Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bills to amend Pennsylvania endangered species law trigger debate House Bill 1576

"Bills to amend Pennsylvania endangered species law trigger debate

Legislature wants oversight on state commissions' findings; environmentalists say agencies need independent authority.

By Steve Esack, Call Harrisburg Bureau
12:29 AM EDT, August 26, 2013

HARRISBURG — For 42 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has had sole discretion in state government to determine when mammals and birds that live or roam in Pennsylvania's wilds are endangered or threatened. For nearly the same amount of time, the state Fish and Boat Commission has done the environmental policing for the fish, reptiles and amphibians."


1. Bill generates Legislative oversight of the process and commission for external review that will include economic impacts.    I think this is critical - changes in stream classification directly impact multiple land-use and permitting issues, zoning, land-development and a significant number of other issues in the state.  Decisions should not be made in a vacuum.
2. Create a centralized database.
3. Process to updated the database in a timely manner or reflect changes in Endangered Species Act.
4. It is thought the current internal review and only allowing 30 days comment is not enough.  From history with other PA state programs - I would agree.
5. There is a concern over lost Federal Monies.

The public will get a chance to hear the pros and cons at a public hearing the House Game and Fisheries Committee plans to at 2 p.m. Monday in Pottsville.   (By the way - comments may have ended) = This is one reason for more or an external review process.

Original Article -
Link to House Bill 1576

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