Commissioners Lament ‘Divisiveness’ Of Mt. Lebanon Deer Culling Debate

The most disappointing part of Mt. Lebanon’s deer management program that ended abruptly last week was “the divisiveness and mean-spirited rhetoric” that split the community, commissioners said at their meeting Monday night.

“For the good of the community, we must try to reset the dialogue,” President John Bendel read from a letter at the meeting.

But opponents of the program said there is still work to be done.

They again lined Washington Road before the commission’s discussion session and subsequent meeting.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2015/03/24/Commissioners-lament-divisiveness-of-Mt-Lebanon-deer-culling-debate/stories/201503240130

Watch: It’s An Eaglet! First Eagle Cam Egg Hatches, Lurches Around

Thousands got their first peek at the long-awaited first eaglet Tuesday morning when one of the parents stood up in its nest high in a tree near Codorus State Park in York County.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s live-streaming video on its phenomenally popular Eagle Cam captured the moment. To watch live, click here.

Shortly after 8 a.m., the two eagles did what is known as a  nest exchange, altering incubating duties. When one of the adults moved out of the way, a wet gray blob was revealed, partially still in the egg split in half. The adult eagles were vocal right before the eaglet is exposed.

“I saw it wiggle around in the nest. So cool,” exclaimed a viewer on the Hanover Eagle Watch Facebook page. More than 60,000 people have joined that online group to experience the drama playing out in the Eagle Cam nest.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/watch-it-s-an-eaglet-first-eagle-cam-egg-hatches/article_7137061c-d222-11e4-b664-6764e837c516.html

Pittsburgh Bald Eagles’ Egg Expected To Hatch This Week

For birdwatchers and fans of the great outdoors, 2014 was a red letter year when a pair of nesting bald eagles along the Monongahela River in Hays successfully hatched and reared three young eagles.

The pair started with two eggs this year but lost one about a week ago when it broke. The remaining egg is expected to hatch sometime this week.

Though it is normal for eagles to hatch one or two eggs each spring, eagle sightings remain something of a novelty in the region. Bald eagle fans regularly flock to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail just west of the Glenwood Bridge to watch the pair on the hillside above Route 837.

Worldwide, millions keep tabs on the eagles, day and night, by way of a video stream on the Pittsburgh Bald Eagles website ( http://triblive.com/news/projects/pittsburgheagle)

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/7992465-74/eagles-eagle-bald#ixzz3VENJJ1Ow
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Mt. Lebanon’s Controversial Deer-Culling Program Gets Underway

Mt. Lebanon’s controversial deer-culling program began late Monday night with another protest, though all the activity surrounding the cull scared deer away from at least one of the corrals and the rest of the night appeared to pass uneventfully.

About 15 anti-culling protesters gathered starting at 9 p.m. in the parking lot for Bird Park off Beadling Road, hoping to document the arrival of the contractors and their departure with any deer, said Dina Alberts, 27, of Carnegie.

“Our goal is to go to each (commission) meeting with up-to-date information, truthful information, and the only way to get it is to see it with our own eyes,” said Alberts, who grew up in Mt. Lebanon but joined the protesters who feel the culling will be inhumane and ineffective.

The group broke up and headed home by 11 p.m. without seeing any activity, though other protesters who’d visited Robb Hollow Park were approached by police and asked to leave earlier in the evening, said Leila Sleiman, who helped organize the protest at Bird Park.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7909414-74/deer-benner-culling#ixzz3U0JgoFgs
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Technical Issues Could Delay Mt. Lebanon Deer Cull

The cull of 150 white-tailed deer in Mt. Lebanon, scheduled to start tonight, might be delayed for technical reasons.

Brian Benner of Wildlife Specialists in Wellsboro, Tioga County, said Sunday that some necessary equipment wasn’t in place.

The company also plans to request an addendum to its Pennsylvania Game Commission permit, he said, expanding the number of workers it may use during the operation.

“I’m not sure if we’ll start Monday or not. It depends on how much equipment we can set up,” Mr. Benner said. “We still have to set up some cameras and different technology that lets us know where the deer are.”

