|The draft 2002 Elk Harvest Management Strategy Rulemaking proposals have been given the blessing of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and are ready for statewide public meetings.
Pinetop regional supervisor Richard Remington explained that the Game and Fish Commission last August directed the department to open a rule-making docket to begin considering all rule changes necessary to implement the Elk Harvest Management Strategy Report recommendations.
Executive staff assistant Dana Yost said that in January of this year the department presented the Game and Fish Commission a summary of the public input on those recommendations. Now the department has incorporated those recommendations into specific draft rule language amendments, which is the subject of the public meetings.
The following dates and times have been scheduled so far (all meetings start at 7 p.m.), and an additional meeting in Phoenix is being scheduled as per commission direction.
Flagstaff, April 30, Region II office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road;
Snowflake, May 1, Northland Pioneer College Learning Center, 1610 Main Street;
Payson Police Office Conference Room, 303 N. Beeline Highway on May 2;
Safford, May 14, Phelps Dodge Meeting Room, Safford-Graham County Library, 800 7th Aveune;
Tucson, May 16, Region V office, 555 N. Greasewood;
Mesa, May 20, Region VI office, 7200 E. University;
Prescott, May 28, Yavapai County Building, Board of Supervisors' Meeting Room, 1015 Fair Street;
Kingman, May 29, Region III office, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road;
Yuma, May 30, Region IV office, 9140 E. 28th Street;
The draft language will also be available on the Game and Fish Department's Internet Home Page at www.azgfd.com, and a link is being provided so that those desiring to formally comment on the proposed rules can do so via e-mail.
The proposed rule changes include the following:
Adding a definition under the rules for a "Restricted nonpermit-tag," which would be a tag issued to a hunter pool applicant for a supplemental elk hunt.
Adding a provision allowing the director to reduce fees for population management hunts, if necessary.
Adding a provision to allow an applicant to apply for a hunt permit-tag electronically over the Internet;
Clarifies that in case of department error when issuing a hunt permit-tag, only applicants who would have been successful based on the random number of their application would be eligible for replacement tags;
Modifying the rule on multiple hunts so that it reads as follows: For species that have multiple hunts within a single calendar year, hunters who successfully draw a hunt permit-tag during an earlier season may apply for a later season for the same genus if they have not taken the bag limit for that species during a preceding hunt in the same calendar year.
Revising the rules to clarify that bonus points will only be gained or lost through the computerized hunt permit-tag draw (which excludes restricted nonpermit-tags issued through the hunter pool from the bonus point system).
Changing the name of the "Depredation Hunts" commission rule and renames it to the "Supplemental Hunts and Hunter Pool," and defines supplemental hunts to include depredation hunts, emergency seasons, and population reduction hunts.
Adding new rule language delegating commission authority to the Game and Fish director for establishing season dates, hunt areas, and restricted nonpermit-tag numbers, within a maximum number pre-determined by the commission, for population reduction hunts.
Adding new language delegating commission authority to the director to reduce restricted nonpermit-tag fees for population management hunts that are determined to be "less desirable."
Adds language to the rules to clarify that the 10-percent nonresident cap will apply to restricted nonpermit-tags issued for all bull elk hunts and all hunts for antlered deer north of the Colorado River.
Any comments on the rule making can be addressed to: Dana Yost, Arizona Game and Fish Department DOHQ, 2221 W. Greenway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85023 or they can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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