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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 21-1754




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 131 ]

Preliminary Provisions; Replacement Costs for Wildlife Killed

[51 Pa.B. 6608]
[Saturday, October 23, 2021]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its September 11, 2021, meeting amends § 131.8 (relating to replacement costs for wildlife killed) to increase replacement costs for the peregrine falcons (Falco pereginus) from $200 to $2,500.

 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 51 Pa.B. 5687 (September 4, 2021).

1. Purpose and Authority

 The population of nesting peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in this Commonwealth has continued to increase since the Commission's upgrade of the species from endangered to threatened. This action follows the Commission's Peregrine Falcon Management Plan (dated 2013) in which objectives for delisting the species were established. Section 925(i) of the code (relating to jurisdiction and penalties) states that ''[i]n addition to the fines and costs imposed for violations pursuant to subsection (b), the costs incurred by the commission for the replacement of the species involved in the violation shall be assessed by the magisterial district judge in such amount as is fixed by regulation of the commission.'' Upon the peregrine falcon's (Falco peregrinus) delisting, replacement costs for this species will effectively be reduced from $5,000 to a default of $200. Notwithstanding its efforts to delist the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the Commission has determined that the species necessitates further protection from unlawful takings in the form of increased replacement costs upon its effective delisting date. The Commission amends § 131.8 to increase replacement costs for the peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from $200 to $2,500.

 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 § 131.8 are adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking amends § 131.8 to increase replacement costs for the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) $200 to $2,500.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons interested or affected by the classification status of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) will 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 any additional cost or paperwork.

6. Effective Date

 This 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 this final-form rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, 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), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).

 (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 131, are amended by amending § 131.8 to read as set forth in Annex A.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 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.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-475 remains valid for the adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A




§ 131.8. Replacement costs for wildlife killed.

 Under section 925(i) of the act (relating to jurisdiction and penalties), in addition to any fines and costs imposed for violations of the act and this title, any person who unlawfully kills or possesses wildlife may be assessed replacement costs according to the following minimum cost scale:

 (1) General class.

 (i) Each threatened or endangered bird or mammal, $5,000.

 (ii) Each bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey or peregrine falcon, $2,500.

 (iii) Each elk or black bear, $1,500.

 (iv) Each white-tailed deer, $800.

 (v) Each bobcat or otter, $500.

 (vi) Each wild turkey or beaver, $300.

 (vii) Any other wildlife, $200.

 (2) Trophy class.

 (i) Each elk with a Boone and Crockett green score of 200 inches or more, $5,000.

 (ii) Each white-tailed deer with a Boone and Crockett green score of 115 inches or more, $5,000.

 (iii) Each black bear with a field dressed weight of 350 pounds or more, $5,000.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1754. Filed for public inspection October 22, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

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