Two vacancies on the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners were filled recently when Haley J. Sankey, of Tyrone, Blair County, and formerly of Clearfield County, and Allen J. Di Marco, of Allenwood, Lycoming County were appointed to serve.

Sankey was selected from District 4, which includes Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties. This position was left vacant when former Game Commissioner Timothy S. Layton’s term expired.

Di Marco was selected from District 5, which includes Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties. This position was left vacant when former Game Commissioner Charles E. Fox’s term expired.

Commissioners are selected from eight geographic areas to ensure uniform representation throughout Pennsylvania. Once appointed, however, commissioners represent all Pennsylvania citizens, not just those from their districts.

Sankey and Di Marco were appointed on Dec. 15. Each will serve four-year terms.

Sankey grew up in Clearfield County, and she spends the bulk of her free time outdoors. She enjoys hunting, hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, and biking.

“If it involves being outside, I’ll be there,” she said.

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Sankey learned about managing soil and water resources, fish migrations and wildlife tagging and tracking in high school environmental science and biology classes, which further piqued her interest in conservation, and she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Practice and Policy from Juniata College in 1999. She then earned a master’s degree in Project Management from the Pennsylvania State University. Since 2011, Sankey has been teaching in the Energy and Sustainability Policy Program at Penn State’s University Park campus.

“I am extremely excited to be working on conservation issues at the state level as a member of the Game Commission board,” Sankey said. “I look forward to helping shape the policies associated with our resources and promoting the hunting and trapping traditions that Pennsylvanians love.”

With the new appointments, seven of the eight seats on the Board of Commissioners are filled. But with the initial four-year terms of District 6 Commissioner Michael F. Mitrick, of York, and District 7 Commissioner Stanley I. Knick Jr., of Dupont, already expired, and both commissioners remaining on the board through six-month extensions that are set to expire prior to the board’s next scheduled meeting on Jan. 28 and 29, further action must take place for the board to conduct official business in January.

If either Mitrick or Knick is reappointed to a second four-year term prior to the meeting, however, it ensures the board will have a quorum of six.

Still, Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the new appointments keep the board on track in continuing to make vital decisions impacting Pennsylvania’s wildlife. He welcomes Sankey and Di Marco to the board and wishes them well in their new roles.

“Both of the new commissioners bring a unique perspective and voice to the board and I look forward to seeing them pair their experience in the outdoors with their teaching and leadership skills for the benefit of hunters, trappers and all Pennsylvanians,” Burhans said.

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