Approval of Pennsylvania’s wildlife action plan important to all

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently approved an updated version of Pennsylvania’s guide for management and protection of wildlife and fish species in highest need of shielding. This endorsement is important to all inhabitants of our state, not merely those connected with the outdoors.

What this means is that the Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission of this state will remain eligible for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grant Program. With both agencies in dire need of additional funding resources, this is a highly valuable source.

Utilizing the best obtainable science, the commissions drew up a plan for the commonwealth’s future wildlife plans, which is required by Congress every 10 years to insure continued federal funding.

The essence of this program is to help and secure a future for those species and places most in need of protection, particularly wildlife and fish species that could become extinct if their dwindling habitats are not protected.

Now I’ve met and spoken with many a hunter and fisherman who call Pennsylvania home, and who could not care less about any other form of wildlife, fish and aquatic species and the habitat they need, beyond what they can shoot or catch, and only the places where they may find game species. They hold the opinion that they only pay for their licenses to make certain there is plentiful game to hunt and desirable fish to catch to support their outdoor endeavors.

I don’t trust these type of people because of their shortsightedness and greed. I am appalled that they don’t recognize that the simple act of saving a swamp to help a rare frog or turtle will in turn help brook trout in the small stream that swamp empties into. And that will, in turn, help any fish or wildlife that live downstream.

Of course, there are even a greater number of people who are not hunters and fishermen who do not consider the value and real worth a small wetland supporting wild creatures and flora provide, and how these places are the basis and foundation for their own being.

Nature is an endless cycle of dependence from one area to the next, of one varied habitat to the next, moving along steadily, growing and growing until at last reaching all people in the form of clean water, large spaces of fertile land to grow food, areas to live, and clean air to fill our lungs — and it all begins in a humble and silent manner in some faraway little place that is most often out of sight and out of mind.

Humans, all of us, must understand that every habitat and every living thing within a living habitat, is worth saving, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may seem, because without the effort to make certain these life forms and places exist, we will eventually doom our own existence.

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