Prove your humanity

This story comes from our partners at WPSU.

A plan to bring the American marten — a mink-like member of the weasel family — back to Pennsylvania is on hold, at least for now.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission voted 6-3 on Jan. 27 to table plans to reintroduce the marten in Pennsylvania. The vote followed a lengthy study, development of a reintroduction and longterm management plan, and public input process.

They received nearly 1,000 comments from the public, with 92% of the general public supporting the plan.

However, according to the Game Commission, a survey of hunters found that 37% supported marten reintroduction, 32% opposed it and 31% were neutral. That survey had nearly 9,000 responses.

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A slide with a photo of the American marten and bullet points of a plan.

A slide from the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Jan. 27, 2024, meeting when the board voted to table plans to reintroduce the American marten.

Martens are omnivores, and one concern has been that they could eat turkey and pheasant eggs. However, research found that they would not have a major impact on native species.

Several commissioners said the number of surveyed hunters who were “neutral” in the survey was high, and that they want to have more time to get input from hunters. Other questions included whether the forest is still suitable to sustain martens.