TOPEKA -- The Kansas Wildlife & Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing at the Kansas History Center in Topeka Jan. 25. The public is invited to attend both the afternoon and evening sessions.
The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. with general discussion on a variety of topics, including the following:
* Department-related issues anticipated in the 2001 session of the Kansas Legislature;
* the Kansas Natural Resource Legacy Initiative, a public/private sector partnership investigating potential sources of dedicated funding for a variety of natural resource management programs in the state;
* Fiscal Year 2002 Governor^s Budget Recommendations;
* a review of the Commission^s budget and annual expenditures;
* a summary of AmeriCorps projects in Kansas;
* a review of Wildscape projects in the Topeka area;
* waterfowl zoning alternatives under consideration for future waterfowl hunting seasons in Kansas; and
* review of youth hunts conducted during the 2000/2001 seasons.
The afternoon session will also include workshop session discussion, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, of the following regulations:
* initial review of a series of regulations that may be modified for clarification and consolidation, concerning definitions, activities on department lands and waters, and crows and other wildlife;
* suggested modifications to clarify regulations concerning small game, rabbits, hares, and squirrels, as well as furbearers and coyotes. These modifications would address legal equipment, taking methods, and possession requirements.
The Commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. to continue workshop session discussion on the following regulations:
* consolidation of big game regulations concerning general provisions, legal equipment, and applications (KAR 115-4 series);
* deer permit descriptions, open seasons, and bag limits, including proposed modifications of the deer permitting system for the fall 2001 seasons (KAR 115-4-13 and KAR 115-25-9);
* open seasons, bag limits, and permits for the fall 2001 seasons for antelope, elk, and turkey (KAR 115-25-7, KAR 115-25-8, and KAR 115-25-5); and
* a new regulation regarding bird release permits for youth educational hunts outside established upland bird seasons, using released birds.
Commissioners will then conduct a public hearing on a recommended regulation which would establish a priority draw system for limited turkey permits (KAR 115-4-1).
The meeting will conclude with reports from department staff on department lands and programs in the Topeka area.
Time will be set aside during both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on items which are not on the agenda. If necessary, the commission will recess on Jan. 25, to reconvene at 9 a.m. Jan. 26 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 TDD Service at 1-800-766-3777. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting Sheila Kemmis, Commission secretary, at (316) 672-5911.