Public invited to attend all sessions

The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing Oct. 18 at the Colby Community Building, 285 East 5th, Colby. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. The evening public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

The afternoon session will begin with staff reports on the department’s FY 2008 budget status, as well as anticipated department-related legislation in the 2008 Kansas Legislature. Other general discussion topics scheduled for the afternoon session including the following:

  • An update on the ‘hunt-of-a-lifetime’ program, which allows for issuance of up to 10 deer permits annually to youth under 21 who are experiencing life-threatening illnesses;
  • A review of prairie dog issues in northwest Kansas;
  • An assessment of damage to wildlife areas and state parks from severe flooding this summer;
  • A review of the Kansas Recreational Trails Grant Program, in preparation for future disbursement of federal trails funds administered by KDWP;
  • A report on the fall turkey season, summarizing the history and development of the season through the 2006 season;
  • A discussion of issues associated with baiting of big game;
  • Discussion of ‘high fence’ operations in Kansas and the U.S.;
  • Discussion of a proposal to remove the requirement for game bird field trial permits on controlled shooting areas; and
  • A report on the Shooting Range Grant Program.

Following these general discussion topics, the commission will conduct workshop session discussion, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, on the following topics:

  • Several regulations related to deer hunting, for which changes will be required to accommodate passage of a law in the 2007 Kansas Legislature which modifies deer permitting and hunting rules;
  • Proposed modification of an existing regulation governing use of motarized vehicles on department lands, to allow better access by handicapped individuals; and
  • Development of a reference document to define special regulations in effect at each wildlife area and state fishing lake.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location to conduct a public hearing on regulatory recommendations, including the following:

  • Establishment of half-price resident youth deer, elk, turkey, and antelope permits;
  • Establishment of rates for new cabins which will be established in state parks in 2008 and 2009, and modification of rental rates for some existing cabins;
  • Establishing provisions for the 2008 spring turkey season, including proposals to increase the number of permits available in Unit 4 and opening the youth/disabled season concurrently with the archery-only season;
  • Allowing gigging of non-sportfish and removing the “single barbless hook” requirement for paddlefish snagging on the Neosho River;
  • An amendment to clarify that weigh-in procedures prescribed for bass pass fishing tournaments are for black bass;
  • Establishing minimum weigh-in requirements for black bass tournaments that do not use the bass pass;
  • Addition of diploid (fertile) grass carp to the list of species illegal to import or possess in Kansas;
  • Allowing anglers 15 and younger to fish for trout without the currently required trout permit, although the creel limit would be reduced;
  • Clarifying that the tournament bass pass permit is for tournaments involving black bass;
  • Amending regulations to add one new trout fishing location (Tuttle Creek State Park’s Willow Lake), modifying creel and length limits for paddlefish, and adding new water bodies to the creel limits, length limits and bait restrictions reference document.

Time will be set aside in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on topics which are not on the agenda. If necessary, the commission will recess Oct. 18, to reconvene at the same location Oct. 19 to complete its business.

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