by Joe Neville, KTA Executive Director
On June 12th, KTA staff visited the offices of all members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and delivered the following written statement:
The Keystone Trails Association represents and advocates for the interests and concerns of the Pennsylvania hiking community.
We currently represent over 44 clubs and organizations as well as thousands of individual Pennsylvanians who hike and enjoy the Commonwealth’s outdoor resources. We are NOT an anti-hunting organization, but like the vast majority of Pennsylvanians, we do oppose any expansion of Sunday hunting.
Hundreds of thousands of non-hunters use our public lands regularly. Sunday hunting would impact all outdoor recreationists including: hikers, trail runners, bikers, families and youth groups, dog walkers, environmental educators, birders, and equestrians.
Most of the Commonwealth’s residents would like at least one day a week to stroll in our woodlands and forests without the fear of guns and hunting, and the perceived safety issues they create. In fact, a recent PA Game Commission study shows that 40% of hunters oppose legalizing Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania families, residents, and groups like ours specifically plan their trips on Sundays to avoid conflicts with hunters and to enjoy wild places with peace of mind. Many of these people are not comfortable recreating in areas where gun shots can be heard and hunting may occur. We believe that non-hunters should be able to enjoy our state lands peacefully for at least one day a week. It is as simple as that.
We are asking you to oppose any Sunday hunting expansion because we believe there should be at least one day that people can go outdoors, hike, bird watch, walk the dog, trail run, maintain public trails — or do whatever, and not be concerned about hunting. We are not an anti-hunting group. We are a hiker and trail user rights group that opposes any expansion of Sunday hunting.
For further information, please contact: Joe Neville at 717-766-9690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keystone Trails Association