Time to Praise Wildlife Officials
Here’s a novel approach: In an age where it’s the norm to
criticize our state wildlife agencies for everything under the sun
(sometimes deserved, sometimes not), one of those agencies would
actually like us to let them know when one of their own has done a
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has a new section on
its website, appropriately titled ‘Praise an Employee’ that allows
users to do just that.
When I first heard about it, the concept sounded a bit
far-fetched. After all, it’s human-nature for people to speak up
regarding something they don’t like, but to stay mum when something
Just look at the letters printed on the Editorial section of any
newspaper. Most of the writers are complaining about something or
criticizing someone. Very few take the time to write and praise
But that’s what the PFBC wants us to do, and the more I think
about it the more I like the idea.
As an Outdoors writer, I’ve had many positive experiences with
waterways conservation officers and agency staff in the Northeast
Region. Many times they’ve gone out of their way to accommodate my
story and photo requests. It’s something that makes my job easier
and I do appreciate it.
As an angler, I’ve had many favorable dealings with my local
WCO’s – particularly when it comes to stocking trout. I’ve seen
them go the extra mile to stock as many sections of a particular
stream that they could. I watched as they braved bitter February
winds and trekked out on the frozen surface of a pond to dump
buckets of trout through the ice for winter anglers.
And, most importantly, I witnessed several waterways
conservation officers take time out of their busy stocking schedule
to help a child carry a bucket of trout and release them into a
These are all acts that make the angling experience more
enjoyable and, especially with the children, more memorable. So why
not take a minute and give those Pennsylvania Fish & Boat
Commission employees who go the extra mile a pat on the back?
It’s easy to criticize and complain, but it’s even easier to
commend and show some appreciation. Just visit the agency website
(www.fish.state.pa.us), click on ‘The Fishing Hole’ and ‘Praise an