Fish, wildlife rules suggestions still wanted

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Fish, wildlife rules suggestions still wanted

3/12/09


The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has received nearly 800 suggestions from the public as part of an ongoing comprehensive review and enhancement of fish and wildlife rules for the Department of Natural Resources.

"We are grateful to everyone who already has taken an active role in this process," said Bryan Poynter, chairman of the Natural Resources Commission. "The intent all along has been to organize and update a user-friendly set of rules that encourage people to hunt and fish rather than hinder their participation. The level of public input so far has helped move us closer to that goal."

Substantive rule change suggestions are the third stage of a four-stage process recommended last year by a steering committee. Suggestions can be made through a Web-based interactive form by going to IN.gov/nrc/ and clicking on the "Submit a Suggestion" link. The suggestion form will be available until April 1.

An advisory group will review the suggestions and conduct public hearings to determine the merit of suggestions received. The advisory group will report its findings and recommendations to the NRC in late 2009. Actual proposal of substantive rule amendments are not expected to be presented to the NRC until early 2010.

The first stage of the project was to readopt all Fish and Wildlife Rules (312 IAC 9) without change to ensure the rules did not expire while the remainder of the project progresses. The readopted rules became effective on Dec. 24, 2008.

The Stage 2 goal is to provide clarity and consistency of interpretation, and to improve enforceability with only minor amendments to the rules in three segments. The NRC has granted preliminary adoption to the first segment of amendments on deer hunting and hunter education rules. Additional segments will address rules associated with wild animals (except deer), mammals and game birds (March 17), and rules associated with reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, commercial licenses and permits (May 2009). It is hoped Stage 2 will be completed and approved by October or November.

The fourth stage provides an option to work with the state legislature to enact necessary amendments to existing statutes.


Media Contact:
Phil Bloom, DNR Director of Communications, (317) 232-4003.
 


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