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  1. #1
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    We the people ... Pa Game Commission cancels 2016 Game lands tours

    I know this could be very controversial, but I'm looking at it in a positive light. Please be respectful as this does have a mt biking twist or else I would not have posted it here. I'm just making the effort to promote conversation and show there are options besides singletrack and dual track trails in other places.

    I have attended these tours in the past from the point of view to learn and educate myself as to what is out there and the job the PGC plays in the great outdoors throughout our state. As you know the gamelands are not just for hunting with designated routes for horses and bicycles do exist. These routes are out and back or loops and do not contain prepared singletrack per-say. I do not condone riding unmarked trails or roaming around the woods remotely. Mostly dirt roads, old woods roads, and old right of ways of logging railroads exist. Kinda old school mt biking but they do make great gravel grinders.

    Being allowed to drive your vehicle on many great roads on these tours take you well off the beaten path, but I'm not in any way condoning driving or riding your bike during "open" hinting seasons rather use these tours to get a feel if you want to venture out during non open hunting seasons.

    The cancellation of this option is sad in my view. Please educate yourself and respect the rights of others to use these lands.

    Game Commission Details

    State Game Lands

  2. #2
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    The should increase their revenues by issuing permits for mtbing on singletrack out of hunting season.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Z. Ryder View Post
    The should increase their revenues by issuing permits for mtbing on singletrack out of hunting season.
    It's my understanding that game lands are used for hunting and hunting only. If there is single track on game lands they are there illegally. The game commission receives federal monies from The Pittman Robertson Act of 1937. To receive money from the federal government the PGC can only use the game lands for hunting and conservation only. Existing roadways can be used by non motorized conveyance, certain restrictions apply, usually time of year. I doubt you will ever see sanctioned single track trails on game lands.
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    Pa Game Commission cancels 2016 Game lands tours

    Game lands are also used for hiking. There are lots of trails. Never mind the term "singletrack."
    Hiking and mountain biking, or for that matter camping, are not incompatible with their conservation mandate.
    By the way, the number of hunting licenses in PA has been declining for years, despite the increase in population.

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    Correct, no singletrack per-say as defined by the PGC. That's why I tip toed thorough my post. What the PGC calls trails usually end up being forest roads, not to say there isn't S/T out there, but it's not recorded, or defined as an "open" trail, but it doesn't say keep out either. I have found S/T, but not rideable in most cases due to grown in or neglected.

    . I can tell you having been out often in my local area, there are the triangle signs with the hiker, horse, and mt bike on them where I ride Pretty simple: Green triangle means you can ride, red means no riding that trail.

    Interesting fact on the PGC website, they have a permit for trail maintenance. I checked on one of my local Gamelands and a trail that was well know spoken of on a hiking forum said "the trail was grown in and impassable" yet no one from that site offered to open up the trail or plan a meeting with the PGC.

    I really don't know what to think monies just aren't flowing in anymore from hunting, yet I have seen brand new bridges and wet spot areas being shored up!

    I don't mind really if the cancel the drive through as long as they keep stuff open and safe. The designated routes are fun especially for people who are new to the sport of mt biking. They can get in a dirt road ride and get a feel for being out in the woods, later graduating to S/T. Of course gravel grinding loops are perfect for this. No cars or worries except an occasional bear looking for berries.

  6. #6
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    I'm clear on the rules. What I'm saying is that there are 1.5 MILLION ACRES of gamelands; the commission is struggling to collect enough revenues to operate (eg, cancelled car tour); the number of hunters is falling; many mtbers might be happy to pay for a riding permit, like a hunting license, to ride GL trails when there is no hunting (like, all summer, I believe).
    According to their Web site: "Secondary recreational uses are permitted in accordance with the Game Commissionís regulations."
    In other words, it's up to the commission whether or not to allow mtbing.
    We're not talking about Wilderness Areas; mtbing wouldn't be viable everywhere: areas could be opened on a case by case basis; and at least some trails are already being ridden regularly. It would bring in money to the commission, support the hunters, ultimately, and increase the state's mtb trail network.

  7. #7
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    Yes

    As usual mt bikers have to do all the work, it would start out fair and then skyrocket to high levels with taxes and user fees...and I remember the G/C kicked out mt bikers in 2003 and got embarrassed, thus then making up Designated Routes!

    Pittman-Robertson only covers 11 percent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Z. Ryder View Post
    I'm clear on the rules. What I'm saying is that there are 1.5 MILLION ACRES of gamelands; the commission is struggling to collect enough revenues to operate (eg, cancelled car tour); the number of hunters is falling; many mtbers might be happy to pay for a riding permit, like a hunting license, to ride GL trails when there is no hunting (like, all summer, I believe).
    According to their Web site: "Secondary recreational uses are permitted in accordance with the Game Commissionís regulations."
    In other words, it's up to the commission whether or not to allow mtbing.
    We're not talking about Wilderness Areas; mtbing wouldn't be viable everywhere: areas could be opened on a case by case basis; and at least some trails are already being ridden regularly. It would bring in money to the commission, support the hunters, ultimately, and increase the state's mtb trail network.
    I fully agree. I would add, it's a shame all that land is off limits for entire year when almost all hunting seasons (except some spring Turkey) are in late fall / early winter.

    I would pay for a license for sure if it was an option. In fact, I was thinking of buying a hunting license that way if I "happen" to get lost and end up in my local Game Lands, and anyone gives me grief, I'll have a tiny leg to stand on by saying I pay for my access out there, whether it's formally allowed or not

  9. #9
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    PA Game commission can go F themselves for all I care.

