UNIFIED SPORTSMEN OF PENNSYLVANIA
N. Charles Bolgiano, PhD
September 22, 2012
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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
N. Charles Bolgiano, PhD
824 Dorsea Road
Lancaster, Pa 17601