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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 07-1755



[58 PA. CODE CH. 133]

Wildlife Classification

[37 Pa.B. 5164]
[Saturday, September 22, 2007]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its June 26, 2007 meeting, proposed to amend § 133.41 (relating to classification of mammals).

   The proposed rulemaking will have no 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 June 26, 2007, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent to, until September 28, 2007, the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

   1.  Purpose and Authority

   To effectively protect and manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, section 2167 of the code (relating to endangered or threatened species) empowers the Commission to make changes to the Pennsylvania list of native endangered and threatened species. Chapter 133 (relating to wildlife classifications) lists native birds and mammals determined by the Commission to be endangered or threatened. This chapter was last amended in October 2005. Commission staff has met with and received recommendations from the scientific technical committees of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey on species classification changes. Classifications were not proposed for birds. However, the Mammal Technical Committee recommended one change to the list of threatened and endangered mammals. The Commission is proposing to amend § 133.41 to add the northern flying squirrel to the endangered species list.

   The northern flying squirrel is not a game species, and it is the larger and rarest of the two flying squirrel species in this Commonwealth. Surveys by both Game Commission personnel and independent researchers demonstrate population declines in this species. Historical records indicate this species once was distributed across northern Pennsylvania; however, recent surveys suggest it is now found only in small island populations in the northeast Pocono region and at one site in Warren County. The primary cause for the decline of this species is the loss and fragmentation of older-growth coniferous forests in this Commonwealth.

   Section 322(c)(8) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''Add to or change the classification of any wild bird or wild animal.'' 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 this Commonwealth.'' The amendment to § 133.41 was proposed under this authority.

   2.  Regulatory Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking will amend § 133.40 to update Pennsylvania's list of native endangered and threatened species with current recommendations provided by scientific technical committees of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey.

   3.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to hunt, trap or otherwise affect certain wildlife (or their habitat) within this Commonwealth 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 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 Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  48-255. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




Subchapter C.  MAMMALS

§ 133.41.  Classification of mammals.

   The following mammals are classified:

   (1)  Endangered.

*      *      *      *      *

   (iv)  Northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus macrotis)

*      *      *      *      *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 07-1755. Filed for public inspection September 21, 2007, 9:00 a.m.]

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