Begin Main Content Area

Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation

The Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation was created by the direction of Governor Tom Wolf through Executive Order 2015-13 on November 24, 2015.

Advisory Council Purpose

The purpose of the council is to provide a forum through which an open and forthright dialog will be fostered among a diverse group of outdoor recreation and conservation minded individuals, in order to provide the governor, commonwealth officials, and agencies with sound advice on matters pertaining to the conservation of Pennsylvania’s wildlife and other natural resources, and on ways to protect, promote, and enhance the outdoor heritage of the commonwealth.

Advisory Council Membership

Advisory council members are appointed by the governor. The advisory council can have up to 20 members.

Members must be Pennsylvania residents representing diverse interests and have a fundamental understanding of wildlife and the natural resources of the commonwealth.

Members also must respect hunting, trapping, angling, and other outdoor recreational activities as valuable and accepted priorities in determining wildlife and natural resource management.

They cannot be elected statewide officials, legislators, or officials/employees of certain state agencies or their family members.

Members are appointed for a one-year term and continue to serve until their successors have been appointed and qualified. A member may be reappointed for one or more additional terms.

Current members include:

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
William Andahazy
William Andahazy, Ed.D., is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast and resides in Mountain Top, Luzerne County. As a member of the Governor’s Council, he believes in maintaining old traditions and creating new ones through a quality Pennsylvania outdoors experience.

Doug Austen
Doug Austen has been a fisheries biologist and aquatic conservationist for more than 35 years. Austen is currently the executive director of the American Fisheries Society, the world’s largest and oldest professional society for fisheries and aquatic scientists, managers, and conservationists.

John Bane
A lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, John Bane has been an active sportsman for more than 30 years. A true outdoorsman, Bane takes full advantage of the commonwealth’s state game lands and DCNR recreational areas where he hunts and trains with his Deutsch Drahthaar, Remy. He is also an avid archery hunter and angler.

Charles Burchfield​
Charles Burchfield was raised in Blair County, Pa., attended the Williamsport Technical Institute, and served a four-year enlistment in the United States Air Force serving in Vietnam.

​​Jolene Connelly
Jolene Connelly is a veteran educator in the fields of music and English. From a young age, she found conservation to be important to her and now is a member of a number of outdoor organizations.

Elizabeth "Libby" Daugherty​
Elizabeth "Libby" Daugherty is a school administrator with more than 33 years in public education in Pennsylvania. Her entire career has been focused on doing what is best for children, and she works under the motto of engage, educate, and inspire.

​​​James “Jay” Delaney
James “Jay” Delaney, from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., serves as the city fire chief and emergency management coordinator. Delaney leads a fire department with 78 full-time employees and a $10 million budget.

Michael Dillon

Biography to come.

​James “Jim” Foster
​James “Jim” Foster first learned to love the outdoors hunting with his dad in the woods of northwestern PA. Later in life, Foster became an avid hiker and maintainer of trails.

Michele Kittell
Michele Kittell is executive director of the non-profit Wildlife Leadership Academy, whose mission is to educate and engage the next generation of conservation leaders.

Skip Klinger

Skip Klinger was born and raised in Palmyra, Pa., and continues to live in the area with his wife, Dayl. They have been married 34 years and have three daughters.

​Leo Lutz
Biography to come.

Carolyn Mahan
Carolyn Mahan is a professor of biology and environmental studies and co-chair of the environmental studies program at Pennsylvania State University Altoona. Mahan has a Ph.D. in wildlife science from the Pennsylvania State University.

​Benjamin Moyer
Benjamin Moyer is an award-winning writer, editor, and columnist whose writing on nature, outdoor recreation, and natural resource conservation appears in numerous state, regional, and national publications.

Paula Piatt
A native Pennsylvanian, Piatt ventured into the outdoors later in life, and in the past 30 years has become fully immersed in hunting, fishing, camping, and many other natural pursuits.

Spencer Simon
Spencer Simon was born in Pittsburgh and raised in the Hill District, the urban center of the city. Simon attended Pittsburgh Public Schools and graduated from a vocational school with a Commercial Art specialized diploma.

​Michael Steele
Michael Steele is H. Fenner Chair of Research Biology at Wilkes University. He’s been the Director of The Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and the Chair of Biology at the university since 2005.

Dan Surra
Dan Surra was born and raised in Elk County, and is a graduate of Penn State University with a bachelor of science degree in industrial arts education.

Jose Taracido

Jose Taracido is employed as the Farmland Habitat Program Supervisor of the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program at California University of Pennsylvania. As supervisor, he oversees the field operations of up to five field crews installing habitat improvements throughout Pennsylvania.

​Donald Williams
Donald Williams is an avid hunter, fisherman, conservationist, disabled hunter advocate, gun dog trainer, and field trailer.


Also through Executive Order 2015-13, Governor Tom Wolf created the Governor’s Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.


The purpose of the youth council is to identify effective strategies for engaging younger generations in the conservation and preservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources and the enhancement of the commonwealth’s hunting and fishing heritage.


The youth council is comprised of up to 20 individuals, ages 14 through 18. Youth council members are to communicate their ideas and recommendations through the advisory council to the governor and the secretary of DCNR.

Current youth council members include:

  • Garrett Beal -- Shermans Dale, PA
  • Tony Bertolino -- Strongstown, PA
  • Gabi Dodson -- Johnstown, PA
  • Jordan Edmonds -- Hershey, PA
  • Laurie Enders -- Ford City, PA
  • Jonathan Fisher -- Northumberland, PA
  • Nathan Greenberg -- Pittsburgh, PA
  • Emery Gunsallus -- Mill Hill, PA
  • Micah Landreth -- Shippensburg, PA
  • Brenden Leahy -- Newtown, PA
  • Peter Livengood -- Dunbar, PA
  • Peyton Nuske -- Pine Grove, PA
  • Rachel Olver -- Beach Lake, PA
  • Nicholas Silvis -- Hershey, PA
  • Grace Stewart -- Camp Hill, PA
  • Benjamin Wolf -- Blossburg, PA

The current youth council coordinator and mentors are:

  • Tim Brandt -- Youth council coordinator
  • Amidea Daniel -- Youth council mentor; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Jeff Woleslagle -- Youth council mentor; DCNR