HB 1483 WILL BENEFIT 153

SPECIES of PENNSYLVANIA WILDLIFE


HB 1483 will directly benefit the populations of 153 species of Pennsylvania wildlife: 41 mammals, 86 birds, 18 reptiles, and 8 amphibians. According to the Ruffed Grouse Society and State of Ohio, at least 60 of these species are in precipitous decline, and will continue to decrease in numbers without direct intervention and habitat enhancements resulting from HB 1483. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYGQVIODiqQ&feature=em-subs_digest.)

Many of these wildlife species are in decline in Pennsylvania due to the continuing loss of early-successional habitat – a decades-long management failure of two of Pennsylvania’s three conservation agencies. While other states including Ohio, Arkansas, Minnesota, New York, and West Virginia are taking urgent actions to address this ongoing crisis, Pennsylvania continues to ignore broad-scale habitat enhancements throughout the nearly 4,000,000 acres of combined state game lands and state forests.

HB 1483 was specifically designed as a rapid-response mechanism to quickly address this declining wildlife habitat crisis over the entire 6,000 square-mile system of state-owned public forest lands in Pennsylvania. HB 1483 will not only improve habitat for deer, grouse, and other game animals, but for the over 150 combined game and nongame wildlife species that have been and continue to be ignored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The following list does not include the many dozens of beneficial insects, especially at-risk pollinators such as bumble bees, honeybees, and moths and butterflies. Special emphasis is taken by HB 1483 to address these critical insects, with a showcase program for Monarch butterflies.

HB 1483 will initially create an estimated 400,000 acres of early successional (young seedling and sapling stage) forests, associated coniferous stands for critical winter cover, abundant seed and berry-producing understory vegetation as year-round food and cover, succulent grasses and legumes throughout habitat enhancement areas, and perimeter borders of apple and nut-bearing trees. It has been determined that this state-of-the-art habitat enhancement and conservation plan could increase the overall carrying capacities for some wildlife species by 100-200% over the first 10 years of implementation, while other species could improve by 500% and possibly more over time.

There are no wildlife or forest management techniques that could improve the viability of wildlife populations and the health of the forest ecosystem more than could be accomplished by passage of HB 1483. At PGC’s current rate of habitat creation, it would take the Game Commission 100-200 years to accomplish what HB 1483 would achieve in 10-15 years.

Finally, the resulting social and economic benefits for jobs and family businesses within the outdoor industry, for rural communities, and for the Commonwealth’s economy have been estimated by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. About $1.16 billion will be generated per year, with an additional $92.5 million per year in government tax revenue. Implementation of HB 1483 will require no public tax dollars. It is further estimated that PGC will receive an increase of $8.1 million per year in new hunting-license sales. From increased timber sales, PGC is projected to receive an additional $25-57 million per year, and DCNR an estimated $42-97 million per year. There is no scientific, social, nor economic downside to passing HB 1483, and it will resolve the greatest conservation mistake in the over-one-hundred-year history of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Following are Pennsylvania wildlife species that will benefit after passage and implementation of HB 1483.

I. MAMMALS (41 Species)


• Common Opossum
• Masked Shrew
• Northeastern Pygmy Shrew
• Least Shrew (PA status endangered.)
• Northern Short-tailed Shrew
• Hairy-tailed Mole
• Little Brown Bat (As of 2016, declined over 99%.)
• Northern Long-eared Bat (As of 2016, declined over 99%. Federal status threatened.)
• Indiana Bat (As of 2016, declined over 95%. Federal status endangered; PA status endangered.)
• Eastern Small-footed Bat (As of 2016, declined 24%. PA status threatened.)
• Silver-haired Bat
• Tri-colored Bat (Eastern Pipistrelle) (As of 2016, declined nearly 94%.)
• Big Brown Bat (As of 2016, declined nearly 18%.)
• Eastern Red Bat
• Seminole Bat
• Hoary Bat
• Evening Bat
• American Black Bear
• Raccoon
• Fisher
• Short-tailed Weasel
• Long-tailed Weasel
• Striped Skunk
• Coyote
• Red Fox
• Gray Fox
• Bobcat
• Elk (Population at risk from advancing CWD.)
• White-tailed Deer (By 2005, intentionally reduced 90-95% in some regions, and 60% statewide.)
• Groundhog
• Eastern Chipmunk
• Deer Mouse
• White-footed Mouse
• Southern Red-backed Vole
• Meadow Vole
• Woodland Vole (Pine Vole)
• Woodland Jumping Mouse
• North American Porcupine
• Snowshoe Hare
• Eastern Cottontail
• New England Cottontail

