As part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's efforts to highlight its ongoing habitat improvement initiatives, the public is invited to take part in upcoming tours of several State Game Lands between Sept. 22 and Oct. 14. All tours are free.
"State Game Land tours provide the opportunity for those who enjoy nature to come out and talk with our employees – the people who are directly responsible for managing and protecting these lands," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "With autumn nearly here, these tours will provide a chance to see some of the best scenery the Commonwealth has to offer. These tours afford hunters and trappers and others who appreciate wildlife the opportunity to see how the Game Commission is spending hunting and furtaker license fees to acquire and to manage these lands for wildlife."
In 1919, the Game Commission was granted authority to purchase lands for the protection, propagation and management of game and wildlife, and to provide areas for public hunting and trapping. Since that time, the Game Commission has acquired more than 1.4 million acres in 65 of the state's 67 counties (Philadelphia and Delaware counties being the exceptions).
With few exceptions, State Game Lands were purchased using revenues from hunting and furtaker license sales; State Game Lands timber, coal, oil, gas and mineral operation revenues; the state's share of a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, known as the Pittman-Robertson Program; from Working Together for Wildlife artwork and patch sales; and from the Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management stamp and print sales.
Information on local tours is as follows:
Luzerne/Wyoming Counties: Sunday, Oct.7, State Game Land 57, which consists of nearly 44,600 acres. Registration to be held from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the headquarters building complex on SGL 57, Ricketts Station, Forkston Township, Wyoming County.
Game Commission personnel will be on hand to explain various points of interest, including wildlife habitat improvement projects. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are strongly recommended for this 14-mile, self-guided driving tour.
The tour will begin at the SGL 57 maintenance building and travels Southbrook, Shale Pit, Beech Lake, and Mountain Springs Roads back to the building. The tour will pass habitat improvement projects completed by the SGL 57 Food and Cover Corps crew, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association and Ducks Unlimited. Representatives from the Game Commission and conservation organizations will be on hand to explain the projects and answer questions.
Directions: Take Route 487 north at the intersection of Route 118 and proceed 7.5 miles and turn onto a dirt road near SGL sign on right. Travel on dirt road one-tenth of a mile to a "Y" intersection and proceed left three-tenths of a mile to the headquarters complex. Each vehicle will be provided a map and brief explanation of wildlife management programs being carried out on this magnificent tract of public hunting land.