We have all read that President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan for Supreme Court Justice.  I propose another nominee for an important office – Janet Nyce. 

I first met Janet Nyce at a PA Game Commission (PGC) meeting in Harrisburg. I knew right from the start that she was my kind of woman-genuine, outgoing, hard-working, and a lover of the outdoors.  Since then, she has become one of my most important heroines.  It would take me pages to say all the great stuff that Janet has done for wildlife and gun owners, so I will just mention a few things about Janet that makes her so exceptional.    

This week, I am especially honored to know Janet because she received the 2010 Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award from Wayne LaPierre at the NRA National Convention in Charlotte, NC.  “I’m really proud to have received the Marion P. Hammer Award.  She is quite a lady and it is an honor to receive something that has her name on it,” Janet told us.  She spent four days at the Convention, where she and 79,999 other folks listened to speeches by Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. 

Janet, like Marion Hammer, exemplifies activism and tenacity.  Ms. Hammer was the first woman President of the NRA, creator of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, and fought to secure passage of the Florida Right-to-Carry legislation.  Janet is a founding member and President of the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation.  She is also Chair of the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.  In that role, she mentors 30 youth about issues and policies concerning conservation and how they can affect the outcomes.   

I shared a great adventure with Janet and some other women when we attended the American Wilderness Leadership School, sponsored by Safari Club International, in Jackson, WY.  We hiked up into the Bridger Teton National Forest and were thrilled by the sights and sounds of the elk there.  Janet has been a member of SCI for many years and served as President of the Lehigh Valley Chapter. 

In 2005, Janet was nominated for the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year Award.  She did not win, but was a finalist, and she quietly donated her prize money to the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Visitor Center.  The donation was used by the PGC for conservation education displays and murals.  It is just one example of Janet’s generosity and unpretentious nature. 

Janet and her husband Jim love to hunt every chance they can.  Janet hunts with a rifle, shotgun, inline muzzleloader, flintlock and compound bow.  When she isn’t hunting, she is teaching others how to hunt and shoot.  She is a NRA Certified Instructor in shotgun,  teaches the courses Refuse to be a Victim and Women On Target Instructional Shooting Clinic, and serves as a Range Master at the Pennsylvania NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge.   

At one time, Janet aspired to become a PA Game Commissioner for her area surrounding Montgomery County.  It is my hope that she will once again pursue this goal when the seat becomes vacant in 2011.  She exemplifies all the reasons why women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting and shooting fraternity.  Though she has hunted for over 40 years, she still gets excited at the sound of a gobbler or at the success of a child who harvests a pheasant. 

She understands the legislative process and policy making.  She sees that, in order for hunting to survive as we know it, we must think in terms of decades and generations, and not just the next hunting season.  She is a role model for youth and women, and understands the importance of embracing all new hunters into the fold, regardless of gender, social standing, or what and how each of us hunt. 

Most important, Janet is a true leader.  Sadly, I feel that Harrisburg has no leadership today, and we need people like Janet who can look beyond party building, raising money and getting re-elected and do what is right for our Commonwealth and our children. 

Conserving our natural resources takes real leadership.  So I hope that you’ll join me in encouraging Janet to seek a seat on the PA Game Commission.  She will work hard and represent hunters and wildlife in ways that will benefit both.  She will bring a lifetime of experience and dedication to the board. 

Marion Hammer said it best when she stated “It’s people like Janet Nyce who embody the true meaning of the National Rifle Association.  Cultivating and instructing the next generation of hunters and shooters, as Janet has for many years, is the best, most direct way of preserving freedom for all Americans.” 

Janet Nyce–wife, mom, hunter, shooter, and nominee for PA Game Commissioner District 8.  RP