Conservationists Testify on Invasive Species in the Commonwealth

Screenshots of Brian Pilarcik and Jody Groshek providing testimony.

On August 24, 2021, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a virtual public hearing on the negative impact of invasive species in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s conservation districts provided testimony at the hearing. Conservation district representatives outlined the importance of developing and funding a statewide invasive species program.

Brian Pilarcik is the Watershed Specialist for the Crawford County Conservation District. Pilarcik spoke about the aquatic invasive species, hydrilla, in the Pymatuning Reservoir. Pilarcik’s testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/BPilarcik.

The second conservation district speaker was Jody Groshek, the Communications and Outreach Director at McKean County Conservation District. She spoke about the importance of developing a coordinated statewide effort to address the threat of invasive species to Pennsylvania’s economy.

Groshek’s full testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/Groshek.

Pennsylvania’s conservation districts support cooperative invasive species work, which will benefit all Pennsylvanians.

Click here to read the press release. 

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Indiana and Clearfield County Conservation Districts Join Agriculture Summit

Photo provided by Indiana County Conservation District.

On August 9, 2021, Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson held an Agriculture Summit at Mount Aloysius College. Indiana County Conservation District Manager Doug Beri Jr. and Agricultural Specialist Marisa Matlin exhibited with Clearfield County Conservation District staff.

Panelists including Congressman John Joyce, PA Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and PA Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert discussed various issues and legislation impacting Pennsylvania farmers.

A video of the event is available here

 

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Public Hearing on Invasive Species

On August 24, 2021, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold a public hearing on the negative impact of invasive species in PA. The webinar will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The meeting is virtual, but you must register to attend. This is a Senate Committee Meeting

This hearing is crucial to show the PA General Assembly the importance of developing and funding a statewide invasive species program.

Click here to register. 

Two conservation district staff will testify during the session.

Panel 1

Secretary Redding, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Secretary Dunn, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Executive Director Shaeffer, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Panel 2

Jayson Harper, Professor of Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University

Tom Kase, Resource Manager, Kane Hardwood

Dean Spencer, Owner, Shanesville Fruit Farm

Brian Pilarcik, Watershed Specialist, Crawford County Conservation District

Panel 3

Sara Grove, Professor of Political Science, Shippensburg University

Sarah Whitney, Director, Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Jody Groshek, Communications & Outreach Director, McKean County Conservation District

Josh Thiel, Invasive Species Section Chief, New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Closing Remarks: Secretary Redding

 

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Potter County Conservation District Holds In-Person Municipal Breakfast

Photo of the municipal breakfast provided by PCCD.

The Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) held a Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Roads (DGLVR) Municipal Breakfast. The event took place on May 18, 2021, at the Coudersport Firehall and Senior Center. In all, 22 representatives from 11 townships were in attendance.

Speakers included Jacob Tomlinson of Trout Unlimited and David Morrison and Eric Nevel of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies. PCCD DGLVR Technician Andrew Mickey and the local Quality Assurance Board presented program updates and preliminary project movement.

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Conservation District Week Wraps Up

Screenshot of Senator Gene Yaw (left) and Senator Elder Vogel Jr. (right) commenting on Conservation District Week.

On April 21, 2021, Senator Gene Yaw and Senator Elder Vogel Jr. offered remarks in support of Senate Resolution 50, recognizing Conservation District Week in Pennsylvania. Click the above links to view the videos.

Thank you to conservation districts that reached out to their legislators and the public last week to share the great work you do! 

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Conservation District Week Resources Available

Recognized by both the Pennsylvania State House and Senate, April 18-24, 2021, will be “Conservation District Week.” During this week, district offices will hold conference calls and virtual meetings with legislators.

Conservation district resources are available here.

Resources include:

Please take advantage of these resources PACD created for conservation districts to use.

Pennsylvania’s conservation districts thank Governor Tom Wolf and members of the PA House and Senate for supporting the districts through the state budget.

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Potter County Conservation District Holds Legislative Luncheon

Potter County Conservation District Manager Jason Childs presents during the legislative luncheon.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Potter County on March 6, 2020, for the district’s legislative luncheon.

The luncheon was held at the beautiful Susquehannock Lodge and Trail Center. It was a productive afternoon with district and legislative updates and a question and answer session. The event is a way to showcase efforts and discuss conservation issues and policies throughout the Commonwealth. The district staff and board have been busy planning and constructing numerous projects to conserve our natural resources in Potter County. Also, the district has been actively assisting and educating farmers and the general public on local resource concerns.

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Conservation District Week 2020

The Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives have declared May 3-9, 2020, as “Conservation District Week.” During Conservation District Week, districts across the state are encouraged to hold events for legislators. This is an opportunity to showcase the projects your conservation district works on every day that improve the lives of your county’s citizens.

The Capitol Legislative Day will be Wednesday, May 6. All districts are welcome to join PACD in Harrisburg to educate our elected officials on conservation district activities. If you come to Harrisburg, we will schedule meetings with your elected House and Senate members. We will also schedule a meeting with appropriations staff and the Governor’s office.

Conservation District Week is also an opportunity to thank members of the PA House and Senate, as well as the Governor, for supporting the districts by providing the funds necessary to preserve and protect our Commonwealth’s natural resources through the budgetary process.

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Conservation Districts Meet with House Agriculture Committee

(Left to right): PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, McKean County Conservation District Manager Sandy Thompson, Blair County Conservation District Manager Donna Fisher, and Lancaster County Conservation District Manager Christopher Thompson speak at a meeting of the PA House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on November 20, 2019. This image is a screenshot from the livestream at www.repcauser.com.

On November 20, 2019, representatives from the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) met with the PA House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. The majority committee chair is Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) and the minority committee chair is Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne). The informational meeting discussed the operations and activities of the county conservation districts.

Presenters included PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh who explained why conservation districts were created. Lancaster County Conservation District Manager Christopher Thompson spoke about interaction between conservation districts and the agricultural community. Blair County Conservation District Manager Donna Fisher spoke about stormwater concerns. McKean County Conservation District Manager Sandy Thompson gave an overview of the Dirt and Gravel/Low Volume Road Program in PA.

Click here to read the press release.

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