Presenter: Matt Wagner

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Action
Raptor Proclamation
November 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed changes to rules governing the possession and use of raptors for hunting wildlife resources. The proposed changes would:

II. Discussion: Chapter 49 of the Parks and Wildlife Code governs the take, capture, possession, propagation, transportation, export, import, and sale of raptors in this state, and authorizes the commission to regulate reporting eligibility, identification, and reporting requirements and fees for any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit. The proposed rules (located at Exhibit A) were published in the September 29, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 8203-8204). Staff will provide a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§53.8, concerning Fees, and 65.269, concerning Trapping Season and Collecting Area, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the September 29, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 8203-8204)."

Attachments – 2

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Raptor Proclamation
  2. Exhibit B – Proposed Fee Rules

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit A

Raptor Proclamation
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.269, concerning the Raptor Proclamation.

The proposed amendment to §65.269, concerning Trapping Season and Collecting Areas, would eliminate the prohibition on trapping activities in seven counties in far west Texas (Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio, and Terrell). The prohibition was originally implemented in 1982 to protect endangered, threatened, and recovering species such as the peregrine falcon, golden eagle, and zone-tailed hawk from accidental trapping mortality. In reviewing the rule, the department has determined that because the number of falconers is so small (fewer than 200 persons) and the likelihood of trapping mortality is remote, there is no danger of biological harm to existing populations by allowing permitted falconers to trap raptors in those counties.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the amendment as proposed is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the amendment as proposed is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment as proposed will be greater opportunity for permitted falconers to trap raptors for falconry purposes.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the amendment as proposed.

(C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the amendment as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed amendment.

(E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed amendment.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Jennifer Brennan, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4481 (e-mail: jennifer.brennan@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §49.014, which authorizes the department to prescribe rules for the taking, capture, possession, propagation, transportation, export, import, and sale of raptors, time and area from which raptors may be taken or captured, and species that may be taken or captured, including rules governing annual reporting requirements and procedures.

The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 49.

§65.269. Trapping Seasons and Collecting Areas.

(a) The trapping season for raptors begins September 15 and ends December 31. The season for taking eyasses begins May 1 and ends June 30. A marked raptor may be retrapped at any time.

[(b) Except as expressly authorized in writing by the department, raptors shall not be trapped at any time in Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio, or Terrell Counties.]

(b)[(c)] No eggs may be taken from raptor nests.

(c)[(d)] Eyasses shall be taken only by a general or master falconer. No person shall take more than two eyasses during the season for taking eyasses.

(d)[(e)] Only American kestrels (Falco sparverius) and great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus) may be taken when over one year old.

(e)[(f)] Any raptor other than an endangered species taken under a federal depredation (or special purpose depredation) permit may be used for falconry by a general or master falconer. Endangered species taken under a depredation permit shall not be released to the wild without prior department approval of the release site.

(f)[(g)] Nonresidents in possession of a valid Nonresident Trapping Permit may trap raptors from the wild according to the terms of the permit.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit B

Fee Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.9, concerning Falconry Permits. The proposed amendment would clarify that the fee for a falconry permit is to be prorated if the department opts to issue a falconry permit with an annual or two-year period of validity. Under the provisions of §65.264, relating to Applications and Permits, the department may issue a falconry permit for any period of time up to three years. Because of difficulties in obtaining required reports in a timely fashion from some classes of falconers, the department has initiated a policy of issuing one-year permits to apprentice falconers. This has led to some confusion as to the fee amounts that must be paid for the initial permit and subsequent renewals. Under current §53.9, the fee for an apprentice permit is $60 and the fee for a renewal is also $60. It was not the department’s intent to impose a $60 fee for issuance or renewal if the permit was issued for less than three years. Therefore, the amendment is necessary to make clear that the falconry permit fees established in the §53.9 are to be prorated based on the period of validity of the permit.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the amendment as proposed is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the amendment as proposed is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment as proposed will be clear and accurate regulations.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the amendment as proposed.

(C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the amendment as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed amendment.

(E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed amendment.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Jennifer Brennan, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4481 (e-mail: jennifer.brennan@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §49.014, which authorizes the department to prescribe eligibility requirements and fees for any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit.

The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 49.

§53.9. Falconry Permits.

(a) apprentice falconer's:

(1) one-year—$20;

(2) two-year—$40; and

(3) three-year—$60;

(b) general falconer's—$120;

(c) master falconer's—$180;

(d) falconer's renewal:

(1) one-year—$20;

(2) two-year—$40; and

(3) three-year—$60;

(e) nonresident raptor trapper's—$360; and

(f) raptor propagator permit—$60.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s authority.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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