Proponents of House Bill 1576 claim that it’s merely “checks and balances.”
In reality, the bill is designed to allow political considerations to second-guess the sound science of the biologists from the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.
Those agencies are the experts; I expect that few, if any, legislators have PhDs in biology or zoology.
Only sound science should be used to make decisions regarding resource management, and that is what they do — and do well — at the PGC and PFBC.
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The PGC and PFBC rely on federal dollars for more than 20 percent of their budgets. Taking authority away from those wildlife agencies could result in the loss of that funding.
Thus far, we have seen much misinformation from the legislators who are promoting this bill. We hope their ulterior motive is not destroying the mission of our only two independent wildlife agencies.
Please write to your state representative and tell him or her that only the PGC and PFBC should determine the listing or delisting of threatened or endangered species.
Politicians should not attempt to weaken the independent regulatory review of the PGC and PFBC by subjecting their decisions to a second review panel, one with less concern for the resource.
Threatened and endangered listings and wild-trout stream designations should remain with our wildlife agencies.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Richard A. Martin, Boiling Springs
The writer is coordinator of the Pennsylvania Forest Coalition.