Update: GL Trail User Permit - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Update: GL Trail User Permit

What the Pennsylvania Game Commission isn't sure it wants to sell may require people to take for free.

The agency has been wrestling for months with the idea of requiring horseback riders, mountain bikers and snowmobilers who use state game lands to buy an access permit. The idea has split staff, board members and hunters.

Some have said they want a permit, with the money going to pay for damage those groups are causing to roads, bridges and trails. Others have said they don't want a permit, fearing that taking their money will give them a stake in game lands management.

A mandatory free permit — which would provide information on who those users are, without giving them a financial stake — might be the answer, some now believe.

“I don't know, maybe that's the way to go,” said executive director Matt Hough. “I kind of like that idea.”

The idea seemed to gain some traction at the board's recent work group session.

Bryan Burhans, deputy executive director of administration, said the commission already has begun addressing the issue of “secondary use” of game lands in some ways.

It's working to standardize the signs it puts up, identifying where trail riders can and can't go — even though many of those signs are stolen, sometimes within 24 hours of being posted, he said. It's also ramped up law enforcement efforts to keep people on designated trails, started shutting down unauthorized trails where appropriate, and begun looking at ways to educate the public about where it can and can't go on game lands — and when.

That last initiative involves updating the commission's website. It lists trails open to things such as snowmobiles, but some of that information is outdated, said Steve Smith, acting director of the commission's bureau of information and education.

“We don't want an individual to have to be an expert on the game lands to know where to go to get to a trail,” Smith said.

Brian Hoover, commissioner from Delaware County and the loudest proponent of a permit, said making one mandatory, even if free, would at least give the commission the opportunity to provide trail users with rules and regulations regarding their use. That's key, he said.

“It's just about information, for me,” said commissioner Tim Layton of Windber.

However, commissioner Ron Weaner of Adams County wondered how the commission planned to make sure trail users on game lands had a permit. If wildlife conservation officers in the field aren't going to spend more time checking those people than they do now, no permit will likely make much difference, he said.

Commissioners ultimately asked staff to come back with some specific recommendation in writing on whether to offer a permit at all, and if so, whether it be made free. They are expected to provide that by the board's next meeting in January.


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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 02:40 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

a free permit with rules and regs might just be the answer.

I would also like to see something printed on the permit that gives hunters credit for the purchase of the game lands just to remind non-hunters who is responsible for the land they are enjoying too.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 03:45 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

Nothing in life is free. Especially when a government entity is handling it. Someone will have to absorb the costs associated with this "free" permit, and I'm guessing it will be hunters in the short term. In the long term it will be passed to the permit holders which will give them the say we are so against now. We the hunters will be the ones to be pushed out through the evolution of this process.

Add to this the policing issues brought up by Commissioner Ron Weaner of Adams County. This will be the 1st step in our game lands becoming recreation lands.

JR
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 05:45 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

They already are being used as recreation lands. When the paying permit was introduced hunters were against it which is understandable, not wanting non hunters a say in gamelands use. The problem is the feds want the problem of seconary usage damage addressed. The free mandatory permit addresses the issue. So what do we do not address the issue at all & let the US fish & wildlife force a pay back ofthe pitman robinson funds that helped pay for the gamelands. Secondly as for your concern about hunters being pushed out, & wildlife & hunting not being the primary usage. That means our state legislature is going to have to repay the feds millions upon millions of dollors in the wildlife restoration fund,(a.k.a. pttman-robertson).
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

Bingo!!

Saved me a post.... almost.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:53 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M.
They already are being used as recreation lands. When the paying permit was introduced hunters were against it which is understandable, not wanting non hunters a say in gamelands use. The problem is the feds want the problem of seconary usage damage addressed. The free mandatory permit addresses the issue.
The paying permit was flawed idea from the start, as is this. It may start out "free" but there is no way it will remain so.

How does it address anything? Will this help pay for the damage? No. Will this create more officers to police the damage being caused? No. All this does is create a list of what the GLs are being used for. At a cost that will be covered by hunters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M.
So what do we do not address the issue at all & let the US fish & wildlife force a pay back ofthe pitman robinson funds that helped pay for the gamelands.
The only way to really address the issue is to catch and prosecute the offenders.
But instead of issuing permits we could handle it better one of two ways.
1) Only allow legal hunting activities on GLs.
Or
2) Continue to allow others to enjoy our GLs as guests and we continue to foot the bill for their damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M.
Secondly as for your concern about hunters being pushed out, & wildlife & hunting not being the primary usage. That means our state legislature is going to have to repay the feds millions upon millions of dollors in the wildlife restoration fund,(a.k.a. pttman-robertson).
A) We would not be required to payback money that was given back to us that was used for its intended purpose. We would only possibly lose that money going forward.
B) Your insinuated statement that 'the government and its rules will not change in the future' do nothing to alleviate my concerns.

Also what do we tell those folks that are spending good money for range permits and contributing to PRF by buying their supplies and tools, while people doing real damage are being issued a "free" permit and not contributing to PRF at all?

JR
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

I was at an auction a few weeks ago and saw these for sale:







The two numbers on the second photo suggest the sign was from Feb 1968.

Clear and to the point.


But, a renewed effort was made after the September meeting with new signs. Most only lasted 24 hours or less before they were gone.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 01:27 AM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

the range permi alleviated the problem of some people doing damage to the ranges. The money for the range permit goes to support the ranges. Secondly many if not a majority of those recreational shooters are hunters. The second point is that it has been no secret for many decades that the tax on afirearms & ammunition goes to wildlife restoration fund.

Only allowing legal hunting & wildlife related activities on thegamelands is appealing to us hunters but the politicians will not let that happen that is the realization of today. It does not matter to the pols who pays & maintains the land. The free permit would allow others to enjoy the gamelands at our expense.
Yes but as you see now there are secondary uses to our gamelands that as I said will not change. something needs to be done to satisfy the fish & wildlife sevice. The state will have to pay back the money & even if we don't losing future funding will be a negative blow to wildlife & hunting in this state.
As for my statement about the rules for the Pittman - Robertson fund was not insinuating anything I was telling it as it is, To change the rules will take an act of congress. Not saying that can't happen, but is highly unlikely. I like this situation no more then you or any other hunter does, but something needs to be done.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 01:38 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

why the game lands, can't these people use the state parks that are MADE for recreation ??....leave the game lands for hunting !!....

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 02:04 PM
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Re: Update: GL Trail User Permit

Careful with that train of thinking. My observation is hunters have greater access to the state parks than the users targeted with the potential SGL "Permit", along with the small areas that are designated for horse, mnt bike, snowmobile are all open to hunting.
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