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Group Accuses ALCS President of Being an 'Environmentalist'

October 2, 2007

-----Original Message-----
From: James Slinsky []
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 1:52 AM
To: Sen Charles McIlhinney; Sen Joe Scarnati
Cc: Sen Wayne Fontana; Sen Vincent Fumo; Sen Robert Wonderling; Sen Robert Robbins; Sen Robert Regola; Sen Lisa Boscola; Sen John Pippy; Sen John Eichelberger; Sen Charles McIlhinney; Sen Andrew Dinniman; Sen John Gordner; Sen Mike Folmer; Rep Scott Perry; Rep Anthony DeLuca; Rep Brad Roae; Rep Bryan Cutler; Rep Chris Sainato; Rep Dan Moul; Rep Dan Surra; Rep David Millard; Rep Ed Staback; Rep Edward Wojnaroski; Rep Garth Everett; Rep Gary Haluska; Rep Gordon Denlinger; Rep Harry Readshaw; Rep John Hornaman; Rep Keith Gillespie; Rep Keith McCall; Rep Mark Gergely; Rep Mark Keller; Rep Martin Causer; Rep Merle Phillips; Rep Michael McGeehan; Rep Michael Peifer; Rep Mike Hanna; Rep Neal Goodman; Rep Peter Daley; Rep Rob Kauffman; Rep Samuel Rohrer; Rep Tim Mahoney; Rep Tina Pickett; Rep Todd Rock
Subject: Josh Furst PGC Commission Candidacy

Dear Senator Scarnati and Senator McIlhinney,

As Unified Sportsmen of PA's consultant I want to share a bit of inside information with you. A certified letter is on its way to you from their new President, former PGC Commissioner Steve Mohr, strongly opposing the confirmation of Josh Furst as a PGC Commissioner. I must tell you, I am in total agreement with their position.

We, the sporting class of PA, know very little about Josh Furst. From what we do know he appears to be an environmentalist. This maybe an unfair characterization because we have never seen him speak nor have we seen anything he has written. As you are aware the PGC Board is already stacked with "kill the deer" advocates. We do know Josh Furst is strongly supported by DCNR and the Administration. We also know the last person to interview Josh Furst was the Secretary of DCNR.

These facts surrounding his nomination are clear evidence for the need of curative legislation. I will be quite frank. Our sporting class is well aware of the politics in the PGC Commissioner appointment game. Actually, they have had enough of the current system. There is growing demand to redesign the entire process.

Once again, I will be in Harrisburg to visit with you this session and discuss the discontent and downright anger of our sporting class, statewide. They are unhappy with the deer management program, the Commissioner selection process, the condition of our forests, the lack of habitat work by DCNR and the PGC and the lack of soil remediation strategies after a timber cut.

There is absolutely no support for a license increase for the PGC. These are the political realities. Although, we do support Representative Dan Surra's legislation limiting a PGC Commissioner term to four years.

We have much to talk about in the coming weeks. Our sporting class strongly supports resolving many of our long-term problems with the PGC and DCNR. We hope you agree.

Jim Slinsky
Syndicated Writer and Broadcaster
Consultant to Unified Sportsmen of PA


2533 North Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
October 2, 2007

Hon. Joseph Scarnati, President Pro Tempore
Pennsylvania State Senate
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Dear Senator Scarnati,

           Last week I was provided a copy of correspondence sent to you from the United Sportsmen of Pennsylvania about my nomination to the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of directors and the upcoming confirmation vote in the senate.

           While vague and poorly written, USP's letter is the best endorsement I have yet received from any organization or individual regarding the PGC nomination and senate confirmation.

           Hopefully it is not lost on you that they did not even manage to spell my name correctly (it's hard to do that). Nor did they contact me or invite me to discuss my positions with their members. Instead, they vaguely refer to me as an 'environmentalist,' with whatever positive or negative implications that may have, and simply state that they are opposed to my confirmation to the board. How could they be opposed if they do not know what I stand for, or what my positions are? It's unfortunate that they did not engage me, because my understanding is that I agree with them on at least one major issue, that being Sunday hunting. Advancing good policy usually involves working closely with people that you may otherwise disagree with on many other issues. USP's letter demonstrates clearly how ineffective and out of touch their leadership is on the critical issues facing sportsmen today.

           Intelligent people may debate and disagree on issues of substance, but USP's letter defies intelligence and common sense, and lacks any substance. Instead they waste your time and mine with name-calling. Had they bothered to look into my background (forget looking into how to spell my name), they would have noted my many years of high-level professional work at the national, state, and local level through federal and state government, non-profit organizations and for-profit business, as well as my published positions on a variety of natural resource-related issues. Evidently they would be surprised to see that I have accomplished significant, tangible gains for wildlife and hunters through capitalism and business ventures. If that is counted as a negative, then what can the USP members believe in or promote that is representative of sportsmen's interests?

           You and your staff met with me earlier this year and we enjoyed a substantive and very positive discussion about policy issues and my candidacy. If, as a result of USP's correspondence, any further questions arise about my qualifications, experience, or positions on PGC-related issues, then I would surely welcome the opportunity to meet with you again. Thank you for your time, and I very much look forward to a confirmation vote on the senate floor before hunting season takes off.

            Yours very truly,

            Josh First

cc: Hon. Jeff Piccola, PA State Senate


* The Pennsylvania Federation of Sporstmen's Clubs supported Firsts's confirmation.
** The USP is considered a fringe group.
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