Fate of species threatened

If you did not know, our Pennsylvania Endangered Species Act has been placed on a guillotine and is close to getting chopped and dismembered. House Bill 1576 passed November 14. Representative Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong, is the sponsor of House Bill 1576. Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, is the sponsor of identical legislation in the Senate as Senate Bill 1047. Locally, Rep. Garth Everett, who sits on the House Game and Fisheries Committee voted in favor of gutting the Act.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Game Commission, and Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources would be prohibited from designating a species as Threatened & Endangered unless the species was federally designated.

When asked about HB1576,” Rep. Steve McCarter said, “It has been crafted and moved by the O&G industry. Why take this from trained biologists and scientists and give it to untrained bureaucrats?”

The proposed legislation would weaken PA’s Wild Trout stream designation by removing the ability for a stream to be given wild trout stream protection provisionally in advance of publication in the PA Bulletin.

The legislation would shift the burden onto the taxpayers and state agencies to determine the presence of threatened and endangered species instead of keeping that burden on the developers and polluters who are applying for permits.

Pennsylvania species on the existing state’s listing would be automatically delisted from the state’s “centralized database” after two years unless they are re-designated by the agency.

If you don’t want to see our Wilds threatened any more than they already are, please call Rep. Everett and tell him to reject this most recent effort to allow big industry to change the rules and ramp up the destruction. Spread the word that every Pennsylvania citizen should be contacting their senators and representatives to tell them how they feel, before it is too late.

Tina McCafferty


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom