Friday, November 22, 2019

Wildlife Biologist Kristen Schnepp-Giger Confirmed By Senate As A Member Of Game Commission Board

On November 19, the Senate confirmed Kristen Schnepp-Giger  of Warren County as a member of the Game Commission’s Board of Commissioners after being nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Schnepp-Giger, fills a vacant District 1 spot on the Game Commission’s board. The district includes Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.
Schnepp-Giger has been a wildlife biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation since 2011, when she was hired to fill a cooperative position with the Allegheny National Forest overseeing stewardship and challenge-cost-share funds to implement more than $1.6 million in wildlife habitat enhancement work on the forest.
“I’m excited about learning from the vast experience and knowledge that is currently possessed by the members of the board. I am also looking forward to offering a perspective that is currently lacking, that of a younger woman, who is trying to keep her kids engaged in hunting while leading an active lifestyle,” Schnepp-Giger said. “Everyday demands on our lives are key reasons hunter numbers are on the decline, and I want to be part of the solution to help families become more engaged in hunting and to create a culture where hunting is a more relevant part of our lives and our communities.”
A dedicated parent and hunter, Schnepp-Giger is passing along the tradition to her two young children and many others through NWTF and agency hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation programs in the state.
“In 2016, I lost my husband, and the father of our kids,” Schnepp-Giger said. “Less than two weeks after Jory’s funeral, I had the honor of watching both of my kids (then 6 and 8 years old) harvest their first deer. That was an experience that cannot be put into words. It was only possible because of the Mentored Youth Program in Pennsylvania.”
After that experience, she started a grief-recovery program that centers around the outdoors. “Moments on Target” is designed to connect youths-- and the adults in their lives-- who are grieving the loss of a loved one with healthy, fun outdoor activities.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said, with a full complement of commissioners again on the board, it’s a win for Pennsylvania’s hunters and trappers, who are certain to receive thoughtful and dedicated representation from Schnepp-Giger, while noting that she brings a new voice to the board.
“The future of our hunting and trapping heritage in the Commonwealth is dependent upon reaching younger hunters and keeping them engaged in the sport,” Burhans said. From her perspective as a young professional mother of two children, Kristin intimately understands these issues and the challenges that other individuals in her position face. I am excited about her bringing that perspective to the Board of Commissioners.”
“I’ve had the pleasure to interact with Kristen and get to know her through her work at the NWTF,” Burhans said. “She’s a consummate professional who undoubtedly will hit the ground running as commissioner and fit in fantastically with Game Commission staff and the rest of the board.”
Board President Tim Layton, from District 4, expressed similar enthusiasm.
“Game Commissioners typically come from hunting backgrounds, and they often are heavily involved in sportsmen’s groups or conservation organizations, or volunteer time to advance hunting and trapping, and Kristen shares in this,” Layton said. “Her professional background, coupled with her personal experiences, will help her in making an immediate impact in her role as commissioner, and I look forward to working with her.”
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[Posted: November 22, 2019]

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