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PFSC held their annual Fall Convention September 17th – 19th, 2010, at the Holiday Inn, Breiningsville, PA. The event was hosted by the PFSC Southeast Division.



Friday, the PFSC, PWF, & Endowment Boards all met. On Saturday, attendees attended committee meetings where they were addressed by representatives from our resource agencies and other organizations on issues ranging from Marcellus Shale drilling to threats on our 2nd Amendment Rights.



Tim Schaffer, Tom Kamerzel, and Gary Moore, representing the PFBC, addressed the Fish & Boat Committee attendees. The focus of their discussion was Marcellus Shale and the proposed Severance Tax.



Issues of concern are: Environmental review of permits, water withdrawal, disinfectants used to clean equipment could introduce invasive species. The PFBC is increasing their surveys on non-assessed streams for wild trout to establish a base line for water quality, which may be decreased with gas drilling. The PFBC estimates the cost to service 1400 permits was $1.6 million. Increase the permits to 3000, the cost would go to $2 to 2.5 million.



During the Game & Trapping Committee meeting, PGC Executive Director Carl Roe and Mike DiMatteo, Chief Environmental Planning & Habitat Protection Director, gave a power point presentation on the Marcellus Shale Development on SGL’s.



Highlights of the presentation:

• 961,000 acres of the 1.4 million acres of SGL is over Marcellus Shale

• 87 permits on SGL’s of the 4,015 permits issued in PA in 2009

• 31 wells drilled on SGL’s of the 1,788 wells drilled in PA in 2009

• PGC must approve well locations and field review construction plans

• Who actually owns the mineral rights is still a big problem for some of the lands

• Impoundments need liners and safety fence

• Takes 15-30 days to drill 24/7

• Drilling casing is a big concern as it needs to get thru the fresh water zone without leaking

• Threat of spread of invasive species

• Water must come from somewhere other than SGL’s for fracking

• Impact to the surface is lessened by drilling many wells from one pad versus constructing many well pads

• Pipeline and well pads could be improved for small game habitat. So far, the PGC has been able to negotiate what plants are used to plant well sites and on pipelines

• Impact during hunting seasons are minimized.

• Need to develop BMP’s for wildlife habitat with the oil & gas companies

• One well can affect 60-180 acres

• The gas royalty has not replaced the loss of the timber revenue over the last 3 years



As a Result of the Deer Audit, the PGC plans to look more at fawn/doe ratio for herd health; acquire more samples for habitat health and use private industry, DCNR, & USFWS plots; and hire a Human Dimensions Coordinator.



Wind Energy: PGC has 20 cooperators now and has 4 biologists working on wind energy siting



Mike Protz, Chairman of the Firearms Committee, updated attendees on the status of pending legislation and the continued rise in sales of guns, ammunition, and reloading components. He reminded everyone to get out and vote so our 2nd amendment rights can be protected.



Discussion continued regarding Marcellus Shale during the Conservation Committee meeting. Also discussed was the issue of Lead Remediation at ranges. The NRA may be able to provide assistance if needed.



Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jim Cawley stopped by to seek support for himself and Tom Corbett in the November elections.



Junior Eisenhuth, Clarion Co., was honored for his many years of service & commitment to PFSC during the Saturday night banquet, and inducted into the PFSC Hall of Fame.



Sunday, delegates from across the state met in general session to address the many issues facing Pennsylvania’s sportsmen & women.



Resolutions:

Two resolutions were presented during Sunday’s delegate session.

A resolution submitted by Schuylkill Co. supporting increased fines for illegal ATV use was not voted on, as the language of the resolution was improperly worded. However, the concept of the resolution was voted on and passed.

A resolution submitted by Cambria Co. to support Sunday Hunting of huntable species on Gamelands was also improperly worded, and therefore not voted on, however the delegates voted on the concept of the resolution, which passed with 16 yeas, 13 nays, and 4 abstentions.



After much discussion during the past year, delegates approved raising membership dues for clubs and individuals. Individual members will see their dues increase from $20 to $25 beginning January 1st, and club rates will also increase. This is the first increase in over 10 years.



As part of a membership drive, clubs, counties and divisions collecting individual PFSC membership dues from their members will be able to keep $2 from each membership they obtain for PFSC.



The PFSC Spring convention will be held at the Country Cupboard Best Western in Lewisburg, March 11, 12, 13, 2011.
 
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