The Treehouse Blog


Pennsylvania Game Commission and Hiking

by on Feb.16, 2015, under Hiking, Politics

Over the past year or so, there has been the occasional threat of the Pennsylvania Game Commission requiring permits for and partially banning hiking on State Game Lands.  As someone who grew up with Game Lands literally in the back yard, I’ve been following this with concern.

Naturally, media coverage is abysmal, but at least it exists.  But fortunately, the PGC does post its meeting minutes.  Reading from the September minutes (the January minutes are not yet posted… does that wait until they are approved at the next meeting?), the most vocal dissent of the proposal came from Commissioner Martone:

Before this proposal comes to a vote, I want to make it clear the details surrounding this proposal.  As of last Thursday there were 869 comments from hunters and non-hunters opposed to this, while 197 were in favor.  That’s the initial count.  I will admit, that includes 597 Rails-to-Trails comments that were all opposed.  Key legislators, including take 25 member at a House Game and Fisheries Committee and two other legislators are opposed to this.  The Governor’s Advisory Council for hunting, fishing, and conservation unanimously opposed this.  Our key conservation partners, including the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, United Bow Hunters of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, all opposed to this.

Major organizations representing the Pennsylvania Equine Council, Pennsylvania State Snowmobilers Association, International Mountain Bikers Association, Keystone Rails-to-Trails, all opposed to this proposal.  And most important of all, this issue is opposed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission itself.  From the field staff, regional staff, headquarters staff and even senior administration, all oppose this proposal.

I would encourage everyone following this issue to pay close attention to the results of today’s vote and pay attention to who voted and how they voted, I think it’s important.  Thank you.

But Commissioner Martone no longer has his position.  He was replaced by a new Commissioner as one of Governor Corbett’s final acts.  Ostensibly, it was administrative issue – his term was due to expire, and his replacement was named.

Now, we do know that the revised proposal was removed from the agenda of the January meeting.  But it seems likely it’s not dead and buried, and in some form, it will resurface again.  In the meantime, you may want to let your opinion be known on this, through the PGC, PA legislature, etc.

I’m starting to think that my preferred solution would be for all of the State Game Lands to be ceded to the Bureau of Forestry, which of all of the state lands, seems the most accommodating of all uses of public land.  Now, you can cry about Game Fund money having been used to purchase all of this land, but really – with 1.5 million acres already… can’t you give some of us folks who would like to privately buy some land a chance?  Perhaps the license fees need to start contributing back to the state’s general fund, instead of contributing to the Game Commission’s empire building.  I’m sure there’s lots of red tape that causes it to be the way it is (which has Federal fingerprints all over it with money from the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax involved).


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Spring is Here

by on Apr.20, 2008, under Hiking

The past few days were a pretty good start to the pleasant part of weather in PA. I’ve hiked more than 20 miles over the past few days – 11 with Doug on the Appalachian between Caledonia and Big Flat on Thursday, 5 with my sister around Snowy Mountain on Friday, and 7 with Chris around the Thousand Stairs on Saturday. And on top of that, I managed to get a few things done around the house, too.

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by on Jun.07, 2007, under Hiking

Chris and I took a hike on a dead-end road on Bower Mountain last evening. On the way back, I saw a bear crossing the road in front of us at the power line right-of-way. I brought this to Chris’s attention and we both reached for our cell phone cameras too slowly – the bear picked up a bit of speed, perhaps in response to us. We were around 200 feet away. It wasn’t totally unexpected to see a bear, but it was a first-time experience for me while on a random hike in the area.

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Indoor Evening

by on Aug.25, 2005, under Hiking

The weather this week has been just great. And I’ve even had the opportunity to take advantage of it. Sunday, I had a family picnic which I used as an excuse for a rather long hike up and down a mountain.

On Tuesday evening, Chris and I walked a 2.5 mile stretch of the Tuscarora Trail that runs along the top of a mountain. Of course, it got dark, the flashlight wasn’t where it was supposed to be, and the return trip was rather interesting. No broken limbs, but lots of scratches and such. This wasn’t your nice dirt road kind of trail either – just rocks and the occasional blaze for much of the trail. The cell phone provided a good deal of light towards the end, despite accidentally calling Tim.

On Wednesday, Ian and I hiked (on a trail that was like a dirt road) almost 9 miles. It was pretty dark at the end, but a lot nicer than stumbling over rocks. It was one of the few times I was with Ian this summer, so we had the chance to catch up on all of the happenings since the Spring semester.

Now, Doug‘s turn should probably be next… but I haven’t decided on the appropriate successor to last summer’s infamous pipeline hike 😉

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Laboring a bit on Labor Day Weekend

by on Sep.06, 2004, under Happenings, Hiking, Technology

Getting some stuff done this labor day, or trying to. Washed and vacuumed the car, swapped out the radio for the one from Chris’s car (now I have a working tape deck, woo!), put a tarp over part of the treehouse’s roof (need to put another one there, too), and so forth. This wasn’t all I did though. We had a breakfast picnic for Katelyn’s birthday on Sunday morning (she’ll be 16…) and today I went hiking on the Tuscarora Trail near Cowan’s Gap state park. The view from the overlook was rather dismal, given that it was all fog/cloud, no vista. It did rain a bit on me on the return trip. I took a different route home… and guess what was along the side of the road? No, not a rattlesnake. A coax repeater hut! In a forested area near state forest land! An expedition will be planned shortly, I’m sure.

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