Public Meetings on Deer Management

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For the third year in a row, Dr. Gary Alt, Pennsylvania Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor, is keeping his pledge to meet with the public about the agency's new direction in deer management. After the Board of Game Commissioners gives preliminary approval to the 2002-2003 deer seasons and bag limits, Dr. Alt will begin a lecture series on Jan. 16, in Dauphin County, that will conclude on March 28, in Bucks County.

"The issue of deer management invokes strong emotions from many people," Alt said. "Over the past few years, the Commission's deer management program has undergone major changes in order to bring our deer herd into balance with the available habitat and to move toward a more natural breeding ecology between older-age bucks and does.

"To continue our public education and outreach efforts, I will be cooperating with several local partners and legislators to hold a third round of public meetings to explain why we believe this new direction will work."

In formulating this year's schedule, Dr. Alt is trying to visit communities and counties that were not part of the lecture series during the first two years. Also, the program this year will provide a shorter-version of the basic biology of deer and history of deer management and focus more attention on where the deer management program is heading and the status of the ongoing research projects.

Details are being finalized for many of the meetings. A complete schedule of the public presentations will be maintained on the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Following is a listing of public meetings that have been finalized for January.

Elizabethville, Dauphin County: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m., Upper Dauphin High School auditorium, 220 North Church Street. The event is being hosted by Rep. Mark McNaughton;

Kingston, Luzerne County: Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m., Wyoming Valley West Middle School, Chester Street. The event is being hosted by Rep. Phyllis Mundy, and co-hosted by Reps. Kevin Blaum, Todd Eachus, Tom Tigue and John Yudichak;

Middleburg, Snyder County: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m., Middleburg High School, East Main Street. The event is being co-hosted by Reps. Daniel Clark and Russ Fairchild and the North Central Pennsylvania Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association;

Bloomsburg, Columbia County: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Bloomsburg Early Bird Sports Expo, in the Industrial Building at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, off Exit 232 (Buckhorn) of Interstate 80. Admission to the Expo is $5, and under 12 years of age is free;

Harrisburg, Dauphin County: Thursday, Jan. 24, 9 a.m., Room 205, Speaker Matthew J. Ryan Legislative Office Building, State Capitol. The event is a public meeting of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Bruce Smith;

Somerset, Somerset County: Thursday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., the Community Room of The Factory Shops at Georgian Place (formerly known as the Horizon Outlet Mall), 317 Georgian Place. The event is being hosted by the The Tribune-Democrat and co-hosted by Sen. John N. Wozniak, and Reps. Ed Wojnaroski Sr. and Thomas Yewcic;

Carrolltown, Cambria County: Friday, Jan. 25, 6:30 p.m., Carrolltown Fire Hall, 100 South Main Street. The event is being hosted by the The Tribune-Democrat and co-hosted by Sen. John N. Wozniak, and Reps. Ed Wojnaroski Sr. and Thomas Yewcic;

Richland, Cambria County: Saturday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m., Boscov's auditorium, second floor in The Galleria Mall, 500 Galleria Dr. The event is being hosted by the The Tribune-Democrat and co-hosted by Sen. John N. Wozniak, and Reps. Ed Wojnaroski Sr. and Thomas Yewcic;

McConnellsburg, Fulton County: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m., McConnellsburg High School auditorium, 151 East Cherry St. The event is being co-hosted by Sen. Robert Jubelirer, Rep. Dick Hess, Game Commissioner Samuel J. Dunkle and the Game Commission Southcentral Region Office; and

Boiling Springs, Cumberland County: Thursday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m., Boiling Springs High School auditorium, 7 Forge Rd. The event is being co-hosted by Reps. Will Gabig and Bruce Smith.

Additional meetings will be announced as details are finalized.