By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A coalition of environmentalists and sportsmen alike are raising a red flag about legislation they say will weaken protections for endangered species in Pennsylvania.

The legislation, due to get a committee vote in the state House next week, would take designations of “threatened” or “endangered” species made by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, and the Department and Conservation and Natural Resources and make them subject to another agency, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

Josh First, a sportsman and self-described conservative (at lectern in photo), says if the aim of the bill is to pave the way for natural gas extraction or other business activities, it will not work.

“I say this as a Republican: this bill doesn’t do anything for streamlining the process.  It makes it miserable for everybody.  It’s going to boomerang and backfire on industry.  It’s not going to help industry,” he said.

The director of the Fish and Boat Commission contends the bill would dismantle 40 years of science-based decision-making on protecting threatened and endangered species.