In 2015 alone, Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women generated over $99 million in conservation funding through the “user-pays, public-benefits” program known as the American System of Conservation Funding. These funds are essential for both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as they carry out their work to protect and enhance Pennsylvania’s fish and wildlife populations. However, last week, three bills passed out of committee that, if passed, will both positively and negatively impact conservation funding in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Senate Bills 1166 and 1168 will grant authority to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to set license fees in order to more nimbly adapt to fluctuating market conditions without being subject to the slow-moving legislative process. Conversely, Pennsylvania House Bill 2083 will likely jeopardize more than $25 million in annual conservation funding for the Game Commission.
Earlier this year, Gov. Wolf joined the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus and has continued to promote and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping in the Keystone State.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has worked diligently with conservation partners across the state and throughout the nation to support SB 1166 and SB 1168, and oppose HB 2083.
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- Lack of access to hunting areas (16.54%)
- Lack of a mentor or instructor to take them (29.23%)
- Age limit restrictions on when they can purchase a license (1.15%)
- Lack of time or competing interests (15.00%)
- Technology (social media, phones, computers) (18.46%)
- Perceived negative public or peer-group opinions (19.62%)