New Hampshire Sets Public Hearings for Wildlife Rule Changes

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Proposed wildlife rule changes will be the topic of public hearings that will be held by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at its headquarters building at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord on the following dates:

October 2, 2006, at 3 p.m. -- Furbearer rules (weasel, fisher, coyote) and trapping on state managed lands. This rule would affect persons taking weasel or fisher or who wish to obtain a permit to trap on lands managed by the state. Fish and Game is proposing to change the season for taking weasel by traps to be open concurrent with the coyote season; change the bag limit for fisher by reducing the season limit in the combined area of wildlife management units E, J1, L and M; and change the rules which specify the process for obtaining permits to trap on lands managed by the state. Written comments are due by October 12, 2006.

October 4, 2006, at 3 p.m. -- Use of leashed dogs for tracking big game animals. These rules would affect hunters who want assistance from a licensed tracker and persons who wish to be licensed as a tracker. In accordance with RSA 207:12-c, Fish and Game is proposing to adopt rules to regulate the activity of using a leashed dog to track big game animals. These rules include restrictions relative to the manner and methods for tracking, time periods for using tracking dogs, the application, notification and reporting process, license requirements and fee and the recovery of game. Written comments are due by October 16, 2006.

October 4, 2006, at 3 p.m. -- Snowshoe hare. These rules would affect members of beagle clubs who are live trapping snowshoe hares. Fish and Game is proposing to adopt rules to regulate the take of live snowshoe hare from the wild and allow a limited number of hare to be held in captivity for propagation and training purposes. In the past, snowshoe hares were captured outside the state of New Hampshire and imported for beagle training purposes. These sources no longer exist. As part of the N.H. Fish And Game Department's responsibility to recognize, preserve and promote the state's hunting heritage, these rules will allow the continuance of a long-held tradition of hunting hare and rabbits with trained beagles by fostering responsible dog training and breeding and promoting interest in the hunting of snowshoe hares. Written comments are due by October 16, 2006.

October 5, 2006, at 3 p.m. -- State managed lands rules, including the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area. This rule change affects persons wishing to use the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area for certain activities. Fish and Game is proposing to adopt a new rule (Fis 903.04) specific to restrictions for activities on the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area to include listing restrictions that are already part of the conservation easement. In addition, rule Fis 901.01 is being amended to list the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area as a Wildlife Management Area (WMA), and Fis 902.01(d) is being amended to require a special-use permit on any WMA when it is an organized activity involving 15 or more people that has the potential to negatively affect wildlife habitat. Written comments are due by October 16, 2006.

Written comments may be sent, by the deadlines specified above, to: comments@wildlife.state.nh.us (subject line should be "Comments on Wildlife Rules and add specific topic"); or Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to (603) 271-1438.