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Pennsylvania Game Commission Provides State Game Lands Maps on the Internet

Pennsylvania Game Commission Provides State Game Lands Maps on the Internet Pennsylvania Game Commission Provides State Game Lands Maps on the Internet

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Game Commission has begun to place its popular maps of State Game Lands on its website ( just in time to accommodate hunters heading out for deer season, which begins statewide on Monday, Nov. 26.

The topographic maps depict contour lines, parking areas, trails, food plots and other features. Bringing them to the website has been a goal of the state's wildlife management agency for some time.

"Placing these State Game Lands maps on the website provides an extremely important service to hunters and trappers," said Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross. "It gives them the opportunity to view our 1.4 million- acre State Game Lands system in the comfort of their home or office. Picking a place to hunt on State Game Lands just got a whole lot easier!

"The addition of these maps to our website will help Pennsylvanians become more familiar with the Game Commission's land holdings, and also will accommodate non-resident hunters who are interested in coming to hunt our state, but aren't familiar with the outstanding public hunting opportunities we provide."

The Game Commission began buying State Game Lands in 1920. In 1936, the game lands system topped 500,000 acres. In 1965, the agency's land holdings exceeded one million acres. Today, the State Game Lands system is greater in size than the state of Delaware. Each year, hundreds of thousands of outdoors enthusiasts hunt, trap, fish and hike these lands.

Without these public lands, Pennsylvania would lose some of its most critical wildlife habitats, and important hunting and trapping areas.

"The State Game Lands system was built acre by acre with revenues from hunting and furtaker licenses," noted Greg Grabowicz, Game Commission Land Management Bureau director. "It's a tremendous agency asset and has immeasurable value to wildlife and Pennsylvanians. Showcasing the system on the Internet will acquaint people with the Game Commission's ongoing and extraordinary effort to preserve rural Pennsylvania and wildlife habitat.

"To truly appreciate what State Game Lands provide and the extent of the agency's holdings, visit our website and get acquainted with these wild lands," Grabowicz said. "Game lands are purchased first and foremost to preserve wildlife habitat and to provide public lands for hunting and furtaking. Use them responsibly and safely."

The agency's Bureau of Automated Technology Services spearheaded the effort to develop the website's new "State Game Lands Maps" section.

"Webmaster John Schellenberger worked diligently to package these sportsmen's maps for the upcoming hunting seasons," said Robert Strailey, Bureau of Automated Technology Services director. "The result is a user- friendly reference that provides both low- and high-resolution maps. The on-line maps have a zoom feature and are arranged in county-by-county listings.

"Of course, we recognize that everyone doesn't have a computer or Internet access, and that will limit, to some degree, who can take advantage of this opportunity," Strailey explained. "But the Game Commission, like every other state and federal government agency, cannot ignore America's growing dependency on and infatuation with the Internet. It's where many of us go for everything from news to lottery numbers to Christmas presents and trip directions."

The new, printable Internet maps were not developed to replace the hard- copy State Game Lands maps -- also known as "Sportsmen's Recreation Maps" -- currently sold by the agency for $1 each. In fact, the on-line maps currently cannot match the quality and durability of the hard-copy maps. But the Internet maps will increase the public's accessibility to the maps, which currently are available at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters and on a limited basis at region offices, and provide a means to get acquainted with unfamiliar State Game Lands.

The maps will be presented in an Adobe Acrobat package to accommodate printing and viewing. They can be accessed by visiting and clicking on the "State Game Lands Maps" icon. Visitors will be routed to a map table of contents. State Game Lands will be listed county-by-county. If portions of a State Game Lands are situated in more than one county, it will be listed with all involved counties. From the table of contents, visitors can select either a low- or high-resolution map. The main differences between the two are that high-resolution maps offer better quality and have longer download times.

"Putting State Game Lands maps on the agency's website has been one of our most frequently received public requests since the Game Commission's homepage went on-line more than four years ago," noted Ross. "I'm confident the public will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. And when they do, I hope they take the time to check out the rest of our website, which truly is one- stop shopping for hunters, trappers and wildlife enthusiasts seeking news, information and quality merchandise."

The maps available on the website showcase most of the more than 300 State Game Lands. As new maps are created or updated, the maps on the website also will be added to or updated.

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r lewis | Posted: October 26, 2002

Maps won't display.

T.Clifton | Posted: October 17, 2002

I never could get the state website to come up on my computer so I guess it was of no help at all.