[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 139 ]
Seasons and Bag Limits; Wildlife Management Units
[46 Pa.B. 1553]
[Saturday, March 26, 2016]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its February 2, 2016, meeting, proposed to amend § 139.17 (relating to wildlife management units) to expand wildlife management unit (WMU) 5D in the northeast corner to provide a more logical boundary.
The proposed rulemaking will not have an 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 February 2, 2016, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 1, 2016, 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 the 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 has again conducted an evaluation of the structure of the WMU system and is proposing to amend § 139.17 to expand WMU 5D in the northeast corner to provide a more logical boundary. This proposed change represents a 24,826-acre increase in the size of WMU 5D.
From Maryland/PA state line, north along the Octoraro Creek to Rt. 372. Rt. 372 east to PA Rt. 10 north to Interstate 76. I-76 west to US Rt. 222. Rt 222 north to PA Rt. 61 west of Reading. Rt. 61 north to I-78 near Hamburg. I-78 east to Rt. 143. Rt. 143 north to Rt. 309. Rt. 309 south to PA Rt. 873 northwest of Allentown. Rt 873 north to Rt. 248. Rt. 248 east to PA Rt. 946. Rt. 946 east to PA Rt. 512. Rt. 512 to PA Rt., 611 near Mount Bethel. Rt. 611 north to Portland Toll Bridge at Portland. Portland Toll Bridge east to New Jersey/PA state line. New Jersey/PA state line south to the Tohickon Creek. Tohickon Creek west to PA Rt. 611. PA Rt. 611 north to PA Rt. 113. PA Rt. 113 south to US Rt. 30. US Rt. 30 west to PA Rt. 82. PA Rt. 82 east to the Delaware/PA state line near Yorklyn.
From the Delaware/PA state line Yorklyn, PA Rt. 82 west to US Rt. 30. US Rt. 30 east to PA Rt. 113 at Downingtown. PA Rt. 113 north to PA Rt. 611. PA Rt. 611 south to the intersection of Tohickon Creek. Tohickon Creek east to the PA/New Jersey state line.
Section 322(c)(4) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically authorizes the Commission to ''[d]efine geographic limitations or restrictions.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''[t]he 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 are proposed under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed rulemaking will amend § 139.17 to expand WMU 5D in the northeast corner to provide a more logical boundary.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt or trap game or wildlife within WMU 5C or WMU 5D 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 will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
6. Contact Person
For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
R. MATTHEW HOUGH,
Fiscal Note: 48-389. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 139. SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
§ 139.17. Wildlife management units.
(a) The divisional line between two or more wildlife management units shall be the center of the highway, natural water course or other natural boundary.
(b) The outline map of Pennsylvania sets forth wildlife management units.
(Editor's Note: As part of this proposed rulemaking, the Commission is proposing to replace the map which appears in 58 Pa. Code page 139-18, serial page (376920) with the following map.)
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-515. Filed for public inspection March 25, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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