Boating regulations also to be set; future regulations discussed
OLATHE -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing Aug. 16 in Olathe at Bass Pro Shop, 12051 Bass Pro Drive. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m.; the evening public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

The afternoon meeting will begin with a budget status report, followed by an assessment of 2007 flood and storm damage to Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) property statewide.

The primary order of business will be setting of late-migrating waterfowl seasons and limits in the evening session. Waterfowl season frameworks are set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and based on high numbers of breeding ducks in the Central Flyway, the USFWS has established seasons and bag limits similar to last year. The Early and Late zones of Kansas (east of U.S. Highway 283) will receive a maximum of 74 hunting days, and the High Plains Zone will receive a maximum of 97 days. Recommended ducks season for all three zones are unchanged from last year. Goose season recommendations are also unchanged from last year, with light and Canada goose seasons receiving the maximum days allowed by treaty.

The afternoon session will be devoted primarily to general discussion of future big game regulations to allow public comment on proposed changes, including the following:

  • general provisions, including carcass tags, transferring meat, salvaged big game carcass tags, and who may assist a big game permit holder;
  • legal taking equipment, clothing, accessory equipment, shooting hours, and special restrictions on the use of horses and mules to drive deer and elk;
  • deer firearms management Unit 19;
  • deer archery management units;
  • deer permits, descriptions, and restrictions; and
  • the Landowner Deer Management Program.

The afternoon session will conclude with workshop session discussion in preparation for potential future regulatory action of the following:

  • spring turkey season, bag limit, permits, and game tags;
  • possible fishing regulation changes for 2008;
  • cabin permit fees;
  • a proposal to develop a reference document that defines posted notices in effect for each wildlife area and state fishing lake managed by KDWP; and
  • a proposal to amend a regulation governing use of unregistered vehicles on KDWP property to make department lands more accessible to handicapped individuals; and
  • recommended reduced fees for youth big game and turkey permits.

The afternoon session will recess at 5 p.m., and the commission will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location. The evening meeting will include a public hearing on the following regulatory proposals:

  • 2007 late migratory bird seasons and limits (ducks, geese, coots, and mergansers); and
  • boating regulations for 2008.

To view the content of pending regulations, go the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us and type "Pending Draft Regulations" in the search box.

If necessary, the commission will recess on Aug. 16, to reconvene Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the same location to complete its business. Time will be made available in all sessions to allow public comment on topics that 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.