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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-1158



[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]

Hunting and Trapping; Beaver Trapping

[42 Pa.B. 3592]
[Saturday, June 23, 2012]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 24, 2012, meeting amended § 141.62 (relating to beaver trapping) to extend the 15-foot trap placement restriction near beaver dams and lodges Statewide and extend the body-gripping trap limit of 10 to wildlife management units (WMU) where beaver bag limits are 40 or more per season.

 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 42 Pa.B. 1231 (March 10, 2012).

1. Purpose and Authority

 In an effort to comply with its beaver management plan, the Commission proposed two amendments to § 141.62. First, the 15-foot trap placement restriction near beaver dams and lodges should be enforced Statewide which will simplify regulations and help protect juvenile beavers in the colony. This can be accomplished by deleting references to WMUs 3B, 3C and 3D in § 141.62(b)(2). Secondly, the body-gripping trap limit of 10 should only apply to WMUs with high relative harvest/complaint density and with a bag limit of 40 beavers per season. The purpose of this amendment is to lift the two body-gripping trap limit only in WMUs with high relative beaver harvest and complaint densities. Because of the high efficiency of body-gripping traps, these devices should be limited to two in WMUs with medium to low beaver harvest and nuisance complaint densities. Limiting body-gripping traps also creates beaver trapping opportunities for the maximum number of trappers.

 Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' Section 2102(a) of the code 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 § 141.62 are adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The final-form rulemaking amends § 141.62 by extending the 15-foot trap placement restriction near beaver dams and lodges Statewide and extending the body-gripping trap limit of 10 to WMUs where beaver bag limits are 40 or more per season.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons wishing to hunt or trap beavers within this Commonwealth will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.

4. Comment and Response Summary

 There were no official comments received regarding the final-form rulemaking.

5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 The final 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 Richard R. Palmer, 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 amendment 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 amendment 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 Chapter 141, are amended by amending § 141.62 to read as set forth at 42 Pa.B. 1231.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 42 Pa.B. 1231 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 48-335 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1158. Filed for public inspection June 22, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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