Some people have wondered lately whether Pennsylvania’s State Game Lands should be considered public property. While many people have tried to present a case for this, the fact is that these lands are not public for a few reasons. No matter where you fall on this debate, there are some details that should not be ignored.
First and foremost, people need to keep in mind that these lands were never purchased with use by the public in mind. In fact, they were bought by hunters so they could hunt and trap without infringing on anyone else’s property. Of course, some of this land was also purchased by private landowners, but they donated their land knowing that it would be owned by the state. Hunters and trappers spend money on licenses and other fees that go towards keeping these lands in top shape for them and other people who come along in the future.
The problem is, many people still use these lands without realizing they are privately owned and maintained. Whether people use bikes, horses, or even ATVs to cross this land, they are causing damage that they aren’t paying for. Fortunately, there are efforts in place that may soon require people to buy a permit in order to use these lands, even if they don’t plan on hunting.
State Game Lands deserve to be kept in good shape because they are meant for hunters and paid for by hunters. If other people want to use the land, they should have to pay the same costs those hunters and trappers do today. What are your thoughts on this issue? We would love to hear what you think!