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KEY: wildlife, hunting closures, game laws

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: July 2, 2003

Notice of Continuation: May 6, 2013

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-1; 23-14-18

R657-34-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) Under the authority of Sections 23-14-1, 23-14-18, and 23-14-19, this rule provides the standards and procedures for a political subdivision within a community to obtain confirmation from the Wildlife Board to close an area to hunting for reasons of safety.

(2) If a political subdivision of the state adopts an ordinance or policy concerning hunting, fishing, or trapping that conflicts with Title 23, Wildlife Resources Code of Utah, or rules promulgated pursuant thereto, state law shall prevail.

R657-34-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition, "Political subdivision" means any municipality, city, county, or other governmental entity which is legally separate and distinct from the state.

R657 34-3. Information Gathering.

(1) Prior to making a request to the Wildlife Board to close an area to hunting, the political subdivision shall hold a public hearing within its boundaries for the purpose of disclosing the proposed ordinance or policy and gathering public comment.

(2) The political subdivision shall compile a written summary of the hearing, including the date of the hearing, number of persons in attendance, and public comment.

(3) At least 45 days prior to the Wildlife Board meeting in which the request for a hunting closure shall be made, the political subdivision shall submit the following information to the director of the division:

(a) a draft copy of the proposed ordinance or policy;

(b) a plat map showing the boundaries of the area in which the political subdivision is requesting the closure and the boundaries of the political subdivision;

(c) the safety reasons for the proposed closure; and

(d) the written summary of the public hearing as required in Subsection (2).

(4) The purpose of this section is to provide sufficient information to allow the division to conduct a technical evaluation of the impacts the closure may have on division objectives, administrative rules, game depredation, wildlife management, and public interests.

(5) As the division conducts a technical evaluation of the impacts the closure may have regarding public interests, the division shall gather information and broad input from the appropriate regional advisory councils and the officials of the pertinent political subdivision.

R657-34-4. Wildlife Board Confirmation.

(1) At least 20 days prior to the Wildlife Board meeting in which the request for closure is to be made, the director of the division shall submit the following information to the chairman of the Wildlife Board:

(a) a copy of any information received from the political subdivision, including the information provided in Subsection R657-34-3(3);

(b) the technical evaluation prepared by the division; and

(c) the division's recommendations regarding the closure.

(2) The Wildlife Board shall consider the request for closure in an open public meeting.

(3)(a) At or within a reasonable time after the hearing, the chairman of the Wildlife Board shall notify the political subdivision in writing that the requested closure is confirmed or denied.

(b) If the Wildlife Board denies the requested closure, the notification shall include the reasons for the decision.

(4) If the requested closure is denied, the political subdivision may submit a request for reconsideration of the decision by following the procedures provided in Sections R657-2-16 or R657-2-22. The request for reconsideration is not a prerequisite for judicial review.

(5) The closure shall become effective concurrently with the proposed ordinance or policy.

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