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PROPOSED RULEMAKING

GAME COMMISSION

[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 131 ]

Preliminary Provisions; Replacement Costs for Wildlife Killed

[46 Pa.B. 6868]
[Saturday, October 29, 2016]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its September 19, 2016, meeting to amend § 131.8 (relating to replacement costs for wildlife killed) to increase replacement costs for osprey from $200 to $2,500.

 The proposed rulemaking will not have an 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 September 19, 2016, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until January 27, 2017, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1. Purpose and Authority

 In accordance with the goals and objectives stated in the Management Plan for Osprey in Pennsylvania, 2015—2025, the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) has achieved a population level, geographical distribution and tolerance of human activity that no longer meets the definition of a threatened species. As a result, the Commission proposes the removal of the osprey from the Commonwealth's threatened species list. Current replacement costs for osprey as a listed threatened species is $5,000. Upon delisting, replacement costs for osprey will reduce to a default of $200. Notwithstanding its proposal to delist, the Commission determined that the osprey necessitates further protection from unlawful takings in the form of increased replacement costs upon its effective delisting date. The Commission is proposing to amend § 131.8 to increase replacement costs for osprey from $200 to $2,500.

 Section 925(i) of 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.'' 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 proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 131.8 to increase replacement costs for osprey from $200 to $2,500.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons who unlawfully take or kill ospreys within the 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-form 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 Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

R. MATTHEW HOUGH, 
Executive Director

 (Editor's Note: See 46 Pa.B. 6869 (October 29, 2016) for a related proposed rulemaking.)

Fiscal Note:  48-401. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 58. RECREATION

PART III. GAME COMMISSION

CHAPTER 131.  PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

§ 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 [or], golden eagle or osprey, $2,500.

*  *  *  *  *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-1863. Filed for public inspection October 28, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]



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