DEER MANAGEMENT SERIES, NO. 19:

VIOLATION OF STATE LAW

By John Eveland

October 17, 2014


Title 34, Section 322(c)(13) of the Game and Wildlife Code lists the specific duties of the commission:


"(c) In order to administrate and enforce this title, the commission through proper action shall: (13) Serve the interest of sportsmen by preserving and promoting our special heritage of recreational hunting and furtaking by providing adequate opportunity to hunt and trap the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth."

This amendment to Title 34 was enacted in 1996 to assure that the Pennsylvania Game Commission's game management policy would always "serve the interests of sportsmen for recreational hunting". However, within four years PGC had violated this state law, and the agency remains in gross and deliberate violation of this Title 34 directive. PGC has ignored its legislative duty, and deliberately manipulated the wording of Section 322(c)(13) in order to deceive readers with the false impression that the deer-reduction program is operating in compliance with state law and the chartered mission of the agency. It is not! Three manipulations were included on the first page of PGC's 2009-2018 deer-management plan that was authored by the Commission's three deer biologists (Christopher Rosenberry, Bret Wallingford, and Jeannine Fleegle), and that was supervised, reviewed, and approved by Calvin DuBrock and Carl Roe.

First Manipulation. The deer team listed PGC's deer-management mission as follows: "Balancing white-tailed deer impacts is the fundamental issue affecting a majority of Pennsylvania's deer management decisions." No, it is not! PGC's legislated mission is to "serve the interest of sportsmen for recreational hunting". It is not within the job description of the staff to arbitrarily rewrite PGC's mission at their discretion in order to achieve a personal agenda—the deer-reduction mission of Chesapeake Farms.

Second Manipulation. The deer team lists the Title 34, Section 322 mission as follows: "...to manage wildlife populations and to preserve and promote our special heritage of hunting and trapping by providing adequate opportunity to hunt and trap the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth." This is not, however, the Section 322 quoted directive (see the first paragraph). At their personal discretion the deer team removed the State Law directive to "serve the interest of sportsmen for recreational hunting" and replaced it with the phrase "to manage wildlife populations". In so doing, these state employees ignored PGC's chartered mission and state law in order to advance their personal agenda to promote biodiversity at the expense of deer and sportsmen, and attempted to deceive sportsmen, legislators, the governor, and the agency's own board of commissioners into believing that their deer-reduction program was a legal action.

Third Manipulation. Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states: "Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of the resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people." This "environmental rights" section was ratified in 1971 to guarantee that public natural resources are not owned by the State, but are entrusted to the State by the people to be wisely managed for everyone. From Section 27, PGC has created a mission statement "to manage all wild birds, mammals, and their habitats for current and future generations". Unfortunately, the deer team manipulated the original intent of the Constitution in order to mislead readers into believing that deer reduction is justified, and even directed by the Constitution. A summary review of Section 27 indicated that "people often read this strong language as creating a constitutional right to halt natural resources actions and development. However, Pennsylvania courts are extremely reluctant to recognize such claims." Nevertheless, this is exactly what PGC along with forestry and environmental special interests have attempted—and accomplished.

Conclusion. PGC's deer-reduction program is a gross and deliberate violation of Pennsylvania State Law.

 

 

 

 

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