Public invited to attend all sessions at Great Overland Station, Topeka
TOPEKA -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing Thursday, March 15, at the Great Overland Station, 701 N. Kansas Ave., Topeka. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. The evening session will begin at 7 p.m.

The afternoon meeting will begin with reports on 2007 legislation affecting the department, as well as a summary of the department’s fiscal year 2008 budget. Also scheduled is a report on a department task force that is developing recommendations to improve services and programs for Kansas boaters, and an overview of efforts to develop Kansas River recreational use and access. The commission will recess at 3 p.m. for a tour of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ (KDWP) Region 2 office and the adjacent site where Kaw River State Park will be developed.

Commissioners will reconvene at the same location at 7 p.m. for general discussion of the following topics:

  • current status of avian influenza monitoring efforts and chronic wasting disease surveillance;
  • summary of federal Farm Bill and its implications for wildlife in Kansas;
  • potential creation of a new regulation dealing with deer management on public properties, including a request from Fort Riley staff to allow development later in the year of hunting season dates on the military installation, as well as strategies to better control deer population growth on wildlife areas owned or licensed to KDWP; and
  • preliminary recommendations for 2007 early migratory bird seasons.

Following general discussion on the preceding topics, the Commission will conduct a workshop session, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, on these items:

  • seasons, permit allocations, and permitting procedures for the 2007 antelope seasons (KAR 115-25-7);
  • seasons, permit allocations, and permitting procedures for the 2007 elk season (KAR 115-25-8);
  • seasons, permit allocations, and permitting procedures for the 2007 deer seasons (KAR 115-25-9); and
  • modification of KAR 115-9-9 to allow use of a transaction number, provided on each license or permit issued through the department’s automated licensing system, on written notice of harvested game animals given to another person.

Following workshop session discussion, the commission will conduct a public hearing on the following regulatory recommendations:

  • modification of regulations for turkey hunting (KAR 115-4-4a) and big game hunting (KAR 115-4-4) to allow the use of electronically illuminated nocks on arrows used by bowhunters; and
  • establishing the fall 2007 turkey hunting season (KAR 115-25-5), including expanding the boundaries of turkey management unit 3 to conform with boundary changes for the spring season (no other changes from last year’s fall turkey season proposed).

Time will be set aside in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on items not on the agenda. If necessary, the commission will recess on March 15, to reconvene at 9 a.m., March 16, at the same location to complete unfinished 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.