This is my first e-newsletter update on the work of the committee I chair, the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.
The Game and Fisheries Committee has the critical task of helping to manage Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and ensuring that the average citizen can access outdoor recreation. You can view pending committee legislation here, and an archive of committee activity here.
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Committee Reviews Annual Reports from Game Commission, Fish & Boat Commission
The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee met May 7 to review the 2014 annual report from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The Game Commission manages the Commonwealth's wildlife resources, through wildlife protection, habitat management, information and education, and special services. It’s funded primarily by hunting and furtaker license sales; timber from State Game Lands, mineral and oil/gas revenues; and a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition.
The report details the implementation and administration of various PGC programs last year, such as enforcement of the Game and Wildlife Code, response to Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, and hunter retention and recruitment efforts throughout the state. You can download the full PGC report here.
On May 12, the committee met to review the 2014 report from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
The Fish and Boat Commission is tasked with protecting the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources, including waterways—streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands—fish, reptile and amphibian communities and habitats. This includes stocking waterways, measuring the health of native animal populations, patrolling lakes and restoring habitats.
The report outlines the Commission’s revenue challenges as it tries to sustain current levels of programs and cover personnel costs. It also covers threats to aquatic resources and the need to attract anglers as other leisure and recreational activities compete with fishing and boating for people’s time.
2015 Legislative Bear Trip
The Pennsylvania Game Commission invited the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee on a legislative bear trip March 11 and 12 in Skytop, Monroe County.
Bears are tagged annually for population estimates and to monitor age structure, growth and development, reproduction, survival, and movement, as well as documenting histories for bears involved in nuisance situations.
Hibernating black bears were visited at winter den sites during February and March to determine annual cub production and survival. Sixty-nine dens were visited resulting in 194 bears being tagged, which included 69 adults, 26 yearlings, and 99 cubs. Along with the seven tagged in Monroe County, bears were tagged in: Cambria County (9 bears), Cameron County (5), Centre County (10), Clinton County (113), Elk County (7), Pike County (24), Somerset County (6), and Westmoreland County (13).
Bills before the Committee
There are currently 10 bills before the Committee – eight from the Senate and two from the House of Representatives.
You can view the bills here.
If you’re a hunter or angler, or anyone with an opinion on matters before the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, don’t hesitate to contact me with your views.
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Senate Box 203040
Monroe County Office
Northampton County Office