Pennsylvania legislature takes aim at the outdoors; Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission fight proposed merger

The Pennsylvania Legislature is threatening to merge the Pennsylvania Game Commission with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and take away their power to list or de-list threatened and endangered species. Sportsmen don’t like it when hunting and fishing turns political, and these hot-button topics are as political as it gets. Heck, hunters and anglers don’t even like the PGC and PFBC getting overly restrictive with their favorite pastimes. But now, sportsmen across the commonwealth need to be aware of a few dates in March and make their voices heard by the appropriate state representatives and senators in their areas. At stake are the future of Pennsylvania’s wildlife and habitat.
House Bill 1576, the Endangered Species Coordination Act, which would remove the ability of both the game commission and fish and boat to add or subtract wildlife from the state’s threatened and endangered species lists, could come up for a vote on the House floor as early as March 10. On March 19, game commission officials will go in front of the House Game and Fisheries Committee to discuss a number of pieces of legislation on deer management.And, on March 19, the legislative Budget and Finance Committee will hold a 10 a.m. meeting on the potential merger of PGC and PFBC into one agency, a move that would strip autonomy from each agency and seriously affect how funds will be allocated for certain programs.
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