by Raymond Arke, KTA Program Aide
On Tuesday, June 20, Joe, Brynn, and I went to the state capitol to attend an informational hearing in the House Game and Fisheries Committee. The hearing featured testimony from the executive director of the PA Fish & Boat Commission, John Arway, and from the executive director of the PA Game Commission, Bryan Burhans. Both were there to advocate for license fee increases, something KTA supports for the PGC.
The agencies said they needed the fee increases to help stay solvent and continue to do their jobs. The Game Commission told the committee that the money they would receive from the increase would help immensely in continuing to protect and improve wildlife habitats.
Director Burhans also mentioned that the money would help increase elk viewing areas, address West Nile and Lyme Disease, and increase their partnerships with DCNR. Fish and Game both added that the money would assist in continuing and possibly expanding law enforcement.
KTA and all of the Commonwealth’s hikers would see a benefit with the proposed budget increases.
Attendance by the representatives on the committee was low, with many of the naysayers absent. Based off voting on Senate Bill 192, which was the bill that would have instituted a fee increase for the PGC and was unsuccessful, it seems most of the committee members remain opposed.
To find and communicate with your state legislator go to: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/