ShareThis Page

Pennsylvania Game Commission cuts more staff

| Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, 5:54 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is cutting more staff.

Just before the end of the year — citing ongoing financial struggles — the commission furloughed two full-time employees and five limited-term workers. This past week, spokesman Travis Lau said the number of full-time positions cut is up to 28. Most involve letting positions already vacant go unfilled.

But a number of limited-term positions — as many as 45 for seasonal and contract workers — that might have been renewed won't be, he said.

As for the full-time positions that “we do not intend to backfill,” Lau said they include one job in human resources, four in the bureau of information and education, three in the bureau of wildlife management and three in the bureau of wildlife habitat management.

Seventeen other job cuts are tied to the commission's six regional offices.

In the southwest, the commission is going to make do without three wildlife conservation officers, one conservation officer supervisor, one game lands maintenance worker and one clerk typist.

Combined, four of the other five regions are down a mix of conservation officers, game lands workers, a regional biologist and clerk typist. The northwest is not losing any staff.

The wildlife conservation officer shortage may prove to be the most vexing.

When fully staffed, the commission has 135 field officers and six more in a special investigations unit. Nine of those spots are vacant.

Lau said it takes two years to set replacements from the time the commission says it is seeking applicants to graduation.

“With the cancellation of plans to run the 31st (training) class starting March 2017, the soonest we could start a new class would be March 2018, and those cadets would graduate in March 2019. By March 2019, possibly 40 positions are projected vacant: almost 30 percent of the field force,” Lau said.

Lawmakers haven't increased the cost of hunting and furtaking licenses since 1999, and the resulting funding shortfall is driving the cuts, Lau said.

Bob Frye is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.