwealth during a period of time when all waterfowl seasons are closed.

   (b)  The permittee is required to maintain records specifying hunting activity and harvest by day, time of day, and any other detail required by the Commission. An annual report of this hunting record shall be submitted in a manner specified by the Commission within 30 days of the last hunting day of the conservation hunt period.

   (c)  Except as provided in § 141.4 (relating to hunting hours), the permittee shall comply with the applicable State and Federal regulations relating to the hunting and taking of snow geese during regular hunting seasons as adopted by the United States Secretary of the Interior and as published in the Federal Register each year.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-570. Filed for public inspection March 28, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

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