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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-1191



[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 139 ]

Seasons and Bag Limits

[38 Pa.B. 3490]
[Saturday, June 28, 2008]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 22, 2008, meeting, adopted the following rulemaking:

   Amend § 139.17 (relating to wildlife management units) to provide updated wildlife management unit boundaries.

   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 38 Pa.B. 1597 (April 5, 2008).

1.  Purpose and Authority

   A uniform system of wildlife management units (WMUs) was implemented in 2003 to replace the system of multiple, species-specific management units. The primary objective of this new wildlife management unit 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. Wildlife management unit boundaries were defined using readily recognizable features on the landscape rather than hard to identify political boundaries. At the time of the approval of the new wildlife management unit system it was agreed to evaluate the structure of the units after 5 years. The 2007-2008 seasons will mark the 5th year, therefore the Commission reviewed staff input and developed the following limited WMU map revisions: 1) clarify the boundary line between WMUs 2C and 2E near Ebensburg to reduce confusion; 2) correct the boundary line between WMUs 4B and 4D to accommodate new highway construction on United States Traffic Route 22 near Lewistown; 3) relocate the boundary line between WMUs 3B and 3C between Towanda and Tunkhannock from United States Traffic Route 6 to the Susquehanna River to increase hunter access and reduce property fragmentation; and 4) expand WMU 5C to include the cities of Reading and Allentown to accommodate continuing increases in human populations in southeast Pennsylvania, thus affecting boundary lines with WMUs 5B, 4C and 3D. These proposed changes to WMU boundary lines will have minimal impact on wildlife databases. Therefore, the Commission amended § 139.17 to provide updated wildlife management unit boundaries.

   Section 322(c)(4) of the code (relating to powers and duties of the 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 amendment of § 139.17 was adopted under this authority.

2.  Regulatory Requirements

   The final-form 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 final-form rulemaking.

4.  Comment and Response Summary

   The Commission received 17 comments respecting this final-form rulemaking. Out of this total, five were in support and five were in opposition to the Commission's proposal to update the WMU boundaries. In addition, five comments recommended that WMUs be made smaller, one comment claimed wildlife management units were too confusing and one recommended specific adjustments to WMU 5C's boundaries.

5.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking should not result in any 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 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 this 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 139, are amended by amending § 139.17 to read as set forth at 38 Pa.B. 1597.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 38 Pa.B. 1597 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

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

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-263 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-1191. Filed for public inspection June 27, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

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