Board Approves Land Deals to Grow State Game Lands; Board Approves Land Exchange with PennDOT; Board Approves Non-Surface Oil/Gas Lease in Bradford County; Board Takes Other Actions
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In accordance with changes approved to the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) in April, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave approval to issue 2,761 DMAP antlerless deer coupons to private landowners who are not enrolled in any of the agency's public access programs. Had the Board not taken this action, these private landowners would have had their DMAP applications denied for the 2010-11 seasons. Coupons will be available for hunters to redeem for antlerless deer permits on Sept. 1.
In April, the Board capped the maximum number of DMAP permits that could be issued for the 2010-11 seasons. The limit was based on the number of DMAP permits issued in each Wildlife Management Unit during the 2009-10 seasons. However, the Board's action stated that additional DMAP antlerless deer permits only could be issued above the cap if approved by the Board.
As announced earlier, all other DMAP antlerless deer permits will be available through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS) on July 2.
DMAP permit fees are $10.70 for resident hunters and $35.70 for nonresident hunters. The permit can be used to harvest one antlerless deer on the specific DMAP area. Maps for the properties are to be provided to hunters by the landowners. Landowners may not charge or accept any contribution from a hunter for DMAP permits or coupons.
Hunters may not use DMAP permits to harvest an antlered deer. Hunters may use DMAP permits to harvest an antlerless deer anytime antlerless deer are legal, including during the entire statewide two-week firearms deer season (Nov. 29-Dec. 11). DMAP permits also may be used in WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E during the two-week firearms deer season (Nov. 29-Dec. 11), however, WMU-specific antlerless deer licenses may be used only during the last seven days of the season, Dec. 4-11.
All DMAP permits will be available through PALS. For DMAP unit numbers, the Game Commission will post a listing of all public landowners and those private landowners who did not request DMAP coupons.
Those private landowners who requested DMAP coupons to present to hunters to redeem for DMAP permits will not appear on the website. However, these landowners generally have a limited number of coupons available and already have identified a sufficient number of hunters to receive their allotted coupons.
The website will provide an alphabetical listing of DMAP properties for each county in which DMAP properties are located. Each listing will provide the following information: DMAP property number; contact information, including name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (when available); total number of acres for the property; and total number of coupons issued for the property.
Also, under the 2010 timeline, residents may apply for regular WMU allocated antlerless deer licenses on July 12; nonresidents may apply for regular antlerless deer licenses on July 26. After this, residents and nonresidents may apply for the first round of unsold antlerless deer licenses on Aug. 2, and residents and nonresidents may apply for the second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses on Aug. 16.
County treasurers must mail regular and first round of unsold antlerless deer licenses no later than Sept. 13, and second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses no later than the Sept. 27.
Beginning Aug. 2, for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D only, there is no limit to the number of unsold antlerless deer license applications an individual can submit until the allocations are exhausted. This must be done by mail only, and there is a limit of three applications per pink envelope.
Beginning Aug. 23, county treasurers will begin accepting applications over-the-counter for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, and may immediately issue antlerless deer licenses. Hunters may apply over-the-counter to county treasurers for any other WMU with antlerless license allocations on Oct. 4.
BOARD APPROVES LAND DEALS TO GROW STATE GAME LANDS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a donation from the Sandy Ridge Wind LLC of a seven-acre tract of land in Snyder Township, Blair County, adjoining State Game Land 158. The property borders Route 453 and this acquisition will secure access through an existing access road to portions of SGLs 158 and 60. The property is forested with northern hardwood in pole to young saw timber. The previous owners reserved the subsurface oil, mineral and gas rights, without the right to ingress and egress. Sandy Ridge Wind will retain a non-exclusive access easement over the property with rights for ingress, egress and regress on, over, across and through the property to their adjacent wind farm facility.
The Board also approved a donation from Jeffrey K. Young, of Bradford, of a .53-acre tract of land in Eldred Township, McKean County, adjoining SGL 301. The tract is forested with aspen, maple, silky dogwood and arrowwood. The property lies north of Larabee and west of Township Road T-386, known as Larabee Road. The owner excepts and reserves all oil and gas rights, together with the right to explore for, produce and remove said oil and gas, providing that no surface use occurs by way of the exploration, development, storage production and/or removal of oil and gas.
