More state game lands lost to drilling

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 6, 2016 9:31 AM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Game Commission has secured more than $14 million in revenue from a new lease on its oil and gas rights to game lands in the northern tier.

The lease on nearly 6-thousand acres of state game land in Bradford and Sullivan counties to the Texas-based Chief Exploration and Development will provide 14-point-6 million dollars up front, then 20 point 5 percent of royalties in the years to follow.

Game Commission Spokesman Travis Lau says the agency is in a fiscal crisis because the cost of hunting licenses has not been raised in 17 years. In the past the commission was able to use the revenue from oil and gas leases to buy new game lands.

"Some of it did go to offsetting our operating costs, and actually a lot of it did, but now that's more of the primary focus because it's money that is desperately needed to balance our budget," Lau said.

Lau couldn't say with certainty how apparent the effects of this new lease will be on hunters or wildlife in the area. 

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