PA Game Commission deserves praise for 12,000 acres of unbroken Furnace Hills hunting ground | News

Provide credit where credit is due.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission gets pretty rapped by some sections of the hunting audience – especially when it comes to deer hunting.

On this page I have also criticized certain activities of the agency from time to time.

Criticism is fair. And it is certainly expected from an authority.

But if the agency does something positive, it’s fair to credit them with that too.

The Game Commission acquisition of nearly 400 acres of the J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation in northern Lancaster County is exceptional news for hunters in the area.

It’s no secret that we live in a part of the state where open land is shrinking.

Hunting access to the remaining open spaces, which are privately owned, is shrinking even faster.

The land costs here are sky high, which makes it increasingly difficult for the average citizen to have their own hunting property.

The Game Commission announced two weeks ago that it had closed a deal to add 397 acres of Camp Mack land to its cache of State Game Lands in northern Lancaster County.

The area west of Route 501 and north of Route 322 will connect State Game Lands 46 with State Game Lands 156, providing hunters with an uninterrupted strip of huntable land totaling nearly 12,000 acres.

Think about it for a second.

Here in rapidly developing Lancaster County – which stretches into Lebanon County – there are 12,000 contiguous acres open to public hunting.

That is rare.

And it’s special.

And all thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

True, the Game Commission had some help over the years putting together the land that makes up SGL 156 and 46.

Recently, Natural Lands and the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources donated money to secure Camp Mack land and broker the deal with the Pennsylvania Dutch Council of Boy Scouts.

But these institutions stepped in knowing that the Game Commission would also contribute money and ultimately take on the never-ending burden of owning and maintaining the land.

Owning land for public use is a responsibility that costs money.

The point is, this deal is unlikely to come about without the Game Commission.

At a time when Pennsylvania’s population is growing, its huntable land is being paved, or becoming more expensive, the Game Commission continues to acquire land to ensure there is always places to hunt.

Even in Lancaster County.

And if I am at times critical of the Wildlife Commission’s activities and decisions, now I will do my part to pat them on the back to ensure that there is always a place for hunting in this state – Lancaster County included.

Well done.

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