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2015/03/08/Mt-Lebanon-deer-cull-may-be-postponed/stories/201503080211

First Hays Eaglet Fledges, 2 Still In The Nest

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first of the three Hays eaglets took flight Friday on national Bald Eagle Day, designated by Congress to celebrate the successful recovery of the bald eagle in North America.

At 10:14 a.m., eagle watchers monitoring live video from a wildlife camera watched as one of the three eaglets hopped off a tree branch behind foliage and exited the picture in its first flight. People gathered on the Great Allegheny Passage trail reported the adolescent eagle soared near the nest accompanied by its mother.

“Yes, we can confirm this. It’s a fledging,” said Bill Powers, president of PixController, the security camera company that donated the camera in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors/2014/06/20/First-Hays-eaglet-fledges-2-still-in-the-nest/stories/201406200176#ixzz35HyztrjF

11 State Game Lands In NEPA Have Gas Leases

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gas leases on state game lands in Bradford and Susquehanna counties have earned the Pennsylvania Game Commission $32 million in signing bonuses since 2008.

The Game Commission signed leases on 11 parcels of game land in the two counties. No leases have been signed on game lands in Wyoming and Luzerne counties. Royalties vary from 20 to almost 29 percent. Some gas companies are deducting the costs of moving and marketing the gas from royalty payments, the same as they do for private leaseholders.

Mike DiMatteo, who oversees oil and gas development on game lands as chief of the commission’s division of environmental planning and habitat protection, confirmed that gas companies have deducted post-production costs from royalty payments, although never enough to send the Game Commission a royalty statement with a negative balance, as some private landowners have reported.

The practice has drawn anger even from Republicans supportive of the industry, including Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport. Both named Chesapeake Energy Corp. as a major offender.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/11-game-lands-in-nepa-have-gas-leases-1.1679176

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Pittsburgh Bald Eagles Live Cam

A pair of bald eagles have taken up residence in a Pittsburgh neighborhood and two of their three eggs have hatched.  If you want to see the live video feed of the eagles, click here: http://www.pixcontroller.com/eagles/index-old.htm

Pittsburgh Post Gazette story about the eagles: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors/2014/03/28/Experts-say-baby-eagle-is/stories/201403280187

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Wilkes-Barre Man Caught Growing Pot In State Gamelands

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Wilkes-Barre man faces charges for allegedly growing 170 marijuana plants on state game lands in Dennison Township.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in conjunction with the state Office of Attorney General, today filed charges in the case against Thomas Dalton, 47, of Airy Street, is charged with one felony count of manufacture of a controlled substance, one felony count of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Dalton also is charged with violating the Game and Wildlife Code by unlawfully traveling by motorized vehicle on state game lands, possessing a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, using game lands for commercial purpose, and additional violations.

Charges were filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Gerald Feissner in Freeland. Dalton was released without bail on his word he will appear in court Dec. 27.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/877269/Wilkes-Barre-man-caught-growing-pot-in-state-gamelands

Bald Eagles Thriving In Pa., Game Officials Say

Photo of a Bald Eagle taken at the Toledo Zoo.

Photo of a Bald Eagle taken at the Toledo Zoo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – State game officials say the number of bald eagles in the commonwealth has grown dramatically three decades after efforts to restore the population began.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 252 eagle nests have been confirmed throughout Pennsylvania so far this year, with nesting sites in 56 of the 67 counties.

That represents a big increase from last year’s midyear report, which noted only 206 confirmed nests in 51 counties.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/20130707_ap_ea42d3a5d96c40afb210588e01834b43.html#47HrtTsGBHsx7kiI.99

Amish Farmer Charged With Killing Young Eagle

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Upper Leacock farmer fed up with birds of prey killing his free-range chickens has been charged with shooting an immature bald eagle.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission charged Paul A. Zook, 28, of the 100 block of Geist Road with two misdemeanors of the state Game and Wildlife Code.

One count is for killing an endangered or threatened species and one count is for unlawful taking and possession of protected birds.

Zook, an Amish farmer, could face up to two years in jail and fines up to $5,000 if found guilty and depending on the feelings of the judge.  In addition, a judge could require Zook to pay up to $5,000 to “replace” the eagle.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/806328_Amish-farmer-charged-with-killing-young-Eagle.html#ixzz2Ika5B9Sh

Sunday Is Rare Opportunity To Drive Through Wilderness Near Harrisburg

It’s not often that Lancaster countians are offered the opportunity to drive through a wilderness area surrounded by wildlife, steep mountains and autumn colors only an hour away.

And for two of the last three years bad weather has washed out the popular one-day-a-year, self-guided driving tour on an old railroad bed through the haunting and beautiful Stony Creek Valley, a mere 16 miles north of Harrisburg.

But repairs have been made and unless another freakish storm blows through, the best Sunday drive around will take place on State Game Lands 211 in Dauphin and Lebanon counties on Sunday.

For one day only, the Pennsylvania Game Commission opens its gates to public vehicles, allowing the public a one-way leisurely drive for 17 miles through the heart of this heavily wooded narrow valley that traces lovely Stony Creek.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/753046_Sunday-is-rare-opportunity-to-drive-through-wilderness-near-Harrisburg.html#ixzz28qaRI3IV

Second Bear Spotted Near Pittsburgh Mills Mall

The Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer experienced a rush of new clientele this weekend: two bears in two days.

Unlike a small, 150-pound bear that perused electronics at Sears on Saturday night and prompted an evacuation of the mall, a second larger bear was more interested in the dining establishments.

Around 11:45 p.m. and about an hour and 45 minutes after wildlife conservation officers tranquilized the small bear in Sears, the second 250 to 300 pound bear emerged near the Olive Garden parking lot.

Frazer police Officer Tim Christian said he and his fellow officers warned employees outside the Longhorn Steakhouse to leave as the female bear wandered over to the restaurant.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-north/second-bear-spotted-near-pittsburgh-mills-mall-645841/#ixzz21SjL1kJP

Rabid Fox Attacks Woman In Allentown

City of Allentown from east side

City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A woman walking her dog in east Allentown late Tuesday morning thought she saw a small, reddish dog dart out of the bushes near an apartment complex.

Until she saw its teeth and tail.

By then, it was too late.

The fox sunk its teeth into her ankle. The woman grabbed the animal with her right hand and tried to throw it. The fox latched on to her hand.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-woman-rabid-fox-attack-20120511,0,1722157.story

Game Commission Gives $250,000 To Hawk Mountain For Amphitheater

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Image via Wikipedia

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has given Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County $250,000 toward the construction of an amphitheater that will bear the commission’s name.

The 2,500-acre sanctuary in Albany Township welcomes about 70,000 visitors a year and is considered one of the best places in the Northeast to watch the annual autumn raptor migration. It is in the midst of a $10 million capital improvement campaign.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission Amphitheater will replace the current structure, where sanctuary educators present live raptor programs and school and other groups gather.

“The current amphitheater … offers no sheltered stage area and the wooden benches retain moisture,” sanctuary President Jerry Regan said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-hawk-mountain-ampitheater-20120316,0,1907579.story

Centre County Rabies Cases Climbing

A Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) seen near a b...
Image via Wikipedia

First rabid beavers in Philly, now drooling raccoons in State College???  Looks like 2011 is the year of the rabid animal.

Rocky Raccoon was tooling around the main campus at Penn State University on June 30th when authorities shot the animal because it was drooling, running into things and falling down (guess only coeds are allowed to do that).  The raccoon tested positive for rabies (it hadn’t crashed a frat party).  This is rather alarming as there are tens of thousands of students at PSU’s main campus and a rabid raccoon throw into the mix could have been very dangerous.

So far this year there have been 8 diagnosed cases of rabies in Centre County.  In all of 2010 there were only 5 cases of rabies.  The next most recent rabies incident prior to last Thursday happened in nearby Gregg Township.  On June 27th a dog and rabid raccoon fought.  The dog was vaccinated but is being quarantined.