Finally, the Board approved the purchase of a 37.5-acre tract of land in Eldred Township, McKean County, adjoining SGL 301, from Land Management Systems Inc., for $400 per acre. Of the tract, 15 acres is forested with silver maple and swamp white oak and has willows, arrowwood and alders in the understory. There is one acre of reverting old fields and another one acre of grassland. The remainder of the property is comprised of wetlands and riparian habitat associated with the Allegheny River that borders the property on the southwest corner. The property lies north of Larabee and west of State Route 446 and Township Road T-386, known as Larabee Road. Land Management Systems excepts and reserves all oil and gas rights, together with the right to explore for, produce and remove said oil and gas, providing that no surface use occurs by way of the exploration, development, storage production and/or removal of oil and gas.
BOARD APPROVES LAND EXCHANGE WITH PENNDOT
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a land exchange with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) involving three tracts of land totaling 53.8 acres in exchange for replacement lands for a highway easement. The tracts that are being conveyed from PennDOT are an indenture into State Game Land 153 in West Wheatfield Township, Indiana County, and are mostly forested with mixed hardwoods and include one acre of wetlands.
In exchange, PennDOT will receive 39.65 acres from State Game Land 276 to realign, widen and correct a dangerous stretch of SR 22, Section 491 in Burrell, West and East Wheatfield townships, Indiana County.
BOARD APPROVES NON-SURFACE OIL/GAS LEASE IN BRADFORD COUNTY
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today announced a notational vote, which was taken on May 11, approved a non-surface oil and gas lease with Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under a portion of State Game Land 142 and all of State Game Land 237 for production. The proposed tract, containing a total of 439.53 acres, is in Asylum and Terry townships, Bradford County.
Chesapeake Appalachia already has initiated a well drilling/development program on privately-owned grounds adjacent to State Game Lands, and has the ability to unitize all portions of the Game Commission's gas ownership by directional drilling without disturbing the State Game Lands surface. Game Commission staff has expeditiously negotiated with Chesapeake Appalachia in an effort to safeguard the prudent development of the agency's oil/gas reserve, and to simultaneously protect the wildlife resources and recreational use of SGLs 142 and 237.
Further, Chesapeake Appalachia currently has a privately-owned oil/gas lease on a 90.9-acre portion of SGL 142. Although Chesapeake could utilize the surface acreage of the SGL via the privately-owned oil/gas rights, they also have agreed to restrict their surface use on this 90.9 acres of SGL 142.
In exchange, Chesapeake Appalachia will convey to the Game Commission a 95-acre tract of land known as the Abraham tract, and/or other tracts of land acceptable to the Game Commission, providing that such conveyance will come in the form of direct payment to the Grantors of these tract(s) for the purchase of the land as directed by the Game Commission, and further providing that such total accumulated purchase price of the land(s) does not exceed $450,000.
The total value of the bonus payment made by Chesapeake for the purchase of the Abraham tract and/or other lands shall be subtracted from the total bonus payment.
The total bonus payment/land value is $2,417,415 of which $450,000 will be used for the conveyance of lands acceptable to the Commission and $1,967,415 will be directly deposited into the Game Fund. Oil/gas development will be regulated by the Commonwealth's oil and gas regulations and the Game Commissions standard oil/gas agreement.
BOARD TAKES OTHER ACTIONS
In other action today, the Board of Game Commissioners:
- Gave final approval to create and define the geographic location of the Hegins-Gratz Valley wild pheasant recovery area and prohibit the hunting of small game and dog training activities from the first Sunday in February through July 31st within any area designated as a wild pheasant recovery area. In addition, as with all other WRPAs, there is no pheasant hunting during any time;
- Gave final approval to a regulatory change to update Title 58 (Game Commission Regulations) based on changes to the Right-to-Know law;
- Gave final approval to a regulatory change to require all hunters using manufactured blinds used for deer, elk and bear to post a minimum of 100 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange-colored material within 15 feet of the blind so that it is visible within a 360-degree arc, in addition to wearing orange while in the blind;
- Gave preliminary approval to falconry permit requirements to require that a sponsor for a new falconer be a general or master class falconer having at least two years experience as a general class falconer. The regulatory change, which will require final adoption by the Board before taking effect, also proposes to expand the list of eligible species of eagles that a master class falconer may possess with additional written authorization to include eagles not covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act;
- Approved a resolution to publicly support House Bill 2526, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Pyle (R-Armstrong/Indiana), that would amend the Game and Wildlife Code (Title 34) to legalize the use of blood-tracking dogs to recover lawfully harvested or lawfully wounded white-tailed deer; and
- Reiterated that the next Board meeting will be held on Oct. 4-5, at the Quality Inn, 880 Kidder St. in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County. Also, the January 2011 meeting has been set for Jan. 23, 24 and 25, and will be held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission