Game Commission considering permit & fee for certain game land users

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission is considering a $30.00 permit for people who participate in certain recreational activities on game lands. The $30.00 annual fee would apply to people who ride bikes, horses, and snowmobiles on game lands. Hikers and birdwatchers would not be charges a fee. "Low-impact users like hikers and birdwatchers typically don't cause the types of damage to game lands- and associated repair costs- that the permit fee would help offset," according the a news release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Karen Balaban and Cindy Radich were concerned when they heard about a proposed fee to use State Game Lands. They are part of the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club. The groups hikes on game lands and maintains them.

"Our group of volunteers maintains 20 miles of the Appalachian trail, some of that goes through state game lands," said Balaban.

It was first thought that the permit would include groups likes hikers and bird watchers. The Game Commission later clarified that the groups did not cause much damage to the trails. "We feel as though we help them maintain our trails so I guess that is kind of why we think, we do our part, that is our fee," said Radich.

The Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners from the Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management will consider the permit and hear public comment at their next meeting on September 22nd and 23rd in Westmoreland County. The meeting will be held at the Lamplighter Inn, 6566 William Penn Highway, Delmont, Pa. 15626.

If a vote is taken it would be on September 23rd.

Comments can also be submitted in writing at or mailed to the Game Commission:

Attn. Game Lands Permit,
Pennsylvania Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg PA 17110

For more information on the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club:


60th Anniversary events:

Hiking schedule: