The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 4, 2013

Bob Garrett's column: Eagle flies high


n Take a hike

On Saturday, the Seven Mountains Audubon will host a local flora and fauna field trip. Everyone is welcome and to tag along, just meet at 7:30 a.m. in CVS side parking lot in Lewisburg along Route 192, just west of Route 15. A great way to wrap up your long Fourth of July weekend might be to join the Sierra Club for their Sunday morning hike.

This week, the hikers will be up in the R.B. Winter State Park and the Bald Eagle State Forest for a 10-mile, moderate to strenuous loop hike. Joe Rebar (570-259-0134) is the hike leader. If you can go along, please meet in the parking lot at the dam breast of Halfway Lake at 8:30 a.m.

n Pigs tabled, again

A new state law went into effect last week that prompted the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners to put on hold on the regulations that they were considering for feral swine and wild boars.

You wouldn't think that wild and feral pigs would be so controversial, but these non-native critters escape every now and then and can make real pests out of themselves. The animals are prolific breeders and once escaped, they can quickly establish big wild populations that are destructive to native wildlife species and their habitats.

With their action, the commissioners bought some additional time to figure out their next move. In a nutshell, the new law transferred the responsibility for all "swine" to the Department of Agriculture and relieved the Game Commission of this burden. Stay tuned, I suspect that we will be hearing much more from these wild pigs.

n Democracy is a participant sport

Do you have something that you would like to say to the Game Commission? Good, here's your invitation to say it. Every commission meeting includes a public comment period and you're invited to come to the meetings and say your piece. Upcoming meetings are tentatively planned for August 12 in Harrisburg, September 23-24 in Delmont and the first meeting in 2014 will be held January 26 through 28 in Harrisburg.

The August 12 meeting is a working session, but you may still attend.

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