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NRC accepting public comment on rules proposals

The Natural Resources Commission is accepting public comment on proposed changes to a number of administrative rules related to the management of fish and wildlife in Indiana.

The Commission is an autonomous board that addresses issues pertaining to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The Commission includes the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Environmental Management, Tourism, and Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan basis, the chair of the Commission’s advisory council, and the president of the Indiana Academy of Science.

Currently open for comment are amendments to several rules governing deer hunting, including the use of high-powered rifles during deer hunting season, as well as bag limits on panfish, and a suspension of the ruffed grouse hunting season. The proposals are collectively referred to as the Biennial Rule Amendment Package.

Also open for comment is a proposed rule to establish a river otter trapping season. The river otter proposal comment deadline is Dec. 11. A public hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. that day at the Plainfield Public Library, 1120 Stafford Road in Plainfield.

The NRC Division of Hearings accepts public comments three ways:

• By regular mail, sent to NRC Division of Hearings, Indiana Government Center North, 100 North Senate Ave., Room N501, Indianapolis, IN, 46204.

• Through an online comment form at www.IN.gov/nrc/2377.htm. Find the chart at the bottom of the page to look for the proposed rule you want to comment on. The comment form link is in the right column.

• At a public hearing. Public hearing notices are posted in the fifth column of the chart at www.IN.gov/nrc/2377.htm.

Background on the proposed changes is available at wildlife.IN.gov/2362.htm.

Also available on that web page is information on proposed changes to rules governing size and bag limits for catfish and several permits/commercial licenses that received preliminary adoption by the NRC. The online comment form has not been posted yet for these proposals, but written comments can be sent to the NRC Division of Hearings at the address listed.

Public hearings and comment deadlines have not been scheduled yet for the catfish proposal, the biennial rule amendment package, or the permit/commercial license rule package. Sign up for Wild Bulletin to receive updates about these proposed rule changes that will include deadlines for comments and public hearing information at wildlife.IN.gov/5704.htm

For questions or more information email dfwinput@dnr.IN.gov