Pennsylvania’s wildlife faces a variety of threats. These threats often are related to both natural and human-caused factors. As the state agency responsible for managing Pennsylvania’s wildlife, the Pennsylvania Game Commission must mitigate these threats whenever possible.

Diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease, mange, and tuberculous have the potential to significantly affect wildlife populations. Though these diseases do spread naturally, their spread is increased significantly when wildlife is unnaturally concentrated.

When people feed wildlife, they escalate this concentration.

In recent years, the occurrence of both CWD in deer and mange in bears has increased. The Pennsylvania Game Commission takes the threat of wildlife diseases very seriously and must take appropriate steps to mitigate wildlife diseases and their spread. While this is not an easy problem to solve, it is serious and needs to be addressed.

A citizens advisory committee made up of major stakeholders recently assisted Game Commission personnel in looking at the problems associated with wildlife feeding and proposing possible solutions.

The Game Commission in coming weeks is hosting multiple open-house exhibits throughout the state and is encouraging the general public to stop by and learn more about this issue. The open-house format allows visitors to casually view information about the problem and possible solutions. Agency staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Locally, the events will be held July 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Warren High School in Warren, and Aug. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Delmont Fire Department in Delmont.

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