PALTA Letter sent to House on 6/28/2016:
House Bill 2013, even as amended, remains bad public policy.
If the bill called on DCNR to undertake a study of the needs of Pennsylvanians and how the state might better meet those needs considering the experiences of other states, then that would make sense as a way to boost focus on the issues. However, the bill doesn’t do this; instead, it pursues a narrow agenda of promoting “hotels, inns, restaurants, amusement or water parks, outdoor sports facilities, golf courses,” etc.
On behalf of the 75 member organizations of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association and the 120,000 Pennsylvanians they count as members, I request your opposition to House Bill 2013—even as amended. Pennsylvania’s land trusts, having donated or bargain-sold numerous parcels of land to the Commonwealth for the creation and expansion of State Parks, want the state to build on its award-winning track record of responsibly managing the State Park system. HB 2013 is not a viable path forward.
DCNR through its recently completed State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan entertained robust discussions and recommendations on how parks may better serve Pennsylvanians. If members of the General Assembly feel that valuable perspectives were missed, then it’s appropriate to broaden the conversation and initiate new explorations on how State Parks may better serve Pennsylvanians. Existing channels, such as DCNR’s advisory committees and the joint legislative committee, seem like appropriate starting points.
Thank you for your consideration.
Andrew M. Loza
Andrew M. Loza, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association