UPDATE…Jan 22, 2015
GOOD NEWS….The Pennsylvania Game Commission has REMOVED its proposal for closures on PA State Gamelands from its January agenda, in response to hundreds of letters it has received from various user groups, including hikers, climbers, and others. See full story here:http://www.mcall.com/sports/outdoors/mc-game-commission-tables-hike-ban-01232015-20150122-story.html THANK YOU to everyone who made their voice known on this issue. Moving forward, this does NOT mean that the proposed measures wouldn’t come up for consideration at a later date, so we would encourage you if you have not already to please read our previous posts on this issue and make your voice known at email@example.com.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is set to consider a ruling on Jan 27th that would alter non-hunting activities on State Game Lands. The two key points of this proposal are:
- It would forbid hiking and other non-hunting activities on state game lands during fall and spring hunting seasons, which total more than 130 days. Hiking/Climbing would still be permitted on Sundays, when hunting is disallowed.
- “Hikers” (basically anyone stepping foot on SGL) would be required to register for a free permit to use the lands during the rest of the year. It is not clear what the process would be to attain such a permit or if there would be single day-use options.
To read the proposal in full, please follow this link to the PGC January Agenda. DRG will also host an information session on Tuesday, Jan 20th at 7pm.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
This proposal is scheduled to be reviewed by the PGC on January 27, during its next meeting. It is imperative that we make our voices heard so that we can properly represented.
- VOICE your opinion! We encourage you to send your concerns to the PGC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also consider sending the same message to your local legislature. You can find their contact information HERE. Please make sure that you send constructive commentary so that it can be given proper consideration and validity.
- SHARE this information with all your friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. Tweet it, Facebook it, e-mail it, hire a sky writer, do an interpretive dance…whatever helps get the word out.
- ATTEND the public comments portion of the PGC meeting.
When: January 25 and 26, 2015 are the public comments days
Where: PA Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA.
How: Registration begins at 12 PM, and public comments begin at 1 PM on the first day and 8am on he second day.
NOTE: Comments may be no longer than 5 minutes each. We encourage you to be civil and constructive; this has helped us establish a successful working relationship with the PGC, and we hope that it will continue with your help.
- JOIN a local advocacy group. Many local, state and nationwide organization have been working hard to bring this issue to light as well as search for a solution. Whether you are a climber, hiker, biker, bird watcher and just a general outdoor enthusiast, there is a group for you to join. Some require a membership fee but you can confident that your money is being put to good use advocating on this and other issues. Below are links to some organizations but always check your local area for smaller, community based groups. Some of the ones listed below have “chapters” specific to your area.
Climbers = Access Fund
Hikers = Appalachian Mountain Club or Keystone Trails Association
Bird Watchers, Photographers, etc = Sierra Club
NEWS & OTHER LINKS
We will continue to update this page and our Facebook page as things emerge.
Thank you for your support!