By Rep. Anita Kulik
The end of summer seems to be fast approaching, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy all that the season has to offer. Farmers Markets have an abundance of fresh produce, wines and honey, all locally grown and made. I’ve even started to see local apples at the markets – a sign that fall is coming – but the hot weather still screams summer.
As the heat continues, please be sure to keep yourself and everyone around you hydrated.
You probably have heard stories about children being left in vehicles. This is never safe, but particularly is not safe with the hot weather. And, while we are thinking about safety issues it is always worth reminding ourselves that our pets, like people, should not be left in hot cars nor be left outside for long periods of time, and should be provided with plenty of water.
Tick season is also with us and over the past couple of months there have been increased incidents of tick bites. Because of the warm, wet spring and hot, wet summer, we are seeing an increase in tick activity in 2021. Pennsylvania ranks fourth among the states in the rate of new Lyme disease cases.
While we tend to take precautions with our pets – we all use flea and tick collars and medicines – we sometimes forget to take precautions for ourselves. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses must be taken seriously, especially when we are outdoors in the woods and tall grass areas. Proper clothing and the use of insect repellent are a must, much like the use of sunscreen. The tick season typically lasts from April to October.
We are fortunate to have the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania that is available to provide tick testing in areas at risk for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
If you are experiencing problems, you can contact the Lab at https://www.ticklab.org/. If you have been bitten by a tick, you should contact your PCP.
State Parks are thriving this summer, much like last summer when they provided a refuge from COVID-19. There are many within easy driving distance from our communities, including Moraine, Raccoon, McConnell’s Mill and of course, Point State Park.
Many more are not that far a trip, and still more run through our mountains and towns across the Commonwealth. Late summer and fall are perfect times to get out and enjoy all the state parks have to offer.
This fall, members of the Game and Fish Committee – of which I am a member – are planning to meet with representatives from the Game and Fish and Tourism commissions to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on outdoor sports and our parks. COVID-19 has brought about increased interest in fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreational activities. The renewed interest in these activities continues to bring people from within the Commonwealth, as well as out-of-state tourists, into our beautiful forests and mountains.
No changes have been made for the start of the different hunting seasons. Archery season, general season, and late season hunting are soon approaching.
If you have any questions relating to obtaining licenses or obtaining any information on the different seasons, please reach out to my office or the office of your local State Representative.
A change is being made soon regarding the opening day of trout season. Under the proposed rule changes, there will be one uniform opening day across the Commonwealth.
The regular trout season will begin on the first Saturday of April each year, which will provide an earlier and longer season for anglers.
A single opening day will become standard, as opposed to the current separate regional opening days for some counties. During COVID-19 the practice of having a single day opener has worked out well and was well supported by local anglers.
Mentored Youth Fishing Day will occur one week prior to opening day and trout stocking will also occur earlier. The Fish and Boat Commission has announced that there will be no fee increases for the coming season.
Late summer and fall are perfect times to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether at state parks, county parks or local parks and trails, there is much to be enjoyed. Check your local municipal websites for upcoming markets, concerts and festivals.
A Kennedy resident and attorney, State Rep. Anita Kulik has served Pennsylvania’s 45th House District since 2017.