The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a public meeting in Manhattan at the K-State Alumni Center, 1720 Anderson Ave. on Jan. 7, 2016. The afternoon session of the meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and recess at 5 p.m. The evening session will convene at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend both sessions and time is set aside at the beginning of each for discussion of non-agenda items.
The afternoon session will begin with Secretary Robin Jennison’s report on the agency and state fiscal status and a review of the 2016 Kansas legislative session. Commissioners will then draw seven Commission Big Game Permits to be issued to eligible conservation organizations. The permits, which may include no more than one elk, one antelope or seven deer, can then be sold by the organizations, which must be non-profit, based or operating in Kansas and actively promoting wildlife conservation and the hunting and fishing heritage. Once the permit is sold, the organization keeps 15 percent of the sale price and sends 85 percent back to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Once KDWPT and the organization agree on a conservation project, the money is returned to the organization to fund the project. Since the Commission Big Game Permits were first drawn in 2006, more than $350,000 has been raised for conservation.
The General Discussion portion of the afternoon meeting will include webless waterfowl hunting regulations and waterfowl hunting regulations, which are usually discussed at the June and August meetings. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has changed its regulation cycle and released waterfowl regulation frameworks for the 2016 seasons in December. Waterfowl regulations will be discussed again at the Commission’s March meeting and voted on at the April meeting. The afternoon Workshop Session will hear discussion on antelope, elk and public land regulations before the Commission recesses at 5 p.m.
The evening portion of the meeting will convene at 6:30 p.m. and the Workshop Session will continue with discussion of deer and big game hunting regulations.
The only Public Hearing item for this meeting will be 2016 Free Park Entrance Days and Free Fishing Days, which are set by secretary’s orders.
Time will be available during the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on non-agenda items. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., Jan. 8, to complete any unfinished business. Information about the Commission, as well as the January 7 meeting agenda and Briefing Book can be downloaded at the KDWPT website: http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission/Upcoming-Commission-Meetings
Live video and audio streaming of the meeting will be available at ksoutdoors.com. If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.
The next Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission meeting is scheduled for March 24, 2016, Kansas Historical Society, Topeka.