The Lycoming Audubon Society strongly opposes the Endangered Species Coordination Act HB1576, and the similar SB1047. We are not alone, as we join the dozens of organizations representing the many thousands of people that enjoy the living resources of Pennsylvania by hunting, fishing, bird watching and the like that have gone on record as opposing this questionable proposal.
We believe HB1576 and SB1047 are direct attempts to bring politically-motivated meddling into the scientifically-based protection of Pennsylvania wildlife by the Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Both of these independent Commissions have spoken out against HB1576 and SB1047. There are five good reasons to oppose them. These bills:
1.introduce a statutory definition of "acceptable data", a clear and unnecessary backward step;
2.focus on providing protection only to those species that are federally listed, a short-sighted uninformed approach that does not protect all Pennsylvania wildlife;
3.add a two-year re-evaluation requirement for threatened and endangered species, an unnecessary requirement that saps resources of both Commissions;
4.require second-guessing by the so-called Independent Regulatory Review Committee (IRRC), another wasteful and unnecessary step; and
5.eliminate both Commission's authority to manage data and make recommendations regarding the animal species they protect, transferring it to DCNR, a cabinet-level agency. This clearly represents an attempt to politicize and negate the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory system, one of the most advanced environmental review systems in the country.
We urge our area legislators to step up and represent the thousands of people that enjoy Pennsylvania wildlife instead of the gas industry and other opportunists that have come out in support of these awful bills. We urge your readers to check out this proposed legislation and take a position, making sure their representatives in Harrisburg know where they stand.
Dan Alters, Chairperson
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom