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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Hb 1484

This turkey is back again, after getting no support in the last session under a different bill number.

It usurps the mandated authority of PGC to manage all wildlife and turns it over to an appointed committee. - none of whom would be required to have any experience or qualifications to manage our wildlife.

Right now it's before the House State Government Committee. Why there, instead of where such proposed legislation that would govern how Title 34 (wildlife code) is conducted, should be - Game and Fisheries Committee?

Because it's purely intended to circumvent the process by which such legislation is normally considered and make it a political issue.

HB 1484 needs to die on the vine.

Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 07:38 PM
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Did they not try this same route a couple years ago with a similar bill?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 10:04 PM
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It is actually HB 1483 and it is a seriously bad piece of legislation. It is even more concerning in that it has 14 co-sponsors.

It has been introduced before (as HB 2083) but never make it out of committee. But, this time they went a little different route and one that shows some additional reason for concern. The last time it was introduced it went to the Game and Fish Committee where most of the members recognized it as bad legislation and left it die in committee. This time they are trying a different approach with the bill being referred to the House State Government Committee instead of the Game and Fish Committee. I'm not sure how that might influence whether the bill dies or gets to the House floor but it is certainly worth keeping an eye on it.

It bears a very watchful eye and everyone should be making contact with their Representative to let them know you are apposed to this bill.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 03:48 PM
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Who are the co-sponsors?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 04:58 PM
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This is a real stink pot!!