    As far as I am concerned - until they pay the fair market taxes on that 1.5 million acres, and receive $0.00 in confiscated (tax) money, it is NOT private property, as they love to claim it is.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    PA Game commission can go F themselves for all I care.

    As far as I am concerned - until they pay the fair market taxes on that 1.5 million acres, and receive $0.00 in confiscated (tax) money, it is NOT private property, as they love to claim it is.
    The PGC does not receive tax money from the state. They are independently funded, license sales, Pittman Robertson act, and sale of natural resources. You are right it is not private property, it's public, and I hate to use the word public, property managed for hunting and conservation. The tab is picked up solely from license sales and other sources, again, no tax dollars are used. What happens when you start selling permits for this and that, those groups now want a say in how the land is utilized. Don't get me wrong I'd love to be able to use the land for other recreational venues, but that just isn't going to happen. As a life long hunter I can respect that.
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    No, they don't take taxes. But they don't PAY real estate taxes on their 1.5 million acres of supposedly public land that they tend to treat as if it were private.
    The land is already used for other activities -- just as state forests and parks are used for hunting. I assume hunters have a say in how parks and forests are utilized, even they have their own personal 1.5 million acre playground.

  13. #13
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    State parks and forest are used for hunting, yes this is true. The DCNR sets the policies and regulations for how the land is used, not the PGC or hunters for that matter.
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    Of course the DCNR sets the policies, it's their agency. Agencies base their policies, in part, on the interests of user groups, including hunters, boaters, hikers, etc. So they do have a say.
    The $1.8 million in disbursements to counties, school districts, etc., (page 15) amounts to a bit over $1 per acre of their holdings.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBurnsie View Post
    ....Pittman Robertson act....



    According to the NSSF - (http://www.nssf.org/factsheets/PDF/P...rtsonFacts.pdf)
    - How does the PittmanRobertson
    Act work?
    The excise tax is set at 11% of the wholesale price for long guns and ammunition and 10% of the wholesale price for handguns. The excise tax applies basically to all commercial sales and imports whether their purpose is for shooting, hunting or personal defense and is paid by manufacturers, producers and importers.


    This means that I, as a gun owner, and ammunition/firearm consumer (and NOT A HUNTER) am paying a TAX on my firearm and ammunition, which then is shuffled off to the PA Game commission to subsidize their expenses, so they can now purchase more TAX FREE LAND, and claim private property for perpetuity.

    Just imagine the tax revenue for the schools if they had to pay even $500 an acre for taxes. I pay $3500 for my little 1/2 acre.
    That's $750,000,000 (750 MILLION dollars) they are being gifted every year so they can ban people from using their "precious game lands."


    According to the PDF in an above post -

    "Pittman-Robertson Funds also have made a difference for state game lands. Since this federal funding began in 1937 as a federal excise tax of sporting arms and ammunition, it has helped finance the acquisition of about 190,000 acres of state game lands. Without that federal assistance, the Game Commission still would be reaching for land to amass 1.5 million acres"




    Also - when hunting season comes, I still ride state parks. They are PARKS. Hunters can swoon over their 1.5 million acres of "private property" to hunt. Stay the F off the State PARKS.

    Now, sell passes for riding (as was talked about in 1996 and they said "screw you") where for example, riders can ride anytime during NON HUNTING SEASON ONLY, and ONLY on Sundays or after sunset during hunting seasons, and I'll be a little more receptive to "sharing" state PARKS to hunters.

    Hunting season does not magically turn all land into holy grounds, where everyone else needs to stay off and avoid the areas.

  17. #17
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    I don't make the rules. I don't agree with a few of the PGC's policies, but I have to abide by them. I'm not by any means a PGC koolaide drinker either. To me it's not a big deal that I can't ride on their holdings. There are many other places to ride. Some fellas are a bit more upset, for a lack of better words, that they can't use their lands for recreation. Headed out for a night ride. Later.
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    What can I say? I lived next to a State Game Lands most of my life and its safe to say the following about the PGC:

    1. They are underfunded. The number of hunters is dropping, their costs are going up, and timber/gas drilling $ doesn't cover it.
    2. They have too much land to manage with the personnel they have.
    3. They appear to be pretty bureaucratic, fairly inflexible, and God help you if they perceive a trangression on or near "their" property.
    4. They claim to manage wildlife resources for all PA residents but it really is about hunters and the holy trinity of deer, pheasants, and turkey.
    5. Its "their" land and at least it'll never be housing developments (which I appreciate so much I'll forgive a multitude of sins) but let's be honest here, if you're not a hunter don't expect them to do any favors for you. I sure don't.

  19. #19
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    For me the issue is about my local 1% of the 1.5 million acres that are close to heavily populated areas. Little wedges of land in Mt. Gretna that are not even useful for hunting as they might be 20 yards wide between a rail-trail and someones back yard. Yet this is exactly the area where a popular local trail runs through and the PGC can drive their trucks nearby enough to ticket some unsuspecting rider that's decided to explore an unmarked trail off the rail-trail. SGL 145 and 156 tracks that seperate Lancaster and Lebanon Co. have a million people living in a 20 mile radius. Lots of trails, unfortunately the wrong agency is managing these tracks, because this few thousand acres should be a state park....hunting AND recreation. The rest of the 1.5 million acres of SGL's the hunters can have to themselves for all I care.

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