Major Statewide Sporting Group not mentioned in the PGC News Release
By Wayne Haas President Unified Sportsmen of Pa
The PGC put out a news release #90-16 on Dec 14th saying that because of not getting a license fee increase, they are letting employees go.
Our hope is that the 14 employees that needlessly lost their jobs can find new ones. The decision being strictly financial could and should have been avoided.
These employees lost their jobs because of DCNR's Green Certification Award. It was written in the regulations that in order to get recertified, deer would have to be reduced.
At the time, 1998, the PGC had no choice but to cooperate. Since 2002, they could have withdrawn from participation and gotten back on tract but, they did not and have not recommitted.
The math is easy. 200,000 hunters quit for over 10 years at an estimate of spending $40.00 per license. 200,000 x's 10 x's 40 ='s $80 million. Their shortfall this year is $8 million. Plus, the federal monies that come with it and plus all the revenue that the state would have made. According to the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee Nov 2012 report, the total loss to the industry was $285 million per year. 10 years’ x's $285 million ='s more than enough to have kept those 14 employees.
The legislature has denied any license increase request from The Pennsylvania Game Commission for over 18 years. Legislators have been doing their job listening to a negative outcry from many hunting constituents and rural business owners pertaining to extremely low deer numbers in many management units, a result from the PGC deer management program. License pricing control is one of the few tools they have over the PGC, so reluctantly they denied any license price increase to sportsmen in lieu of needed changes to the deer program. Sadly, the hard times now being passed on to PGC employees directly as employment layoffs, and indirectly to our hunting community in the form of reduced services such as pheasant stockings is self-inflicted from the agencies' obstinate position for nearly 20 years...plain and simple.
If those 14 employees can hold on until legislation is passed this winter that will change deer management and then a license increase is passed, these 14 can get their jobs back. If the 14 are waiting for the PGC to make changes on their own, they better starting looking for new jobs now