The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 26, 2012

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Game Commission deserves tip of the hat

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners deserves a tip-of-the-hat for doing the right things.

At their meeting earlier this week, they took action that will certainly pay dividends for years to come.

For example, they gave preliminary approval to expand antlerless deer hunting opportunities under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program during next year’s hunting season.

According to the commission’s president, Ralph A. Martone, “Sportsmen’s groups support the idea of allowing the transfer of one Deer Management Assistance Program permit to a mentored youth hunter. This change, along with the recent addition of fall turkey hunting for mentored youth, will provide a wide range of opportunities for young hunters.”

This is a win-win for the future of our sport and for farmers who have to contend with deer damage.

The board of commissioners also gave approval to amend the list of endangered and threatened species in our state to reflect current bird and animal populations. When a species is placed on this list it simply means that it is in trouble and deserving of protection. The species added to the list were: the Upland Sandpiper, The Northern Harrier, and the Long-eared Owl. Additionally, the commission made corrections to the common naming for different species of warblers.

The commission is also seeking public input on proposed language and changes to the list of endangered and threatened species of bats. While no action was taken at this meeting, it is important for knowledgeable folks to engage with the Game Commission as they try to respond to scourge of white nose syndrome on our local bat populations.

Lastly, the commission took action that will allow Wildlife Conservation Officers to enforce the law against the few “bad apples” who abuse critical habitat with their all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

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