RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CHS. 135 AND 147]
Lands and Buildings; Special Permits
[33 Pa.B. 2748]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 8, 2003, meeting, adopted the following amendments:
Amend § 135.41 (relating to State game lands) to exempt persons who may lawfully hunt without orange from the requirement to wear orange on state game lands (SGL) from November 15 through December 15; and § 147.701 (relating to general) to allow bobcat permit applications from applicants who have applied for bobcat permits in previous years to be included in the drawing until the applicant is successfully drawn.
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 33 Pa.B. 1350 (March 15, 2003).
The Commission has amended §§ 135.41 and 147.701.
2. Purpose and Authority
New State game lands regulations were promulgated in April 2002, which included the broad requirement for anyone present on SGL from November 15 through December 15 to wear fluorescent orange. There are, however, open hunting seasons during that same time period that do not require hunters to wear fluorescent orange (for example, duck hunting). A conflict of regulations may be created in this circumstance, since some hunters are permitted by the regulations to hunt without wearing any fluorescent orange during certain open seasons, yet would be required to wear fluorescent orange while on SGL from November 15 through December 15. This final-form rulemaking is designed to remove this inconsistency by providing an exception to the requirement to wear fluorescent orange for those persons lawfully engaged in hunting (emphasis added). This exception will apply only to those persons lawfully hunting from November 15 through December 15 during an open season that does not require the wearing of fluorescent orange.
The amendments to § 147.701 provide for a preference for those applicants who have applied annually for bobcat hunting/trapping permits but have been unsuccessful in having their application drawn. Under this preference, those applicants who have applied in the previous year or previous consecutive years will have their prior years applications remain in the pool of applications from which successful applicants are drawn, thus accruing preference and increasing their chances of being drawn for a permit. For example, if a person has applied for the 5th consecutive year, but has not been successfully drawn during the previous 4 years, that person will have five chances to be drawn in that 5th year's drawing.
Section 721(a) of the code (relating to control of property) provides ''The administration of all lands or waters owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the commission shall be under the sole control of the director, and the commission shall promulgate regulations . . . for its use and protection as necessary to properly manage these lands or waters.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to: ''promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning . . . 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 to § 135.41 was made under this authority.
Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to authority to issue permits) provides ''the commission may, as deemed necessary to properly manage the game or wildlife resources, promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit and promulgate regulations to control the activities which may be performed under authority of any permit issued.'' The amendment to § 147.701 was made under this authority.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking will permit hunters who are lawfully hunting during an open season that does not require the wearing of fluorescent orange to hunt on SGL without wearing fluorescent orange and will allow bobcat permit applicants to accrue preference and increase their chances of being drawn for a permit by applying annually.
4. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt on SGL and persons applying for bobcat permits will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
5. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.
6. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
7. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will be effective on publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
8. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 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 authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 135 and 147, are amended by amending § 135.41 to read as set forth at 33 Pa.B. 1350 and by amending § 147.701 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order, 33 Pa.B. 1350 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.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-160 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 147. SPECIAL PERMITS
Subchapter S. BOBCAT HUNTING-TRAPPING PERMIT
§ 147.701. General.
This section provides for permits to be issued for the hunting and trapping of bobcat during the season established and in areas designated under § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year).
(1) A permit will only be issued to residents of this Commonwealth who possess a valid resident furtakers license, junior combination license, senior combination license or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the act (relating to resident license and fee exemptions) or to persons who qualify under section 2363 of the act (relating to trapping exception for certain persons).
(2) The fee for an application for a permit to take a bobcat is $5.
(3) Applications shall be submitted on a form supplied by the Commission or by using an electronic application on the Commission's Internet website and shall contain the required information as requested. For the purpose of having a unique identifier assigned to each individual in the database, permitting a crosscheck for duplicates, applicants shall provide their Social Security number on the application, or some other appropriate form of individual identification. A $5 application fee shall accompany the application and is nonrefundable. Applications shall be submitted to the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters.
(4) Applications may only be submitted between July 1 and the third Friday in August. Applications post marked later than the third Friday in August will be rejected.
(5) Only one application per person may be submitted. Anyone submitting more than one application for a permit will have all applications rejected.
(6) The selection of applications will be made by random drawing from all eligible applications submitted. Incomplete, illegible or duplicate applications will not be included in the drawing. The drawing will be held at the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters on the second Friday in September and shall be open to the public.
(7) A special permit authorizing the lawful taking of one bobcat will be delivered to successful applicants by standard first class mail through and by the United States Postal Service. Permits shall be mailed by the first Friday in October. The number of permits issued shall be set by the Executive Director no later than the first day of June.
(8) Tagging requirements are as follows:
(i) A permitted person taking a bobcat shall immediately, before removing the bobcat from the location of the taking, fully complete a temporary carcass tag furnished with the permit, which contains in English the person's name, address, special permit number, date of harvest, county and township of harvest, wildlife management unit of harvest and method of harvest and attach the tag to the bobcat. The bobcat carcass shall remain intact, that is, with entrails, until examined and tagged by a Commission representative. The temporary carcass tag shall remain attached to the animal until it is tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag. The person taking the bobcat may remove the pelt provided the pelt is kept with the carcass for examination and tagging.
(ii) A permitted person taking a bobcat shall contact the Commission within 48 hours of the taking by telephoning the number specified on the permit to arrange for carcass examination, data collection and tagging.
(iii) A bobcat taken under authority of a special permit shall be tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag no later than 4 p.m. on the 10th day following the closing of the bobcat season.
(iv) The tag shall remain attached to the bobcat until it is mounted, tanned, made into a commercial fur or prepared for consumption.
(9) An applicant issued a bobcat hunting-trapping permit is not permitted to apply for another bobcat hunting-trapping permit the next license year. Applications from current applicants who have applied in the 2003-2004 license year and preceding years will be included in the drawing until the applicant is successfully drawn and issued a permit.
(10) A bobcat guide permit will be issued as follows:
(i) A person who assists another person to hunt or take bobcats in any manner shall first secure a bobcat guide permit from the Commission.
(ii) The fee for a bobcat guide permit is $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-1111. Filed for public inspection June 13, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]
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