The Pennsylvania Chapter of BHA was established in the spring of 2014. The current leadership consists of Co-Chairs Jeff Sample and John Wedge and Secretary and Treasurer Anthony Campisi. Chapter membership currently stands at approximately 30. The PA chapter joins recently established New York and New England as the sole BHA chapters east of the Mississippi.
Throughout its first year of existence, the primary objective of Pennsylvania BHA has been to expand its membership by increasing the visibility of BHA in Pennsylvania and the Northeast. To accomplish this, PA has combined its efforts with those of the New York and New England chapters to produce an “Eastern” version of the BHA brochure, which more effectively appeals to prospective members in the Northeast.
Within the state of Pennsylvania, one of our major concerns is the exploitation of our public lands for resource extraction, primarily of oil and natural gas. To increase the impact of our small group, we continue to seek out other like-minded organizations with which to partner. One of these is the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness, an organization that previously received an endorsement from BHA. The Allegheny National Forest in northwest Pennsylvania is one of the largest federal land holdings in the state. The forest contains considerable oil and gas drilling, while less than 2 percent of it is protected as wilderness. Consistent with the mission of BHA, FAW seeks to foster an appreciation of wilderness values and benefits and to increase the acreage within this valuable public resource.
Another issue of concern to the PA chapter is the use of drones in hunting-related activities, which we feel is inconsistent with fair chase practices. Recent legislation has sought to prevent the use of drones to disrupt lawful hunting and fishing activities within Pennsylvania, but it does not prohibit the use of drones by hunters themselves. Thus, the PA chapter hopes to follow the lead of other state chapters to widen the anti-drone laws in our state.
Please contact us to learn how you can get involved with Pennsylvania BHA!