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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Cambria County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

Mark Stockley, Resource Conservation Supervisor at the Cambria County Conservation District, speaks during the breakfast. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

On October 4, 2019, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Cambria County for the district’s legislative breakfast. Approximately 50 people attended the event. During the breakfast, the district highlighted stream restoration and flood control projects.

Click here to read an article on the event. 

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Legislative Roundtable

(Left to right): Commissioner William Ames; Teresa Leitner, Legislative Secretary for Representative Helm; Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director; Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz; Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, PA Department of Environmental Protection; Randall Leisure, Board Chairman, Lebanon County Conservation District; Katie Doster, District Manager; Jennifer Albright, Director, Lebanon County Conservation District; Katherine Hetherington Cunfer, Deputy District Director for Congressman Meuser; PA Representative Frank Ryan.

Staff from the Lebanon County Conservation District met with local legislators on May 31, 2019. The meeting included staff discussion on conservation programs in Lebanon County. These include agricultural land preservation, erosion and sedimentation, Envirothon, mosquito-borne disease control, and agricultural programs.

PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell was on hand to discuss the ongoing Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. The group also discussed MS4 and the state budget as it relates to conservation efforts.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh also attended the event.

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Legislative Event

By Erica Tomlinson, Manager, Tioga County Conservation District

(left to right): Earle Robbins, Erica Tomlinson, Roger Bunn, Melissa Fenstermacher, Carl Koch, Eric Kosek, Carolyn Kilburn, Andrea Boyce, James Neal, Mark Hamilton, James Weaver, Lee Hoar, Chuck Dillon, Representative Owlett, Brenda Shambaugh.

The Tioga County Conservation District hosted their annual Legislative Lunch on May 10, 2019. The presentations from staff focused on grant projects that were completed last year and new projects scheduled for this season. The staff also gave updates on conservation planning, permitting, and flooding issues facing the county. The event is a great way for the conservation district to showcase projects and answer questions for our state and local legislators.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Tioga County Conservation District for the event.

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Conservation Districts Visit PA Capitol for Conservation District Week

On May 8, 2019, six conservation districts (Allegheny, Cambria, Fulton, Indiana, Luzerne, and McKean) visited their legislators in Harrisburg. The conservation district representatives spoke to legislators about the 2019-20 state budget, shared the success of the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program, and expressed opposition to HB 509 (third party reviewer) legislation.

While visiting the Capitol, conservation district staff and directors joined PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh to meet with the House Appropriations Committee staff and the Governor’s Deputy Secretary of Policy.

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Pike & Wayne County Conservation Districts Hold Legislative Event

(left to right): Andrew Seder, District Communications, Eastern District Field Representative for Senator Lisa Baker (R-20); Kelly Stagen, PACD Secretary and Northeast Region Director; Joseph Adams, Wayne County Commissioner; Linda O’Hara, Legislative Aide to Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111); Brian Smith, Wayne County Conservation District Chairman and Wayne County Commissioner. Photo provided by Kelly Stagen and the Pike County Conservation District.

The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership annual Legislative Breakfast was held on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale, PA. The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership is an alliance of over twenty government, non-government, non-profit, and grass roots organizations that work toward common goals for natural resource conservation, sustainable communities, and citizen involvement in community planning in Pike and Wayne Counties.

Pike and Wayne County Conservation Districts take turns planning the annual legislative breakfast. This year, Wayne County Conservation District took the lead with District Manager Jamie Knecht and Watershed Specialist Colleen Campion handling event details.

Legislators from the federal, state, county, and local levels participate. This year, topics related to conservation districts included the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads program, funding for the Watershed Specialist position through the Growing Greener grant program through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process.

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