HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Game Commissioners today elected new officers during its annual reorganization for 2013.
Game Commissioner Robert Schlemmer, of Export, Westmoreland County, was elected president. First appointed to the Board in 2009, Schlemmer was elected vice-president in 2012.
Game Commissioner David J. Putnam, of Centre Hall, Center County was elected vice-president. He was first appointed to the Board in 2009.
Game Commissioner Brian H. Hoover, of Glenolden, Delaware County, was elected as secretary. He was first appointed to the Board in 2012.
Other Game Commissioners are: David W. Schreffler, of Everett, Bedford County; James "Jay" Delaney Jr., of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County; Ralph A. Martone, of New Castle, Lawrence County; Ronald A. Weaner, of Biglerville, Adams County; and Charles E. Fox, of Troy, Bradford County.
Game Commissioners are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate to serve an eight-year term. They receive no salary, but are reimbursed for expenses to attend Game Commission quarterly meetings and other functions.
For more information on Board members, visit the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "About Us" in the menu bar in the banner and then click on "Commissioners' Page" in the drop down menu listing.
BOARD TAKES ACTION AGAINST FERAL SWINE
After considerable discussion, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a proposal to remove protection for feral swine and wild boar statewide, wherever found, in order to protect the natural resources of the Commonwealth, its traditional agricultural and forest products industries and mitigate threats to human health and safety.
"The Game Commission views the complete eradication of feral swine and wild boar from the wild within Pennsylvania as a necessary step to prevent further harm to our natural resources, agricultural industry, forest products industry and threats to human health and safety," said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. "The Game Commission previously promulgated an Executive Order to remove protection for feral swine, and we've worked with the state and federal agriculture departments to trap and remove feral swine populations.
"This action, which must receive final approval by the Board at its April meeting, is the next step, and is the result of our soliciting public input over the years, including a request for comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin."
The Game Commission also is proposing to prohibit the importation, possession and release into the wild of feral swine and wild boar to further these ends.
In separate action, the Board also proposed adding feral swine and wild boar to the list of species that may be lawfully taken during the regular antlered and antlerless deer seasons (Dec. 2-14).
In 2007, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that the Game Commission has jurisdiction over matters relating to wild boars, which is a member of the family Suidae, and also a feral swine, in Seeton v. PGC. Since that time, the agency first attempted to address those animals reproducing and inhabiting the wild. With this regulatory change, the agency now is focusing on the source of those animals, which are not native to Pennsylvania.
BOARD TAKES ACTION TO STREAMLINE RE-ISSUING OF HUNTER ED CARDS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to regulatory changes that will enable the agency to implement improvements to the hunter education replacement training certificate process by providing for online fulfillment capabilities.
"These proposed changes will provide for future hunter education program flexibility, which will result in a significant improvement to customer service," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "Once implemented, hunters will have the ability to reprint a certificate of hunter education from a third-party vendor for a fee."
Roe noted that, as envisioned, the agency would contract with a third-party company to implement a fully-automatic online system so that a hunter who took the course since 1987 could download a replacement card for a fee paid to the vendor, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.
For those who were certified prior to 1987, there still would be a certification process, but this could be done online, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week, too.
"We believe that this will result in a significant improvement to customer service, and certainly help hunters who find themselves in need of securing a certification card quickly," Roe said.
Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education course records dating back to 1987 are maintained on a computer database. Presently, if a hunter loses their certification card, they need to contact the agency's Hunter-Trapper Education Division for assistance in obtaining a replacement certificate. If you a hunter took the course before 1987, the individual must complete a Hunter Education Program Replacement Certificate Affidavit form, sign it and have it notarized before it is returned to the Hunter-Trapper Education Division. Replacement certificates are usually mailed in 10 to 14 days upon receipt of an application, and there is a $10 fee for issuing a replacement certificate.
BOARD TAKES OTHER ACTIONS
In other action today, the Board of Game Commissioners:
- Announced a plan to split Wildlife Management Unit 2G into two parts; the new portion of the split will be named WMU 2H. A board committee, headed by Game Commissioner David Putnam, recommended this course of action. Details on the new WMU, including its boundaries and how it will meld with existing seasons and bag limits, will be broached after the proposal is considered for adoption at the April meeting.
- Gave preliminary approval to update the standard hunting hours table for the 2013-14 seasons, a routine change that must be adopted each year based on sunrise/sunset tables obtained from the U.S. Naval Observatory; and
- Established the dates of the Board's meeting schedule for 2013 as follows: April 14-15, at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. Other meeting dates for 2013 will be June 24-25, and Sept. 23-24, but the locations have not been set. The Board postponed setting the meeting dates for January of 2014, but that meeting will be held at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission