Hunting Dispute Causes Community Debate Outside Pittsburgh
Outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania exists two neighboring townships, one of which is Mt. Lebanon, and the other is Scott Township. In 1996, an interesting story played out as Mt. Lebanon purchased a large park that lie within Scott Township. Since then, there has been a long standing debate over whether hunting is or isn’t allowed in the park, and an even bigger debate about what township gets to make the decision.
In a Scott Township meeting earlier this week, the biggest item on the agenda was titled: Motion to approve settlement agreement between Scott Township and Mt. Lebanon regarding hunting in Twin Hills Park.
At the meeting, a woman from Mt. Lebanon spoke to Scott officials and explained that, beginning in February and extending through to March, a sharp-shooter led hunt will take place in Twin Hills Park. The hunt will include the strategic setup of bait stations in order to have the deer hunted in only places deemed entirely safe. The purpose of the hunt is to reduce the area’s deer population in an effort to curb the high number of vehicle collisions with deer.
After the woman’s statements, Scott’s commission, a man by the name of Bill Wells, simply stated, “We’re not permitting any shooting in Twin Hills.”
Though this statement was made, Scott’s police chief has made it clear that state hunting laws trump any local ordinances, and that he would have to abide by them. Basically, if the hunt is done within the realm of state laws regarding hunting, there really isn’t much Scott Township can do to stop, arrest, or prosecute those who hunt in the park. Still Scott town commissioners stand by the fact that they do not want hunting to take place in a residential park. The main reason behind their reluctance to allow hunting is due to the simple fact that children playing and live weapons do not mix.
Come next week, it will be interesting to see if the scheduled hunt does, in fact, go off as planned.