Wildlife & Parks Commission Meeting

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All interested persons are welcome to attend a public meeting and hearing of the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission Jan. 20th in Topeka. The meeting will be conducted at Memorial Hall Auditorium, 120 SW 10th, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The evening public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

The afternoon session will begin with discussion of department-related legislation anticipated in the 2005 session of the Kansas Legislature, as well as discussion of the department’s fiscal year 2006 budget.

Other general discussion topics for the afternoon session include the following:

* a summary of Wildscape projects in the Topeka area;
* department plans to initiate an automated license and permit issuance system;
* an appraisal of regulatory options for sandhill crane season to ensure protection for endangered whooping cranes;
* the state’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan; and
* Operation Game Thief and reward systems.

The afternoon session will also included discussion, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, of the following:

* modification of KAR 115-4-2 and 115-4-4 to define wild turkey provisions on their own rather than as a “big game” species;
* preliminary proposals for deer permits and restrictions, as well as deer seasons for 2005;
* whether to continue the special southeast firearms deer season;
* hunting season, units, and permit quotas for the 2005 fall turkey season;
* seasons, limits and permits for the 2005 antelope season; and
* seasons, limits and permits for the 2005 elk season.

The afternoon session will recess at about 5 p.m. The Commission will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location for workshop session discussion of changes being considered to a regulation governing importation and possession of lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, mountain lions, wolves and bears. Workshop session discussion is also planned for a proposal to add the New Zealand mudsnail to the state’s prohibited species list. Following that discussion, the Commission will conduct a public hearing on the following regulatory proposals:

* Modification of deer management unit boundaries (KAR 115-4-6) to exclude landowner deer management program areas and to expand Unit 19 to include a larger portion of the city of Leavenworth to assist in urban deer management;
* delineation of boundaries for new archery deer management units (KAR 115-4-6a);
* addition of one species (silver chub) to the state’s endangered species list, and removal of two species (the Texas night snake and white-faced ibis) from the state’s threatened species list (KAR 115-15-1);
* modification of the state’s SINC (Species-In-Need-of-Conservation) list, including addition of the night snake, Delta hydrobe, and brindled madtom, and removal of the red shouldered hawk and eastern chipmunk (KAR 115-15-2);
* modification of the fee schedule for licenses and permits (KAR 115-2-1), including establishment of an elk permit application fee, an Any Deer preference point service charge, a limited draw turkey permit preference point service charge, realignment of wild turkey permit fees, increase of nonresident deer permit fees, increase of lifetime license fees, establishment of a three-pole permit fee for fishing, and creation of a nonresident bobcat permit;
* prohibiting use of night vision equipment for rabbits, squirrel, and hare hunting (KAR 115-3-2), furbearer and coyote hunting (KAR 115-5-1), crow hunting (KAR 115-20-1), and other species (KAR 115-20-2);
* allowing use of a third fishing pole for individuals possessing a third-pole permit (KAR 115-7-2);
* addition of Moon Lake on Fort Riley to the list of designated trout waters (KAR 115 25-14);
* defining application procedures, permit requirements and general provisions for the use of crossbows and locking draws for big game and wild turkey hunting (KAR 115-18-7);
* delineating wild turkeys from big game due to changes in the statutory status of turkeys, as well as creating a preference point system for limited wild turkey season (KAR 115-4 11);
* permitting the attesting of bowhunting or furharvester course completion when purchasing permits, to better accommodate the department’s planned automated licensing system (KAR 115-9-4); and
* delineating wild turkeys from big game in a permanent regulation dealing with operational requirements for controlled shooting areas (KAR 115-11-2).

If necessary, the Commission will recess on Jan. 20 to reconvene at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 at the same location to complete their business. Time will be reserved in all sessions for public comment on topics which are not on the agenda.

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Commission Secretary at (620) 672-5911.