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PROPOSED RULEMAKING

[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 133 ]

Wildlife Classification; Birds

[46 Pa.B. 6869]
[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 § 133.21 (relating to classification of birds) to remove the osprey from the Commonwealth's list of threatened and endangered birds.

 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 (Plan), 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 under § 133.4 (relating to definitions). As of the 2016 nesting season, osprey populations have met the objectives of at least 50 total nesting pairs with a steady or increasing population, including at least 10 nesting pairs in each of 4 watersheds for the second consecutive comprehensive survey. As a result, the Commission is proposing to amend § 133.21 to remove the osprey from the Commonwealth's list of threatened and endangered birds. Upon delisting, ospreys will continue to be a protected species under the code and will continue to be afforded protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 703—712). Commission staff will continue to implement the Plan and monitor osprey nests to ensure that this species does not regress toward endangerment.

 Section 322(c)(8) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''[a]dd to or change the classification of any wild bird or wild animal.'' Section 2167(a) of the code (relating to endangered or threatened species) states that ''[t]he commission may, by regulation, add or remove any wild bird or wild animal native to this Commonwealth to or from the Pennsylvania native list of endangered or threatened species.'' The amendments to § 133.21 are proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 133.21 to remove the osprey from the Commonwealth's list of threatened and endangered birds.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons concerned with the protected status of the osprey 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-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. 6868 (October 29, 2016) for a related proposed rulemaking.)

Fiscal Note: 48-400. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 58. RECREATION

PART III. GAME COMMISSION

CHAPTER 133. WILDLIFE CLASSIFICATION

Subchapter B. BIRDS

§ 133.21. Classification of birds.

 The following birds are classified:

*  *  *  *  *

 (2) Threatened.

[(i) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

(ii)] (i) Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

[(iii)] (ii) Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-1864. Filed for public inspection October 28, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]



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