RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]
Hunting and Trapping; Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas
[48 Pa.B. 3090]
[Saturday, May 26, 2018]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 24, 2018, meeting, amended § 141.28 (relating to wild pheasant recovery areas) by eliminating the Somerset Wild Pheasant Recovery Area (WPRA).
This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 48 Pa.B. 1686 (March 24, 2018).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Somerset WPRA was established by the Commission in 2009. From 2009—2011, 964 wild pheasants were trapped and transferred to the WPRA and annual population and habitat monitoring have continued through 2017. Population surveys show that current wild pheasant numbers in this WPRA are very low, and much lower than the initial population at the conclusion of releases. Commission staff have concluded that due to habitat conditions, weather severity or a combination of these factors, a huntable wild pheasant population is not achievable or sustainable in this WPRA and that in keeping with guidelines established in the Pennsylvania Ring-necked Pheasant Management Plan for unsuccessful WPRAs, the Somerset WPRA should be dissolved and the area should be reopened to either-sex pheasant hunting and to the stocking of game farm pheasants. The Commission amends § 141.28 by eliminating the Somerset WPRA.
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 § 141.28 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This final-form rulemaking amends § 141.28 by eliminating the Somerset WPRA.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt or take pheasants or train dogs on small game within Somerset WPRA 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
This final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
This 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 this final-form rulemaking, contact Randy L. Shoup, 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 141, are amended by amending § 141.28 to read as set forth at 48 Pa.B. 1686.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 48 Pa.B. 1686 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.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-425 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-823. Filed for public inspection May 25, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]
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