resolution to An examination of the benefits of conservation lanes in Pennsylvania is being re-presented by a Democratic state legislator in the House of Representatives in this session.
State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, said in a joint sponsorship note this week that she is again proposing a resolution to allow a study on the “current status, management, and benefits of conservation corridors” in Pennsylvania in hopes that the study will help state entities better protect wildlife and residents. .
Conservation — or wildlife corridors — are strips of natural habitat that connect populations of wildlife that would otherwise be separated by roads, farmland, and other man-made obstacles.
Pennsylvania ranks consistently high among the states with the most auto accidents involving wildlife.
a 2022-23 study State farm insurance claims involving animal collisions found that Pennsylvania ranks 6th among states with a 1 in 57 chance of a single driver being hit by an animal.
At least 12 states have passed legislation or issued an executive order on wildlife corridors in recent years, including in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming, according to the national conference of state legislatures.
The new resolution will match human resources 74 of the 2021-22 legislative session, which the House Transportation Committee passed last March by a 24-1 vote, and HR670 of the 2019-20 session, and neither of them made it to the House floor for a full vote, Daley said.
Despite many previous failed attempts to pass the resolution, Daly is confident that this time it will be different.
“I feel very good,” Daly told the Capital Star, adding that she is particularly optimistic that the decision will move after February 7 special electionwhich could give Democrats in the House of Representatives a majority for the first time in more than a decade.
“I think that will make a difference in being able to move it relatively quickly,” said Daly. “It’s a really good time to get this thing done and get the study done so that we have this information.”
Mirroring the moves of Western states, the Pennsylvania representative raises the issue of conservation lanes
The study authorized by the decision will be conducted by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.
He will assist state agencies, such as the Game Commission and the Department of Transportation in their efforts to manage wildlife habitat, reduce forest fragmentation, and plan connectivity and crossings, “as well as preserve and promote Pennsylvania as one of the nation’s top destinations for outdoor recreational tourism.” January 30 note is reading.
“One of the attractions of this state is that you get to go out and see the animals and it generates revenue for the state,” said Daly, adding that people in Pennsylvania are “very supportive of bills and legislation that are beneficial to animals.”
According to the joint sponsorship memorandum, any recommendations reached as a result of the study will be forwarded to “government agencies and departments and, where appropriate, shared with nonprofit owners and the private sector.”
“We’re excited to see Rep. Daley’s plan to reintroduce this important legislation in this session,” said Molly Barzen, executive director of environmental advocacy group Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “Strengthening conservation corridors will protect sensitive species and preserve critical habitats across the state.”
Daly did not mention the cost of the study. But she said she was told by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee that the study could be completed without the need for additional staff support.
With the support of the Climate Caucus in the General Assembly and outside organizations such as Theodore Roosevelt maintenance partnershipDaley, a national nonprofit conservation organization, said it believes the asynchronous resolution, which only needs approval by the House, could pass the House at the end of this session.
“I’m more than hopeful that this session will see some action,” Daly said.
The House of Representatives is currently scheduled to meet again on February 27.