The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 11, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Job well done


Daily Item

---- — "The creation of an entire forest is in one acorn."

Carl G. Rowe announced earlier this week that he will retire from his position as executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission this coming January. Upon his retirement, Roe will have captained the Game Commission ship for over eight years.

His tenure will be noted for its relative calm. Over the decades that he worked as a career Wildlife Conservation Officer rising through the ranks to the top of the heap, he's left his fingerprints on some excellent efforts. For me, two of his accomplishments are real highlights. First, it was his guiding philosophy that Pennsylvanians need to understand that the Game Commission plays an integral role in the encounters that people have with wildlife. This was demonstrated through the "Connect with Wildlife" slogan that the commission used for several years.

Secondly, he can be credited as the man who implemented the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. This is a fine program that is already showing its impact on recruiting and retaining young people as our next generation of hunters and conservationists. Other accomplishments that Roe gets a tip-of-the-hat for, that are just as impressive, are the transition to an electronic hunting-license sales system, the expansion of bear season to four days, and, of course, the remarkable comeback of bald eagles in our state. Well done, good and faithful public servant.

Four-wheeling jamboree

If getting out without getting out is your thing, the 26th Annual 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals rolls into the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Friday through Sunday. Thousands of 4X4 enthusiasts will be in town to show off their machines and to watch the Saturday Night Monster Truck Thunder Drag Races followed by a huge fireworks display. The event runs Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. through the fireworks; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 570-784-4949 or check out the web site at www.4wheeljamboree.com.

Endangered species

Success stories about how endangered species are making strides in their recovery including interviews and news broadcasts are part of an interactive web site that is hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at www.fws.gov/endangered. While visiting this site you can sign up for the Endangered Species Program's weekly newsletter.

Fishing is big

Of the 26 million recreational anglers in the United States, bass fishing was their most preferred activity. A whopping 11 million anglers identified themselves as primarily bass fishermen. This was the largest segment of anglers, according to the Bass Fishing Report that was compiled and published by Southwick Associates. Southwick is a well-known outdoor polling and surveying firm. During 2012, anglers pumped $45 billion in purchases into our nation's economy. These purchases include tackle, rods, boats, motors, guided fishing tours and much more.

Conservation leadership

Maurice Goodard was one of Pennsylvania's great conservationists. So it's highly appropriate that the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy has named its summer conservation and citizenship internship for him. Next week, the Pine Grove Furnace State Park, in Gardners will be the site of this program that's for young people ages 13 to 15. More information is available at www.goodardleadership.org.

Wear It!

We are in the midst of the most popular time of the year for folks to hit the water in their boats of all types. Unfortunately, last week's Independence Day holiday weekend ranked as one of the most deadly on record, the result of careless and unprepared boaters. Nearly all boating-related drowning is preventable. The North American Safe Boating Campaign is reminding everyone, particularly those of us who might be rushed for time and apt to take shortcuts that lead us to be unprepared, to remember: "Just Wear It!" This campaign simply tells us all to wear our personal life jackets. In Pennsylvania, it's not just a good idea -- it's the law.