PACD/SCC Winter Meeting Wraps Up

Jessica Espenshade of National Wildlife Federation leads a “Grow More” session during the Director’s Breakfast on January 23, 2020.

The PACD/SCC Winter Meeting was held in Boalsburg, PA, from January 22-23, 2020. In addition to the business meetings of PACD and the State Conservation Commission, sessions were held on educational opportunities through the PA Game Commission and effective conservation messaging from the National Wildlife Federation.

A 50/50 raffle was held during the meeting. A total of $134.50 was raised for the PA Envirothon!

Click here to view photos from the event. 

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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Application Period Opens

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic level and Level II). Conservation district agricultural staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities, which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.

This training is appropriate for agricultural conservation technicians, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field staff, nutrient management technicians, Chesapeake Bay technicians, and others in agricultural positions with less than one year of professional experience, or less than three years’ experience if the employee did not attend a previously held Level I ACT training.

There is limited space, and conservation district watershed specialists will be cut. Brand new hires will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Existing NRCS and conservation district staff with agriculture-focused positions will get priority for the 30 seats available. Others will be considered as space is available.

Basic Level
April 6-10, 2020

Level II
April 27-May 1, 2020

If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted. Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

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Save the Date for Streambank Protection Course

PACD is hosting a two-day short course on Fluvial Geomorphology and Natural Channel Design Indices and Stream Restoration/Rehabilitation and Streambank Protection. The course will be held on March 24 and 25 at the Clinton County Conservation District. Please add this meeting to your calendar.

Registration and a draft agenda will be shared soon. Questions? Contact Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org.

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Intro to Conservation Planning Training Held

NRCS Resource Conservationist Gwendolyn Crews wraps-up the Intro to Conservation Planning training on November 14, 2019.

Twenty-eight students completed the Intro to Conservation Planning Course in Grantville, PA, November 12-14, 2019. The training was targeted to entry-level conservationists and included classroom and field experience. The students were introduced to the conservation planning process in Pennsylvania.

Participants attended the three-day training free of charge thanks to the generous sponsorship of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Conservation Commission. PACD provided administrative support for the course.

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Watershed Specialists Meet in State College

Watershed Specialist Meghan Rogalus with the Bucks County Conservation District won Best of Show in the 2019 Watershed Specialist Photo Contest for her photograph “Secluded Spot on the Tohicken” in the Water as Art category.

Over 80 attendees, including 66 watershed specialists, participated in the 19th Annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting at Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, PA, October 2-4, 2019.

Sessions included new tools for planting riparian buffers, grants and resources, and updates on Growing Greener. Thursday morning there was a concurrent track for new watershed specialists. The last day was reserved for a watershed restoration and riparian buffer tour. The tour was hosted by the ClearWater Conservancy and the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife Program, the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, landowners Stan and Dar Smith, and Native Creations.

Each year, the watershed specialists hold a photo contest. This year, there were over 40 entries (the highest ever)!

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Lancaster County Conservation District Makes Manure Presentation Available to Other Districts

Photo of the initial slide in the LCCD PowerPoint presentation on manure management.

Dennis Eby, Outreach Coordinator at the Lancaster County Conservation District (LCCD), participated in the “Working with Plain Sect” training that USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service recently held at Elizabethtown College. In his presentation, he mentioned that Lancaster County has success doing Manure Management Plans one-on-one with farmers. He used a PowerPoint that he adapted from the Penn State trainer presentations. The conservation district agricultural technicians that attended the training asked if that PowerPoint could be available for them to use. LCCD uploaded the resource to its website where it is accessible for anyone.

The PowerPoint can be download at http://lancasterconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/MMP-Manual-Web-Compressed-Final.pptx.

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Intro to Conservation Planning Course Slated for November

PACD is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the State Conservation Commission (SCC) to deliver a three-day Introduction to Conservation Planning course. This free training will take place November 12-14, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg (Hershey area) in Grantville, PA.

The event is for entry-level employees of all organizations in Pennsylvania delivering conservation planning technical assistance, including but not limited to, NRCS, conservation districts, SCC, farmland preservation entities, non-profits, and private consultants. The training is free, and lunch will be provided.

The online pre-requisite will be waived this year. Click here to apply by October 4. Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

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Save these Dates for 2020 Boot Camp Training

Mark your calendars for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic Level and Level II). Conservation district staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.

  • Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Basic Level
    April 6-10, 2020
    Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County)
  • Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training – Level II
    April 27-May 1, 2020
    Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County)

The application period will open in January. Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

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Registration Opens for Chapter 102 Fall Regional Sessions

Agenda Now Available

PACD is partnering with the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to facilitate Chapter 102 Fall Regional Sessions. These free sessions are for conservation district and DEP staff. Click here to view the agenda. Registration will be from 9:00 a.m–9:30 a.m., and the sessions will conclude by 4:00 p.m..

Click here for directions on how to register for these sessions.

Due to limited space, please limit registrations to 3-4 staff per office.

Northwest Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 1, 2019 (deadline to register is September 20)
DEP Northwest Regional Office, Meadville, PA

Southwest Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 2, 2019 (deadline to register is September 20)
Westmoreland Conservation District, Greensburg, PA

Northcentral Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 15, 2019 (deadline to register is October 4)
DEP Northcentral Regional Office, Williamsport, PA

Northeast Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 22, 2019 (deadline to register is October 11)
Back Mountain Regional Emergency Services, Dallas, PA

Southeast Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 29, 2019 (deadline to register is October 18)
DEP Southeast Regional Office, Norristown, PA

Southcentral Chapter 102 Fall Regional Session
October 31, 2019 (deadline to register is October 21)
Dauphin County Agriculture and Natural Resources Center, Dauphin, PA

For questions related to the Clean Water Academy, contact Jay Braund at jbraund@pa.gov.

Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org with questions about the fall sessions.

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Registration for the 2019 Watershed Specialist Meeting Begins

“Mayfly” by Nathaniel Straw, Assistant Watershed Specialist for the Lancaster County Conservation District. Winner of the 2018 CD Watershed Specialist Photo Contest.

Conservation district watershed specialists from across the state are registering for the 19th Annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting, which will take place at Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, PA, October 2-4, 2019. This year’s event features two days of educational sessions, plus an optional third-day tour of watershed restoration and riparian buffer projects hosted by the Penn State Ag and Environment Center.

Registration is open to all conservation district watershed specialists and to staff from the PA Department of Environmental Protection by invitation. Click here for more information or to register.

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