 

II. BIRDS (86 Species)


• Ruffed Grouse (Declined 83% in NY; at a 50-year low in PA and declining.)
• Olive-sided Flycatcher (Declined 91% in NY.)
• Golden-winged Warbler (Declined 89% in NY.)
• Field Sparrow (Declined 78% in NY.)
• Eastern (Rufous-sided) Towhee (Declined 89% in NY.)
• Canada Warbler (Declined 81% in NY.)
• Brown Thrasher (Declined 89% in NY.)
• American Woodcock (Declined 68% in NY.)
• Yellow-billed Cuckoo
• Black-billed Cuckoo
• Carolina Wren
• Gray Catbird
• Nashville Warbler
• Yellow Warbler
• Chestnut-sided Warbler
• Common Yellowthroat
• Yellow-breasted Chat
• American Redstart
• Northern Oriole
• Indigo Bunting
• Common Redpoll
• White-throated Sparrow
• Goshawk
• Wild Turkey (Declined over 30%.)
• Turkey Vulture
• Cooper’s Hawk
• Red-shouldered Hawk
• Red-tailed Hawk
• Broad-winged Hawk
• Golden Eagle
• Eastern Screech Owl
• Barred Owl
• Whip-poor-will
• Great Crested Flycatcher
• Black-capped Chickadee
• Tufted Titmouse
• White-breasted Nuthatch
• Wood Thrush
• Veery
• Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
• Black-and-white Warbler
• Kentucky Warbler
• Hooded Warbler
• Ovenbird
• Eastern Bluejay
• Rose-breasted Grosbeak
• Black-throated Green Warbler
• Cedar Waxwing
• Cerulean Warbler
• Yellow-rumped Warbler
• Magnolia Warbler
• Hermit Thrush
• Merlin
• Sharp-shinned Hawk
• Northern Saw-whet Owl
• Great Horned Owl
• Long-eared Owl (PA status threatened.)
• Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (PA status endangered.)
• Red-breasted Nuthatch
• Swainson’s Thrush
• Golden-crowned Kinglet
• Ruby-crowned Kinglet
• Blue-headed Vireo
• Black-throated Blue Warbler
• Purple Finch
• Pine Siskin
• White-winged Crossbill
• Red Crossbills
• Northern Bobwhite (Quail) (PA virtually extirpated due to habitat loss.)
• Ruby-throated Hummingbird
• Acadian Flycatcher
• Willow Flycatcher
• Least Flycatcher
• Eastern Wood Pewee
• White-eyed Vireo
• Carolina Chickadee
• Winter Wren
• Red-eyed Vireo
• White-eyed Vireo
• Prairie Warbler
• Mourning Warbler
• Cardinal
• Rose-breasted Grosbeak
• Dark-eyed Junco
• Fox Sparrow
• Song Sparrow

 

III. REPTILES (18 Species)


• Wood Turtle
• Eastern Box Turtle
• Five-lined Skink
• Broad-headed Skink
• Northern Coal skink
• Eastern Gartersnake
• Short-headed Gartersnake
• Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
• Mountain Earthsnake
• Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
• Northern Ring-necked Snake
• Northern Black Racer
• Smooth Greensnake
• Eastern Ratsnake
• Eastern Kingsnake
• Eastern Milksnake
• Northern Copperhead
• Timber Rattlesnake

 

IV. AMPHIBIANS (8 Species)


• Marbled Salamander
• Eastern Red-blacked Salamander
• Northern Slimy Salamander
• Wehrle’s Salamander
• Eastern Spadefoot (PA status threatened.)
• Eastern American Toad
• Spring Peeper
• Mountain Chorus Frog

Prepared by John Eveland for The Governor and Pennsylvania General Assembly • January 7, 2018 • www.friendsofpennsylvaniawildlife.org

 

 

 

 

 

©2011 • Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania