DNR to ask board to protect Blanding’s turtle
State wildlife officials want their board to approve a scope statement for new rules protecting a rare turtle even though it’s about to come off the state’s threatened species list.
The Blanding’s turtle is scheduled to come off the list on Jan. 1, making them fair game during next year’s turtle season.
Department of Natural Resources officials say the species is still too weak to withstand that pressure. They have proposed an emergency rule that would place the turtle on the protected animals list for the 2014 season and a permanent rule that would keep them on the list indefinitely.
The board is set to consider the rules’ scope statement— a description of the rules’ intent — on Wednesday. Approval would mean DNR staff could start writing the rules.