Susquehanna County Conservation District Legislative Tour

Harford Farm & Flower Market Owner and Operator Geoff Smeltzer (left) with PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding during the tour. Photo courtesy of the PA Department of Agriculture.

Forty-eight individuals attended a legislative tour hosted by Susquehanna County Conservation District on September 8, 2022. Participating dignitaries included: Agricultural Secretary Russell Redding, Tom Williams with Senator Lisa Baker’s office, Susquehanna County Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold, Susquehanna County Commissioner Judith Herschel, and Representative Jonathan Fritz. PACD North East Region Director Chuck Gould (Monroe County Conservation District) represented PACD at the event.

Tour stops included Aldrich Homestead, a seventh-generation innovative dairy farm; Harford Farm and Flower Market, a Certified organic vegetable farm with 49 acres of farmland specializing in organic produce and flowers; and a dirt and gravel road project site.

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Somerset Conservation District Holds Oven Run Ceremony

U.S. Senator Robert Casey spoke at the event. Photo taken by Emil Bove.

State Senator Patrick Stefano spoke at the event. Photo taken by Emil Bove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Oven Run Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Project Re-Dedication Ceremony was held on September 1, 2022. The tour highlighted the complete reconstruction of five AMD passive treatment systems on the Stonycreek River that will continue to be responsible for the historic improvement in water quality in the watershed. PACD 2nd Vice President Emil Bove (Westmoreland) represented PACD at Somerset Conservation District’s recent ceremony.

U.S. Senator Robert Casey, State Senator Patrick Stefano, PA Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer, former Congressman John Murtha’s Chief of Staff John Hugya, representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection, and local conservation groups spoke during the event.

Click here and here to read articles about the event.

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Conservation Districts Grateful for Budget Increase

Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts thank the Pennsylvania legislature for supporting conservation districts in the state budget.

Pennsylvania Conservation Districts assist landowners through technical assistance, permit reviews, site inspections, and education in a safe, efficient, and effective manner. The goal of conservation districts is to protect our natural resources, keep food on tables, and ensure public safety. 

Through the efforts of the PA General Assembly, the “Transfer to the Conservation District” lines in the 2022-2023 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture budgets were collectively increased by $6.8 million. 

“The conservation districts play an important role in protecting the Commonwealth’s resources. By including an increase in the state budget for conservation districts, the

Pennsylvania General Assembly is investing in the conservation district mission of clean water and healthy soil for all Pennsylvanians,” said Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director.

As a result of the legislator’s actions, conservation districts will continue to review permits, assist farmers, assist municipalities in preparing to fix low-volume roads and dirt and gravel roads throughout the state and help control mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.  

 

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Donna Fisher Testifies Before House Committee on MS4

Blair County Conservation District Manager Donna Fisher (top photo) and PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, testify before the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee.

Donna J. Fisher, District Manager of Blair County Conservation District and in partnership with the Blair County Intergovernmental Stormwater Committee, testified in Harrisburg regarding the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems) program.

Donna testified at the public hearing of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on June 13, 2022. The Committee gathered testimony and input on MS4 compliance and House Bills 2153 and 2331

Click here to read the full testimony and here to watch the video. (Donna’s testimony starts at 99:00.)

Brenda finished the testimony for Donna by providing the concluding comments.

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Legislative Roundtable

(Left to right): Taylor Wade, Administrative Assistant; Randall Leisure, Board Chairperson; Jo Ellen Litz, Commissioner; Craig Zemitis, Agricultural Preservation Specialist; Katie Doster, District Manager; Jim Tomanelli, Associate Director; Maranda Smith, CAP Technician; Dan Bost, Representative for Senator Christopher Gebhard; Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director; Robert Arnold, Director; Karl Kerchner, Assistant Manager; Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist; MaryKate Gallagher, CAP Coordinator; Nate Weaver, Erosion & Sedimentation Technician; and Representative Russ Diamond.

The Lebanon County Conservation District staff met with local legislators on June 3, 2022. The meeting included a staff discussion on conservation programs in Lebanon County. These include agricultural land preservation, erosion and sedimentation control, Envirothon, mosquito-borne disease control, and agricultural programs. Conservation district funding, urban/suburban sprawl in the county, and the countywide Conservation Action Plan (CAP) were also discussed.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh also attended the event. Click here to read a news article about the event. 

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Legislative Luncheon

(Left to right):  Earle Robbins, Lee Hoar, Scott Moore, Andrea Boyce, Tyler Upham, Erica Tomlinson, Carolyn Kilburn, Commissioner Bunn, Representative Owlett, Commissioner Hamilton, Chuck Dillon (Senator Dush Representative). Photo provided by Tioga County Conservation District.

On May 6, 2022, the Tioga County Conservation District held a legislative luncheon at the Tokishi Building in Wellsboro. While PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, could not attend in person, she did attend via Zoom.

 

 

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Conservation District Week Wraps Up

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

On April 12, 2022, Senator Gene Yaw and Senator Elder Vogel offered remarks in recognition of Conservation District Week in Pennsylvania. Click here to watch the video of Senator Yaw and here for the video of Senator Vogel.  

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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Potter County Conservation District Hosts Legislative Luncheon

(L-R: Back row – Chuck Dillon, an aide to Senator Dush; Commissioner Barry Hayman; Jared Dickerson, PCCD Watershed Specialist; Andrew Mickey, PCCD DGLVR Technician; Glenn Dunn II, PCCD Resource Conservationist. Front row – Rep. Martin Causer; PCCD Board Chairman Earl Brown; Jason Childs, PCCD District Manager; Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director; Rep. Clint Owlett; Emily Shosh, PCCD Communications, and Outreach Advisor.)

Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) held a Legislative luncheon on March 11, 2022, at the beautiful Susquehannock Lodge and Trail Center in Ulysses, PA. Senator Chris Dush, Representative Clint Owlett, and Representative Martin Causer, among many other local leaders, attended.

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Conservation District Week Resources Available

Recognized by both the Pennsylvania State House and Senate, April 10-16, 2022, will be “Conservation District Week.” During this week, district offices will hold in-person 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.

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