Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 49

SEPTEMBER COMMISSIONERS MEETING

Changes could aid response

Wildlife-disease protections viewed.
Diseases that threaten Pennsylvania's
wildlife populations will be able to be met
head-on through a regulatory change given
preliminary approval in September.
Noting the emergence of wildlife
diseases such as rabbit hemorrhagic disease
(RHD), which is having damaging effects
in the southwestern United States, the board
unanimously approved amending a section
of Pennsylvania Code to expand the Game
Commission's ability to address wildlife
diseases through executive order. Presently,
the Game Commission is permitted to address
chronic wasting disease (CWD) by executive
order. The amendment would enable other
diseases to be addressed in this manner as
well, if needed.
" As we have seen with wildlife diseases
such as CWD in deer, West Nile virus in
grouse, and white-nose syndrome in bats,
disease impacts on wildlife populations can
occur quickly and to a severe degree, " said
board President Charlie Fox. " While the Game
Commission has the authority to quickly step
in to confront new or growing CWD issues,
other diseases also are of concern and, at times,
the ability to act immediately could make a
meaningful difference for wildlife. "
Further changes to CWD-specific
regulations also were given preliminary
approval. The term " Established Area, "
which is contained within the agency's new
CWD Response Plan, has been preliminarily
included in regulatory language. High-risk
deer parts, including the head and backbone,
may not be removed from the Established
Area. The amended regulations will be
brought back to a future board meeting for
final approval.
DECEMBER 2020 	

Other meeting highlights
*Game Commission staff
determined the agency's existing
automated license system is capable of
issuing antlerless deer licenses, either
on a first-come, first-serve basis, or
through lottery.
While an existing state law requires
that antlerless deer licenses be issued
by county treasurers, and the law
can't be changed without legislation,
agency staff - at the direction of
commissioners and request of hunters
- proactively began to examine options
in modernizing the process.
* Pennsylvania landowners properly
registered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service now have additional time
to address problems with resident
Canada geese.
The commissioners in September
gave final approval to a measure that
allows qualifying landowners to take
nests and eggs year-round, and kill small
numbers of adult geese causing crop
damage from April through August,
instead of May through August. The
shift pulls state regulations into line with
recently changed federal guidelines.
* The September meeting was the
last for Commissioner Brian Hoover,
who during his more than eight years
of service, served as board secretary,
vice president and president. Hoover,
who represented District 8, thanked
agency staff and fellow commissioners,
and praised their efforts in working for
wildlife and habitat on behalf of hunters
and trappers.
" I think we have assembled the
greatest staff in the country to work on
hunting-related issues, " Hoover said.
Many thanked Hoover for his
service and the knowledge he brought
to the board.
" He has been a great support and
mentor to me, has taught me a lot and
will be missed, " said Game Commission
Executive Director Bryan Burhans.

49



Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 8
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 27
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 30
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2020 - Cover4
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