|Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Executive Director John Arway formally presented the agency’s 2010 Annual Report to the House Game and Fisheries Committee today. In his remarks, Mr. Arway noted the PFBC’s commitment to its five-year strategic plan, highlighted accomplishments from the past year, and continued to emphasize the need for alternative funding to implement the agency’s mission.
Transcript of testimony
Commission President William Worobec played a major role in the strategic planning process and has been a strong advocate for using the plan to guide agency decision-making.
“When the Board of Commissioners approved the five-year strategic plan in July, we told Director Arway that we expected him to use the plan daily as a guide for how he allocates staff time and budgets,” he said. “Executive Director Arway and the rest of the team have done a great job of focusing on the priorities laid out in the plan, tracking time and effort, and keeping the Commissioners, the angling and boating public, and our other partners apprised of progress in achieving our stated goals.”
As soon as (and, in some case, before) the plan was adopted, the PFBC began implementing activities to further the seven major issues and associated goals identified in the plan. Highlights from 2010 ranged from expanded efforts to survey previously unassessed waters to document the presence of wild trout to the completion of management plans, applied research, and on-the-ground projects targeting specific waterways, habitats, and game and non-game species.
The PFBC also took steps to better understand Pennsylvania’s anglers and boaters and improve their connection to the water. At the same time that it was looking outward toward aquatic resources and its customers, the PFBC also took steps to evaluate, optimize, and improve agency operations, including information technology, property and infrastructure management, and human resources.
During his remarks to the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Mr. Arway spent considerable time explaining the activities that he, other staff, and Commissioners undertook in the past year to help ensure the financial stability of the PFBC.
“When I assumed this position one year ago, I told you that one of my top priorities was to find a source of alternative funding to implement our mission on behalf of current and future generations and the aquatic resources we are entrusted to serve,” Mr. Arway said. “It is no coincidence that the pursuit of innovative funding is also a foremost goal of our strategic plan.”
“Fishing licenses, boat registrations, and federal funding tied to fishing and boating were sufficient to sustain our operations in the past. But, expanded responsibilities, coupled with a downward trend in license sales that gets worse and worse with every license increase, have gotten us to the point where we can no longer expect anglers and boaters to foot the bill for the services we provide to all Pennsylvanians,” added Mr. Arway.
“We will continue to push for alternative funding in 2011, including compensating the Commonwealth for the consumptive use and degradation of water, reimbursing the PFBC for the services it provides to all Pennsylvanians and businesses, and allowing for the issuance of creative license packages designed to retain and recruit anglers,” he said.
The PFBC 2010 Annual Report and its Strategic Plan can be found on the agency’s website at: http://fishandboat.com/promo/annualreport/2010ann_rpt.pdf and http://fishandboat.com/stplan.pdf.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.