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Jeff Valovich
Hoosier Hunter
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NRC rejects proposed rule that would have permitted bobcat hunting and trapping




The Indiana Natural Resources Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to withdraw a rule proposal that would have authorized a bobcat hunting and trapping season, and another proposal that would have required nuisance wild animal control permit holders to euthanize raccoons, opossums, and coyotes.

Proposed changes to other rules that involved the possession or sale of bobcats were also withdrawn from the DNR’s biennial wildlife rules package. A modification was given to some language (in 312 IAC 9-10-11) governing reporting requirements for nuisance wild animal control permit holders.

After making these amendments, the NRC granted final adoption to the rules package, which includes a number of amendments to 312 IAC 9, which governs rules relating to wildlife.

The actions took place at the NRC’s regularly scheduled meeting at Fort Harrison State Park on Tuesday.

The NRC granted preliminary adoption to the original biennial rules package in September 2017, starting the rule-change process. The most significant of the wildlife rule amendments that were granted final adoption as part of the rules package include the following:

* Allowing the hides and carcasses of legally harvested furbearers taken during the season to be kept year-round by hunters and trappers without a special authorization or permit.

* Adding several bats and the rufa red knot (a federally threatened bird) to the state’s endangered-species list.

* Removing the osprey and several mussels from the state’s endangered species list.

* Adding Elkhart, Kosciusko, and Noble counties to the fall wild turkey firearms hunting season.

The rule package that was presented to the NRC on Tuesday is on the NRC’s website is at nrc.IN.gov/files/Ex_H.pdf but does not reflect the changes made at the NRC’s meeting.

Once the rule package has been signed in its final approved form, it will be sent as a part of an assembled rule package to the Office of the Attorney General, which has 45 days to review it. On approval, the Office of the Attorney General will forward the proposed rule amendment to the Governor, who has then has 15 days, which may be extended by an additional 15 days, to approve or disapprove the rule package as it was forwarded to him. If the Governor neither approves or disapproves the rule package, it is deemed approved by statute.

The rule package, if approved, is then filed with the publisher (the Legislative Services Agency). In most cases a rule becomes effective 30 days after it is accepted for filing.

Meanwhile, the NRC also approved Glacier’s End in Johnson County as a new nature preserve. The action increases to 285 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act. Glacier’s End Nature Preserve covers 298 acres and extends the amount of contiguous forestland where the Wisconsinan Glaciation ran into the Brown County Hills to more than 550 acres.

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"Liberalism is a mental disorder"

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