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RULES AND REGULATIONS

GAME COMMISSION

[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 133 ]

Wildlife Classification; Birds

[47 Pa.B. 1467]
[Saturday, March 11, 2017]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 31, 2017, meeting, amended § 133.21 (relating to classification of birds) to remove the osprey from the Commonwealth's list of threatened and endangered birds.

 This 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 46 Pa.B. 6869 (October 29, 2016).

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 amends § 133.21 to remove the osprey from the Commonwealth's list of threatened and endangered birds. Notwithstanding this 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 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 adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking amends § 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 this final-form rulemaking.

4. Comment and Response Summary

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

5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

6. Effective Date

 This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

7. Contact Person

 For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Findings

 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 statutes.

Order

 The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 133, are amended by amending § 133.21 to read as set forth at 46 Pa.B. 6869.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 46 Pa.B. 6869 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.

R. MATTHEW HOUGH, 
Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-400 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 17-412. Filed for public inspection March 10, 2017, 9:00 a.m.]



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