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Outdoors-related bills currently in the work

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at 12:06 a.m.

The Kansas House and Senate are working on these outdoors-related bills.

Senate

No. 120 _ Require certain boating vessels to acquire state titles, like automobiles.

Pro: Make it easier for law enforcement officials to track stolen boats and prove ownership.

Con: Boat buyers would have to go to the trouble and expense of getting titles.

No. 123 _ Allow the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to set fees for cabins without the standard regulatory process. Commission approval would still be required.

Pro: Would allow fees to be changed within days to better meet demand and economic trends.

Con: The public would not have as much time to voice opposition.

No. 152 _ Allow those properly licensed to carry concealed handguns while hunting with archery or muzzleloader equipment.

It would also allow those legally possessing firearms noise suppressers to use them while hunting.

Pro: Current regulations don't allow those hunting deer with archery or muzzleloading equipment to posses a modern firearm while in the field. Some would like to carry a concealed handgun for easier protection from crime and dangerous animals. Suppressers would not spook as much game or damage a hunter's hearing.

Con: There is a chance someone could use the concealed handgun to illegally kill game animals. Suppressers could make it more difficult to catch poachers and trespassers.

House

No. 2089 _ Would allow sportsmen to legally enter private property where they don't have permission, to retrieve a hunting dog.

Pro: Hunters wouldn't have to try to contact landowners before crossing a property line to look for their dog.

Con: Hunters could use it as an excuse to trespass to hunt or drive game from lands where they can't get permission.

No. 2149 _ Change it so Wildlife, Parks and Tourism can't purchase more than 160 acres of land, no matter the price.

Currently they can purchase up to 640 acres of land. That limit is removed if the land can be purchased below appraised value.

Pro: It would keep the department from buying lands that could be used in agriculture by private individuals.

Cons: Kansas ranks last in the nation for public lands. The change would make it even harder to add more.

No. 2152 _ Change boating-under-the-influence charges from a Wildlife and Parks crime to regular Kansas criminal codes.

Pro: It could allow such charges to be considered a prior violation in DUI cases. It also might serve as added deterrent for drinking and boating.

Con: Those caught drinking and boating could face stiffer penalties and fines.

No. 2168 _ Give free state park permits to honorably discharged Kansas veterans.

Pro: Could be seen as a "thank you" for those who served honorably.

Con: Proof of honorable discharge would be difficult. which could complicate enforcement issues. It could also cost financially strapped state parks fee funds.

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