RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 139 ]
Seasons and Bag Limits; Wildlife Management Units
[46 Pa.B. 2671]
[Saturday, May 28, 2016]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 5, 2016, meeting, amended § 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 final-form rulemaking will not have an 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 46 Pa.B. 1553 (March 26, 2016).
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 again conducted an evaluation of the structure of the WMU system and amended § 139.17 to expand WMU 5D in the northeast corner to provide a more logical boundary. This amendment represents a 51,849-acre increase in the size of WMU 5D and an identical reduction in the size of WMU 5C.
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 S Park/Ridge road. Ridge road south to Interstate 476. I-476 east 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 near Yorklyn, PA Rt. 82 west to US Rt. 30. US Rt. 30 east to PA Rt. 113 at Downingtown. PA Rt. 113 north to Interstate 476. I-476 west to PA Rt. 563 (Ridge road). Ridge road east straight 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 adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking amends § 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 final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
There was one official comments received in opposition to the 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 Thomas P. Grohol, 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) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(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 139, are amended by amending § 139.17 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and in 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.
R. MATTHEW HOUGH,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-389 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
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.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-901. Filed for public inspection May 27, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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