Upland bird seasons, early migratory bird seasons on public hearing agenda
PRATT -- The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing on the campus of Bethel College in North Newton June 26. The public is invited to attend both the afternoon public meeting and evening public hearing at Krehbiel Auditorium, 300 E. 27th Street.

The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. with reports from Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) staff on department-related action by the 2008 Kansas Legislature and the KDWP’s Fiscal Year 2009 and 2010 budgets. Department staff will also provide reports on preliminary plans for the 2009 spring turkey season, as well as amendments to cabin camping permit fees.
Also scheduled for the afternoon session is workshop session discussion, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, of the following topics:

  • amending KAR 115-20-2 to accommodate a bill passed by the 2008 Kansas Legislature removing requirements for residents to possess a license to hunt prairie dogs;
  • 2008 late migratory bird seasons;
  • amending regulations to establish requirements allowing jug fishing in Kansas;
  • establishing special length and creel limits for 2009 at selected reservoirs, state fishing lakes, and community lakes; and
  • recommendations for modification of state park regulations, including modification of state park campsite utility fees, removing the currently-required trail access pass at Sand Hills State Park and replacing it with a requirement for a state park permit since a campground will be opened there in 2009, establishing provisions for long-term camping at state parks, and clarifying restrictions on pets in cabins.

The afternoon session will conclude at about 5 p.m. The commission will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location to conduct a public hearing on the following proposed regulation changes:

  • changing the prairie chicken season opening dates in the Northwest and East units to the first Saturday in November, beginning in 2009;
  • establishing a quail season closing date of Jan. 31 and moving the youth season to the first weekend in November, beginning in 2009;
  • changing the pheasant season opening date to the second Saturday in November, beginning in 2009;
  • establishing 2008 Fort Riley firearm deer season dates;
  • allowing issuance of antlerless either-species deer permits in select units where additional harvest is warranted, including a special extended antlerless firearm season in north-central Kansas in January 2009;
  • establishing 2008 early migratory bird seasons;
  • adding a third dove season segment (Nov. 20 through Feb. 28), in which exotic dove species (Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves) but not native doves (mourning and white-winged doves) may be harvested; and
  • establishing seasons and limits for snipe, rail, and woodcock.

Time will be set aside in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on topics that are not on the agenda. If necessary, the Commission will recess on June 26, to reconvene at 9 a.m. June 27 at the same location to complete their 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.