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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Game and Fisheries Committee Approves Bills
Impacting Land Owners, Enforcement

HARRISBURG – The House Game and Fisheries Committee today approved four bills, including one sponsored by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) that clarifies the authority of conservation officers.

House Bill 1584 outlines the authority of wildlife and waterways conservation officers to issue written or verbal warnings in lieu of making arrests or issuing citations.

“While this authority is available to conservation officers currently, it is not specifically spelled out in law and therefore may not be being used as much as it could be or should be,” said Causer, who serves as chairman of the committee. “As a former police officer, I know how important it is to exercise discretion in law enforcement.”

The committee also approved Senate Bill 648, sponsored by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams/Cumberland/ Franklin/York), which protects the rights of property owners who allow hunting on their property. The bill ensures those landowners are not subject to prosecution for violations committed by hunters on their land.

Finally, the committee approved two bills sponsored by Rep. Gary Haluska (D-Cambria). House Bill 681 removes the authority for commissioners of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to enforce powers granted to waterway patrolmen. House Bill 1144 amends the definition of “bow” to include crossbows and any device held in place by a brace secured around the body.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.

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