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No. 1483 Session of
2018
INTRODUCED BY MALONEY, HANNA, MASSER, CUTLER, GODSHALL, COOK,
JOZWIAK, WHEELAND, READSHAW, SACCONE, ZIMMERMAN, BAKER,
GREINER, KORTZ AND QUIGLEY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
AN ACT
Amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in preliminary provisions, further providing for
definitions; in Pennsylvania Game Commission, further
providing for powers and duties of commission and for
accountability; establishing the Forest and Wildlife Advisory
Council and providing for its powers and duties; in hunting
and furtaking, providing for senior hunting license holders;
and, in special licenses and permits, further providing for
authority to issue permits.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 102 of Title 34 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:
102. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this title which are applicable to specific
provisions of this title, the following words and phrases when
used in this title shall have the meanings given to them in this
section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Carrying capacity." The maximum number of animals of a
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species that a habitat or ecosystem may support and sustain.
* * *
"Conservation." The wise management and use of natural
resources.
* * *
"Council." The Forest and Wildlife Advisory Council
established under section 328 (relating to accountability).
* * *
"Ecosystem." An ecological environment consisting of all the
living organisms, such as plants and animals, in the unit of
space, as well as all the nonliving, physical components of the
environment with which the organisms interact, such as air,
soil, water and sunlight. The term may be represented by a unit
of space, including a drop of water, lake, forest or mountain.
The term may include a wildlife management unit as described by
the commission.
* * *
"Habitat." A natural area, such as a forest, field or body
of water, where an animal commonly lives or where individuals of
a population live and that provides essential food, water, cover
and living space.
* * *
"Maximum sustained yield." The management of game animals,
including whitetail deer, in order to produce the maximum number
of animals for consumptive use that may be sustained over time,
thus maximizing the recreational aspects of the harvest.
* * *
Section 2. Section 322 of Title 34 is amended to read:
322. Powers and duties of commission.
(a) Duties.--It shall be the duty of the commission to
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protect, propagate, manage and preserve the game or wildlife of
this Commonwealth and to enforce, by proper actions and
proceedings, the laws of this Commonwealth relating thereto. In
fulfilling the duty, the commission shall focus primarily on
serving the interest of sportsmen and the special heritage of
recreational hunting and furtaking in this Commonwealth.
(b) General powers and duties.--The commission has the power
and duty to take all actions necessary for the administration
and enforcement of this title. In all wildlife management
decisions, the commissioners shall be guided by the principles
of best management practices utilizing scientific analysis
supported by verifiable data with equal regard for the social,
economic and recreational impacts of their decisions.
(c) Specific powers and duties.--In order to administrate
and enforce this title, the commission through proper action
shall:
(1) Subject to section 2102(b) (relating to [seasons,
possession, bag limits and devices] regulations), fix
seasons, daily shooting or taking hours, and any modification
thereof, and daily, season and possession limits for any
species of game or wildlife[.], provided that the antlerless
deer rifle season may not exceed three days during a license
year and occurs only after the end of the antlered deer rifle
season.
(2) Remove protection, declare an open season or
increase, reduce or close a season.
(3) Increase or reduce bag limits or possession limits.
(4) Define geographic limitations or restrictions,
except that each county of this Commonwealth shall constitute
a separate wildlife management unit.
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(5) Fix the type and number of devices which may be used
to take game or wildlife.
(6) Limit the number of hunters or furtakers in any
designated area and prescribe the lawful methods of hunting
or taking furbearers in these areas[.], except that the
annual number of antlerless deer permits shall be issued
according to each county-based wildlife management unit.
Regarding deer management, the total annual number of
antlerless deer licenses that are allocated by the commission
for each wildlife management unit shall be the number
recommended by the council under section 328(f)(5) (relating
to accountability).
(7) Govern the use of recorded calls or sounds or
amplified calls or sounds of any description for taking or
hunting game or wildlife.
(8) Add to or change the classification of any wild bird
or wild animal.
(9) Prohibit the possession, importation, exportation or
release of any species of birds or animals which may be
considered dangerous or injurious to the general public or to
the wildlife of this Commonwealth.
(10) Manage and develop its lands and waters and other
government or private lands and waters under agreement with
the owners as it considers advisable and, by proper action
and proceedings, enact and enforce regulations to insure the
prudent and proper use of these lands. In order to assist the
commission in performing its duties under this title, the
organization selected by the council under section 328(f)(5)
shall design a habitat enhancement program that benefits deer
and other forest-dwelling game and nongame species of
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wildlife and that serves the interests of sportsmen for
recreational hunting, State camp lessee interests, the
outdoor recreation interests of the general public and the
economic interests of rural communities and the outdoor
industry. The organization shall direct and facilitate the
development and maintenance of this habitat enhancement
program on State game lands and in State forests, and the
commission and Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources shall cooperate with the organization in expediting
operations of the organization's habitat enhancement program
under section 328(f)(10).
(11) Collect, classify and preserve such statistics,
data and information as in its judgment will tend to promote
the object of this title and take charge of and keep all
reports, books, papers and documents which shall, in the
discharge of its duties, come into its possession or under
its control.
(12) Take any necessary action to accomplish and assure
the purposes of this title.
(13) Serve the interest of sportsmen by preserving and
promoting our special heritage of recreational hunting and
furtaking by providing ample game and adequate opportunity to
hunt and trap the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
(14) Provide the maximum sustained yield of game for
sport hunting and trapping, including whitetail deer, as
prescribed by the carrying capacity of the ecosystem to
support and maintain respective populations of game.
(15) Enhance deer and wildlife habitat by increasing the
carrying capacity of the ecosystem for the maximum sustained
yield of game, including whitetail deer, and for optimizing
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densities of nongame species of birds and mammals.
Section 3. Section 328 of Title 34 is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
328. Accountability.
* * *
(f) Deer management accountability.--
(1) The Forest and Wildlife Advisory Council is
established to provide the General Assembly and the
commission with scientific data and management
recommendations regarding deer, wildlife, forest and habitat
management. Recommendations of the council shall assist the
commission in performing its duties under this title, assure
commission accountability to sportsmen and provide the
General Assembly with the scientific and quality assurance
capabilities that are needed to ensure that the commission is
performing its duties under this title.
(2) The council shall consist of voting members,
composed of and appointed in accordance with the following:
(i) The Governor shall appoint a representative of a
Pennsylvania-based organization whose primary mission is
to serve the grassroots sportsmen of this Commonwealth by
providing regulatory relief and legislative help. The
appointee under this subparagraph shall serve as
chairperson of the council.
(ii) The Speaker of the House of Representatives
shall appoint:
(A) A representative of an organization located
in a county of the second class whose primary mission
is to serve sportsmen.
(B) A representative of a Pennsylvania-based,
