Welcome to the rulemaking page for the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. This page is a service to provide the public with information about the rulemaking process and Game and Fish Commission rules.
Have you ever wondered how the Arizona Game and Fish Department creates the rules for hunters, anglers, and other customers? In addition to making sure that Game and Fish rules are concise and easy to understand, the Department’s Rules and Risk Section is responsible for ensuring that all rules meet statutory requirements before the Department submits the rulemaking to the Secretary of State (SOS), Attorney General, or Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) for final approval.
The rulemaking process:
Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening: SOS publishes the Commission’s Notice in the Arizona Administrative Register (AAR) to notify the public that the Commission is considering amending its rules.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: SOS publishes the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the AAR to provide the public with the actual proposed additions, deletions, or changes to the Commission’s rules.
Comment periods: The public has three opportunities in which to submit comments to the Commission: 1). Any time. Comments received by the Department are placed in the rule record and will be considered by the next review or Rulemaking team. 2). During the thirty (30) day public comment period immediately following the publication of the proposed rules in the AAR. Once a proposed rule is published, the public has at least thirty (30) days to submit comments to the Department concerning the rule. 3). At a Commission Meeting. A blue 'speaker slip' is required and are available to the public at each Commission Meeting.
Note: Comments are statements, suggested rule language, data, views, or other observations submitted to the Department in regards to an existing or proposed rule. Comments submitted during the official 30-day public comment period for a particular rulemaking will become part of the official record for that proposed rulemaking.
Notice of Final Rulemaking: The Department drafts a Notice of Final Rulemaking after considering comments and other information received during the comment period. The Department must determine whether the suggestions received meet the Department’s mission and objectives, do not place an undue burden on the regulated community, are not discriminatory, and are permitted under statute.
Submittal to Governor’s Regulatory Review Council: The Department submits the final rulemaking to GRRC. GRRC reviews the rulemaking to ensure that the rules are necessary, consistent with legislative intent, within the agency's statutory authority, do not create an adverse impact on the public, and whether the benefits of the rule outweigh the costs.
Approval by GRRC: When GRRC determines that the rulemaking meets the statutory criteria identified above, GRRC will approve and file the final rulemaking with SOS.
Effective date: Typically, the effective date of the rule is sixty (60) days from the date of filing. However, the Commission may request an immediate or specific effective date when authorized by statute, specified in the rulemaking preamble, and approved by GRRC.
Codification: SOS publishes final rulemakings in the Arizona Administrative Code (Code). The Code is the official compilation of rules that govern state agencies, boards, and commissions; the paper copy of the Code serves as the official version. SOS is required to publish updates to the Code four times a year. As a result, the Code may not contain the most recent Game and Fish rules. The Rule Changes page provides Commission rules approved by GRRC, but not yet included in the Code.
The above rulemaking description is not comprehensive. It is meant only to provide a brief overview of the rulemaking process and is not binding on the Commission or Department. Furthermore, different types of rulemakings, such as emergency, exempt, and expedited rulemakings require different procedures for completion.
To obtain specific rule information or to submit a comment on a particular rule or rulemaking, please contact the Rules and Risk Section:
Rules and Risk Section
Office: (623) 236-7390