All sessions open to the public; upland bird seasons highlight public hearing agenda

HAYS -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing at Fort Hays State University on Thursday, June 23. The meeting will be conducted on the second floor of the Student Union. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at the same location at 7 p.m. for the public hearing portion of the agenda.

Commissioners will lead general discussion on a variety of topics in the afternoon. The evening public hearing will be devoted to proposed changes in pheasant, quail, and prairie chicken seasons, as well as early migratory bird seasons and regulatory changes to accommodate the department's conversion to a new automated license system.
Among informational presentations on the afternoon agenda are the following:

  • status of a project to establish a visitor center at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area;
  • an update on department efforts to acquire the Circle K Ranch in Edwards County;
  • a summary of department-related action in the 2005 Kansas Legislature;
  • omnibus budget provisos for Fiscal Year 2006;
  • a review of state park funding status; and
  • an overview of the department's FY 2006 budget.

The afternoon session will also feature 12 general discussion topics, some of which are preliminary discussions for potential future regulatory action, and some of which are status reports on various department projects. General discussion topics include the following;

  • status of the Landowner Deer Management Program;
  • sandhill crane season recommendations for 2005;
  • review of squirrel seasons;
  • status of the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan;
  • review of Land and Water Conservation Fund project applications;
  • development status of the department's automated licensing system;
  • review of potential regulatory action pertaining to exotic cat ownership;
  • the department's entry into the interstate Wildlife Violator Compact;
  • removal of regulations governing commercial guides;
  • review of proposals generated by the department's Revenue Task Force;
  • proposed fishing regulation changes for 2006; and
  • proposed 2006 spring turkey season regulations.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. The evening session will begin with workshop session discussion, in preparation for public hearing action at the commission's August meeting, on late migratory bird seasons for 2005. Commissioners will then conduct a public hearing on the following regulations:

  • pheasant, quail, and prairie chicken seasons;
  • early migratory bird seasons; and
  • regulatory changes to accommodate the department's conversion to an automated licensing system.

If necessary, the commission will recess on June 23, to reconvene June 24 at the same location to complete its business. Time will be made available 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 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.

More information on pending regulations and other commission issues may be found on the KDWP website's " Commission " page.