New Bill Threatens Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation in Pennsylvania

The Indiana Brown Bat (photo from Perdue University)

Recently, there have been a number of hearings across Pennsylvania about HB 1576, which proposes a new process for listing endangered species in Pennsylvania.
The bill's main sponsor, Representative Jeff Pyle, claims his bill simplifies and streamlines the listing process for threatened and endangered species. However, by stripping authority from the Fish and Boat Commission and the Game Commission and handing it over to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, his bill effectively does the opposite: overturning a science-based review and replacing it with a cumbersome and bureaucratic process that it could take up to two years to complete. Once listed, those species would need to be re-evaluated every two years in order to maintain their status on the list of threatened and endangered species, a redundancy that would waste staff time and taxpayer money. Finally, by undermining Fish & Boat and the Game Commission's authority, this bill jeopardizes over $20 million in federal funding from the Fish and Wildlife Service for sport fish restoration.
By undermining the threatened and endangered species program, HB 1576 could have a disastrous effect on the outdoor recreation economy in Pennsylvania and the millions of residents who hike, hunt, fish, and bird watch, all of whom depend on good policies that protect healthy and diverse wildlife populations.
To view the bill in full, click here.