Gov. Tom Corbett has issued an executive order creating the Governor's Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation to help ensure the concerns of hunters, anglers and others are heard at the highest levels of state government.
"Pennsylvania's rich outdoor heritage, including activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, birding, wildlife viewing, boating and hiking, are enjoyed by more than 5.9 million Pennsylvania residents and visitors each year," Corbett said. "These outdoor recreational activities annually generate more than $5.4 billion for Pennsylvania's economy, which makes this council's input very critical."
Corbett's order consolidates several previous advisory councils into a single entity, as the new council consists of individuals concerned with the recreational use and conservation of Pennsylvania's natural resources, including hunters, trappers, anglers and other conservationists. Review and make written recommendations to the governor regarding any issue appropriate for governmental action that might affect the recreational use and conservation of the state's wildlife and other natural resources.
Review and make written recommendations regarding policies adopted or regulations issued by the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Protection, that might affect the recreational uses of the state's natural resources.
Review and make written recommendations regarding pending legislation and proposed regulations that have an impact on natural resources.
Members of the panel will serve one-year terms, and not compensated for their participation and is comprised of a diverse representation of stakeholders, including four members between the ages of 14 and 18. It does not include any elected statewide officials, legislators or employees of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Fish and Boat Commission or the Game Commission.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission northern bobwhite quail management plan has been posted on the agency's website at www.pgc.state.pa.us  and can be viewed by clicking on the "Northern Bobwhite Quail Management Plan" in the "Small Game" section of the Hunting Page, which is accessible from the Hunt-Trap drop-down menu on the homepage.
Public comments on the agency's quail management plan were solicited last year, and overall there was strong support for implementing the plan. The PGC board of game commissioners gave approval to the final plan at its meeting in October.
The plan identifies supporting goals, objectives and strategies for guiding restoration and management decisions over a 10-year horizon, 2011-2020. This plan provides a comprehensive look at the bobwhite quail in Pennsylvania. Information on taxonomy, biology, habitat relationships, population and habitat trends, hunting, restoration and partnerships are discussed in detail.
Registration is underway for a Basic Boating Course instructed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Monday, April 9, and Wednesday, 11, from 6-10 p.m. for both sessions, at Beltzville State Park. There is no charge for the two-session course, but all participants must pre-register by calling Beltzville State Park at 610-377-0045 to register and attend both sessions.
Students who successfully complete the course may apply for a Boating Safety Education Certificate for a $10 fee. This certificate is required of all operators of personal watercraft, or anyone born on or after January 1, 1982, who operate a motorboat of more than 25 hp, and information about this course or boating safety is on the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com .
This week's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, Sunday, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will taxidermist and hunting guide Randy Hill.
Experienced hunters and trappers who are interested in becoming volunteer instructors for the Pennsylvania Game Commission's basic Hunter-Trapper Education, Successful Bowhunting, Successful Furtaking and Successful Turkey Hunting courses, as well as future courses under consideration, are being sought by the agency.
For more information about becoming an instructor, visit the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us  and select "Become an HTE Instructor" on the homepage. Individuals also can request an application packet online or by calling the agency's Hunter-Trapper Education Division at 717-787-7015.