What’s the difference between Fish and Game Code and Title 14 regulations?
Fish and Game Code is established by the state legislature. Legislative Bills or Voter initiatives placed on ballots can change or add laws to this code. Title 14 regulations are established by the Fish and Game Commission or within language of the Fish and Game Code that allow the Commission to make changes to Title 14.
How can changes be made to Fish and Game Code?
This is a legislative process or voter initiative action. In general a bill needs to be written and a legislator or Senator needs to run with it.
How can changes be made to Title 14 regulations?
The main process is to petition the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) for the change. Fill out the petition and submit to Commission staff, follow up with attending the next FGC meeting and under public comment present you proposal. It’s recommended that a discussion with Department of Fish and Wildlife take place on your proposal first.
I submitted a petition to FGC, how long will it take to finalize?
3 to 6 months on a petition they deny, 18+ months with an accepted petition.
What happens with a petition submitted to the Fish and Game Commission?
Once you have submitted the petition the FGC staff and FGC Commissioners will decide the next step. A denial generally means it’s not under their jurisdiction, acceptance results in its referral to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) for review and recommendations. DFW’s review and recommendation could take several months to more than a year to process. In general if DFW recommends no, the FGC will deny the petition. A recommendation of acceptance from DFW to FGC will move the petition to either the Wildlife Resources Committee (WRC) or Marine Resources Committee (MRC) for their review. The public can participate and make recommendations in these committees.
If WRC or MRC gets a petition, how long will it take to complete the process?
Subcommittee action could take 3 months to 2 years due to calendar scheduling within their normal work load. Subcommittees only make recommendations to the FGC.
WRC or MRC committees complete their part and send it back to FGC, How long will it take to finalize?
An ISOR (Initial Statement of Reason) document is created to formally move it to FGC to make the change that the petition requests in Title 14 regulations. Public can make comments and recommendations through public comment time at a meeting or by submitting letters. A minimum of 45 days is required for public comment and due to scheduling of FGC meetings it may take 60 to 90 days. If FGC ok’s the change then it goes to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). They will review the change language and accept or deny how it’s written. This can take an additional 1 to 6 months.
What does DFW use to manage wildlife species?
Approved overall specie management plans established by DFW and approved by FGC following best available science are the guiding documents (macro). Sub plans within the overall plan could address small management units (micro). The management plans are updated as needed but generally every 5 to 10 years.
I’m seeing a lot of deer in my hunting zone but there aren’t a lot of tags available, what does it take to increase the number of tags in that zone?
Each year, DFW do herd survey counts multiple times to document buck to doe ratios in Management Units including additional information on habitat health, predation, hunter success etc. to what the overall Deer Management Plan goals and objectives are. This information is then used to establish the number of tags that can be issued in each zone. The FGC has to approve this so when the FGC has opened the ISOR document the public can make recommendations or you can go the petition process. Note: best available science is used to establish these numbers for the overall health of the species. Events such as extended extreme cold, major wildfires, major floods, avalanches etc. at times can reduce population densities or habitat (short term). A majority of county Fish and Game Commissions has some veto powers of certain deer hunts such as antlerless or either sex tags.