PA LANDS Federal • National Forests (Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service) • National Parks, including National Recreation Areas, National Historic Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Land and Water Trails (Department of Interior, National Park Service) • National Wildlife Refuges (Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service) EXAMPLE: Delaware Water Gap Local and Non-Profit lands • Community parks, playgrounds, etc. • Nature Preserves • Easements with some public access but not full purchase. EXAMPLE: WILDLANDS CONSERVANCY – Emmaus Boulders
PA STATE LANDS • State Parks (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) 283,000 acres • State Forests (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) 2.2 m acres • State Game Lands (Pennsylvania Game Commission) 1.4 m acres • Fishing and Boating Access Areas (Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission) No Data - 10s of thousands of acres
STATE GAME LANDS Mission To manage Pennsylvania's wild birds, wild mammals, and their habitats for current and future generations Where do lands come from? • Game Commission buys properties with revenues from hunting and trapping licenses, gas and oil leases and timber sales from the game lands • Donations or acquisitions from other entities. (i.e. Western Pennsylvania Conservancy) • State and Federal grants RESTRICTIONS Currently on biking, horseback riding and ATV on designated trails.
Original Proposal • This issue first surface over the summer as the PGC considered a $30 permit for bikers, horseback and ATV. • “Hikers and bird watchers are low impact. Mountain bikers, horseback riders and snowmobilers are not. Their tracks can cause streambank erosion, damage bridges and destroy habitat, among other things” • It was set on the September agenda and open for public comment. IMBA and KTA stepped up.
Current Proposal • Added “hiking” • Permit is still required but is now “free” • Added restriction: Unlawful to [Ride] Hike on foot or ride a non-motorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and [before 1p.m.] from the second Saturday in April through [the last Saturday in May] Memorial Day inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.
Policy Statements Keystone Trails Association • Opposes restriction • Opposes permit Appalachian Mountain Club • Opposes restriction • Indorses a favorable permit system • Requires secondary users be better represented Access Fund – due on 1/21/15 • Opposes restriction • Indorses a favorable permit system • Rock climbers as important stakeholders
ACTION • Send your concerns to the PGC directly at email@example.com • Write your local reps • Share it with your friends • Public Comment sessions