Politicians pushing HB 1576 claim that it’s merely “checks and balances” regarding designation of threatened or endangered species. In reality, the bill is designed to allow political considerations to second-guess the sound science of the biologists from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission. Those agencies are the experts; I expect that few, if any, legislators have Ph.D.s in biology and zoology.
Only sound science should be used to make decisions regarding resource management and that is what they do, and do well, at the game and fish commissions.
The commissions 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 that 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 game and fish commissions should determine the listing or de-listing of threatened or endangered species. Politicians should not attempt to weaken the independent regulatory review of the agencies 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
Pennsylvania Forest Coalition
Boiling Springs, Pa.