The Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have long managed the wild mammals, birds and aquatic life of Pennsylvania. Included within that responsibility is the task of designating certain species as threatened or endangered. As of 2016, there are twenty one species in Pennsylvania categorized as “endangered” and six categorized as “threatened.” Protecting endangered species and their habitats is an essential part of conservation work.
In 2013-14, proposed legislation would have transferred the ability to declare a species endangered or threatened from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), or Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the legislature. IRCC is made up of five members, two each appointed by the legislative caucuses, and one by the governor. This legislation would have also required the PGC, PFBC and DCNR to create a database of the location of all threatened or endangered species in the Commonwealth and share the information on that database with anyone who asks. The legislation was not adopted.