PFBC Board of Commissioners adopts new strategic plan
HARRISBURG — During its formal quarterly business meeting held virtually on July 20, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a new Strategic Plan to guide the agency over the next three years. Since the spring of 2019, PFBC executive staff, members of the Board of Commissioners, and members of the Boating Advisory Board have been collaborating on a new strategic plan through multiple facilitated work sessions. The process resulted in a strategic plan consisting of a new vision statement, guiding principles, values, and six high-level priorities with corresponding goals to help the Commission better fulfill its mission.
“The Strategic Plan is very ambitious because it fully recognizes the broad diversity of the Commonwealth’s citizen’s, natural resources, and recreational fishing and boating opportunities,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “This plan, which includes a high level of details and deadlines associated with each goal, ensures that we are continuously held accountable as we serve millions of anglers and boaters and aquatic resources across Pennsylvania.”
The Strategic Plan is designed to be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound with goals that can be translated into work plans to guide major efforts through July 30, 2023. The Strategic Plan can be reviewed on the PFBC website.
In other action, the Board elected new officers. Richard Lewis of Gettysburg, Adams County, was appointed as President. Lewis, who serves as a Boating-at-Large Commissioner, replaces Eric Hussar of Lewisburg, Union County, as president. Hussar will remain on the Board as District 5 commissioner, representing Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties.
“Eric provided outstanding Commission leadership over the past two years,” said Lewis, in thanking Hussar. “During his President’s terms the Commission moved forward with the development and approval of a three-year Strategic Plan, achieved historic legislation authorizing the Commission to establish fee levels necessary for long-term sustainability, and completed the training and graduation of 19 new Waterways Conservation Officers who are already hard at work serving our anglers and boaters during this busy summer on the water.”
In accepting the appointment Lewis stated, “Many thanks to my fellow Commissioners for the trust they have placed in me. As we move through the next year, I’m looking forward to seeing the Bureau of Boating established and staffed, to implementing our new strategic plan goals and projects, to sustaining the increased interest and participation in fishing and boating across Pennsylvania, and to resurveying our diverse angler population to determine their needs and wants.” Lewis added, “I don’t come into this office with a wish list of personal agenda items to achieve but rather a strong desire to use our Commonwealth’s bountiful water, aquatic, and fishery resources to serve the needs of all anglers and boaters while protecting the health and safety of the Commission’s employees, partners, volunteers, and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Richard Kauffman of Leesport, Berks County, was elected as Vice President. Kauffman, who serves as District 8 commissioner, representing Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties, replaces Lewis as Vice President. Both Lewis and Kauffman will serve one-year terms through July 2021.
In other action, Commissioners voted to authorize grant funds that will help preserve public fishing opportunities along a portion of Conewago Creek in Adams County. The property is located along Conewago Creek near Russel Tavern Road and Zeigler Mill Road and will provide public fishing access to 5,340 linear ft. of stream frontage. Commissioners authorized a grant not to exceed $84,000 to the Land Conservancy of Adams County for the acquisition of 58 acres along Conewago Creek in Butler Township, Adams County. The Conservancy plans to purchase the property and transfer ownership to the Commission. The total cost of the acquisition is $441,156. The Conservancy has also applied to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for half of the appraised value of the property and half of the acquisition costs ($220,578). The Conservancy will provide $120,578 toward the acquisition. The Adams County Trout Unlimited Chapter will provide $16,000.