THE UNIFIED SPORTSMEN OF PENNSYLVANIA
N. Charles Bolgiano, PhD
Legislative Committee

September 22, 2012

Honorable Thomas Corbett
Governor of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pa. 17120

Dear Governor Corbett:

The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania (USP) has a mandate “to protect and preserve the environment, our wildlife, and our privileges of hunting, fishing and trapping.” As recent events have unfolded, there are some who are horribly out-of-touch with our principles. This includes the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and many elected officials. And, there exist powerful legislators in Harrisburg who do not seem to care what is happening as long as they achieve their partisan goals. In fact, these legislators, and others, continually refuse to communicate with those involved. They do not to even acknowledge that there is a problem. By doing so, they are proving that they are not “nation builders” because they seemingly favor the top one percent and the other 99% are left to fend for themselves.

For sportsmen, the tide began to turn during Tom Ridge’s term as Governor. During that time, radical environmentalists gained support and the Governor established the Ecosystem Management Commission which paved the way for the PGC to exercise its authority as an Independent Agency. The PGC avoided being subjected to overview by the Office of the Inspector General, and also became oblivious to the sportsmen’s concerns and any regulation by our elected representatives. In fact, powerful legislators seized upon the events to deny the rights of citizens as set forth in Title 34 (the Game Law). Seemingly our nation has more areas of collaboration with our foreign enemies (North Korea and Iran) than we do with the decision makers of Pennsylvania. Let me be specific!

  1. The Governor has refused to respond to legitimate complaints by failing to answer correspondence. Instead he continues to protect the independence of the PGC and its vast wealth of Marcellus revenue deposited into secret escrow accounts for their own discretionary use as an independent agency. The USP, in defense of our heritage beliefs, fully expects that the mandates of Title 34 (the Game Law) shall be rigorously upheld – in particular, Section 322 (c)(13) that mandates, “the specific duty of the PGC shall be to serve the interests of sportsmen for recreational hunting.” The responsibility for enforcing Title 34 by the Legislature, and by the Governor, cannot be ignored. Their continued silence on this matter speaks volumes regarding their commitment, or lack thereof, to their constituents. People count too, especially when they deserve better.
  2. According to recent USP surveys, over 98% of those who responded stated :
    • The purpose of State Game Lands shall be more equally proportioned to benefit hunting rather than resource extraction.
    • Deer hunting will not get better unless, and until, new and/or more responsible management of the PGC is demanded by the Governor and by the State Legislature, beginning with House and Senate hearings.
  3. The PGC and the Legislature both ignored the unilateral international agreements that Pennsylvania agencies made to place the welfare of its wood products into the hands and control of foreigners without the approval of the Governor or the Legislature. Such an agreement resulted in the reduction of more than 50% of the Commonwealth’s deer herd and caused over 400,000 deer hunters to stop hunting. This is a shameful situation for the Commonwealth to bear, and not to consider its effect on the people is even more unbearable.
  4. It is not a debatable topic that hunting does have an appropriate function to keep young people focused on something positive, to allow them to respect the great outdoors, and to permit them to adopt ethical practices. All of this, and more, builds character which influences relationships, work ethics, and the respect for authority. When more than 50% of our youth stop hunting we should recognize that it is time for drastic corrective action to be taken.

The PGC is as guilty of the violation of lack of transparency with sportsmen as they are guilty of the neglect and disrespect of their obligation to protect and promote real opportunities for our youth to hunt…..by not providing adequate numbers of deer on State Game Lands. If Governor Corbett understood how State Game Lands were being mismanaged by the PGC for recreational opportunity, he would not act so unreasonably by turning a deaf ear to the pleas of so many sportsmen and their families.

Both the Legislature and Governor have turned their heads the other way, allowing the PGC to comply with the demands of international environmentalists to severely damage our deer herd and then let our sportsmen take the fall for not only a reckless scheme, but also for the loss of revenue and business opportunities to the Commonwealth and its citizens.

Sincerely,

N. Charles Bolgiano, PhD
824 Dorsea Road
Lancaster, Pa 17601

 

 

 

 

©2011 • Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania