New Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation holds first quarterly meeting.
The council's first task will be screening candidates for two vacant commissioner seats on the Pennsylvania Game Commission board.
On March 26 the council was expected to interview nine applicants who have applied for the vacant seats in the southeast and northcentral regions. It’s going to be a long process, but one that the council should be able to finish in a day.
Wyoming County resident Dale Butler is a director on the board of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and a member of the council. He said the group will hold four quarterly meetings this year and is charged with making recommendations to the governor regarding issues, legislation or policies that may affect outdoor recreation and conservation.
It’s a pretty broad spectrum, but for its first meeting the group’s focus was narrowed.
And rightly so.
The way Butler sees it, having a full board of commissioners ensures every region in the state has direct representation. Just as important, he said, is that a full board creates a diversity of opinions.
That’s fine, as long as there’s at least one consensus: to do what’s best to promote and protect the future wildlife, hunting and trapping.
As of last week, Butler didn’t know the names of the nine applicants or their backgrounds. But he did know one thing he doesn’t want to see enter into the interview process: politics.
When the interviews are completed, the council will recommend two names to the governor. If the governor likes what he sees, those names will be sent to the Senate for its approval.
Up until that point, Butler said politics have no role in the interview process and he's confident that the current makeup of the council won’t be swayed by them.
I hope he’s right. While the council is large, its makeup is diverse and includes some who have a wealth of experience in dealing with outdoor issues. Let’s hope there are no personal agendas that prohibit the exchanging and consideration of ideas and viewpoints among council members.
They have a lot of work ahead, and a couple of important seats to fill.