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nonpartisan organization whose primary mission is to
provide Pennsylvania gun owners and outdoors
enthusiasts with the information necessary to
understand individual rights under the Second
Amendment of the United States Constitution.
(iii) The President pro tempore of the Senate shall
appoint:
(A) A representative of an organization serving
and dedicated to preserving individual rights of gun
owners under the Second Amendment of the United
States Constitution in counties of the second class
A, third class, fourth class and sixth class.
(B) A representative of a Pennsylvania-based
organization whose primary mission is to protect the
rights of State forest leased campsite owners and
associates in this Commonwealth.
(iv) The chairperson may appoint two additional
members to the council with recognized expertise,
knowledge and experience in a relevant field, who shall
be designated at-large members.
(3) Membership under paragraph (2) will be for a term of
six years and members may be reappointed.
(4) Council membership shall be voluntary and members
shall not receive compensation or reimbursement for expenses
incurred in the discharge of their duties.
(5) (i) Within 60 days of the effective date of this
subsection, the council shall select by a majority vote
of the members a Pennsylvania-based, private, nonprofit,
independent, scientific organization to be designated as
the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service.
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(ii) The council shall enter into a contract by a
majority vote with the Forest and Wildlife Advisory
Service.
(iii) The council and the Forest and Wildlife
Advisory Service shall negotiate and agree to the terms
of the contract. The purpose of the contract shall be to
annually provide the scientific forest and wildlife
services that are set forth in this subsection. The
council shall determine the criteria to be used for
selecting the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service.
Notice of the contract shall be given to the advisory
service and the commission.
(iv) The commission shall, under 62 Pa.C.S. Pt. I
(relating to Commonwealth Procurement Code), enter into
the contract, as negotiated under subparagraph (iii),
with the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service within 60
days of receipt of the council's selection.
(6) To ensure accountability, any contract entered into
under this subsection shall contain specific performance
measures that the council may use to evaluate compliance with
the terms of the contract. If the Forest and Wildlife
Advisory Service fails to meet the performance measures, the
council shall, by a majority vote of the members, terminate
the contract and replace the Forest and Wildlife Advisory
Service.
(7) Provisions for payment shall be as set forth in an
estimate or contract provided to the council by the Forest
and Wildlife Advisory Service and may be amended in writing
or supplemented with subsequent estimates for services to be
rendered by the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service if
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recommended by the council. The commission shall fund the
contract from any money appropriated or made available to the
commission.
(8) The Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service shall
conduct annual scientific assessments to determine the
condition of the forest and its capacity to sustain optimum
populations of deer and other wildlife toward maintaining a
balanced ecosystem and the maximum sustained yield of deer
for sport hunting, and shall prepare an annual report that
recommends the total number of antlerless deer licenses that
should be allocated for each wildlife management unit and
other management practices that affect the sex and age
structure of the herd. The commission shall implement these
recommendations. The Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service
shall submit the report to the council to assist the
commission in performing its duties under this title.
(9) The council shall provide an annual report to the
Governor, the General Assembly and the Board of Game
Commissioners. The annual report shall include the council's
recommended number of antlerless deer license allocations for
each wildlife management unit. The commission shall post the
recommendation on the commission's publicly accessible
Internet website and in the commission's Pennsylvania Hunting
and Trapping Digest.
(10) To assist the commission in performing its duties
under this title, specifically the duties under section
322(c) (relating to powers and duties of commission), the
Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service shall design a habitat
enhancement program that benefits deer and other forestdwelling
game and nongame species of wildlife and serves the
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interests of sportsmen for recreational hunting, State camp
lessee interests, the outdoor recreation interests of the
general public and the economic interests of rural
communities and the outdoor industry. The Forest and Wildlife
Advisory Service shall direct and facilitate the development
and maintenance of this habitat enhancement program on State
game lands and State forests and the commission and the
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall
cooperate with the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service in
expediting operations of the habitat enhancement program
under the precepts of the program.
(11) To assist the commission in the disease management
of deer and elk, the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service
shall oversee these operations and provide an annual report
to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Board of Game
Commissioners.
(12) To assist the General Assembly in its oversight
responsibility to hold the commission accountable for
conservation policy and hunting license-fee changes, the
council shall direct the Forest and Wildlife Advisory Service
to provide related advisory services and recommendations to
the General Assembly and committees of the Senate and House
of Representatives upon request by these chambers. The
commission shall provide related financial compensation to
the service upon request.
(13) In the event the commission or the Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources fails to comply with any
provision of this section, an action to require its
compliance may be brought, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. 761
(relating to original jurisdiction), for declaratory and
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injunctive relief; whereby, the court shall award attorney
fees and costs, inclusive of, but not limited to, expert
fees, to a successful party seeking compliance with this
section, notwithstanding 1 Pa.C.S. 2310 (relating to
sovereign immunity reaffirmed; specific waiver). Where a
commission or department official acts contrary to this
section, the official shall indemnify the Commonwealth for
any attorney fees and costs assessed against the
Commonwealth, commission or the department. Attorney fees and
costs shall not be awarded by a court if the commission or
department prevails.
Section 4. Title 34 is amended by adding a section to read:
2321.1. Senior hunting license holders.
A person who holds a valid Pennsylvania senior hunting
license may hunt and kill with an authorized weapon one deer
that has two or more points to one antler or that has one antler
three or more inches in length during an antlered deer season.
Section 5. Section 2901 of Title 34 is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
2901. Authority to issue permits.
* * *
(b.1) Deer management.--Publicly owned lands within this
Commonwealth may not be included in any deer management
assistance program area established by the commission.
* * *
Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 09:17 PM
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I don't agree with all things the game commission does, but they do have experience with wildlife management. A bunch of legislative appointees telling the game commission and DCNR what to do and how to do it, is a terrible idea. Then if the game commission and DCNR don't comply, they get sued!! More government is not the answer.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat18 View Post
I don't agree with all things the game commission does, but they do have experience with wildlife management. A bunch of legislative appointees telling the game commission and DCNR what to do and how to do it, is a terrible idea. Then if the game commission and DCNR don't comply, they get sued!! More government is not the answer.
I agree. I don't like everything that the PGC does, but this bill is a bad idea. The legislature should not be meddling in wildlife management.
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