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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Lycoming County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

(Left to right) Representative Jeff Wheeland, Senator Gene Yaw, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, PA Department of Environmental Protection Northcentral Region Director Marcus Kohl, and Lycoming County Conservation District Manager Mark Davidson pose for a photo during the legislative breakfast.

On April 11, 2019, the Lycoming County Conservation District held a legislative breakfast at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport, PA. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Williamsport for the event.

Topics of discussion included stream restoration efforts in the county and the state budget.

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Potter Holds Legislative Luncheon

PCCD Chairman Earl Brown, Representative Martin Causer, Low Volume/Dirt & Gravel Roads Project Specialist Andrew Mickey, Watershed/Nutrient Management Technician Jared Dickerson, Senator Scarnati staff member Chuck Dillon, Commissioner Doug Morely, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, Commissioner Susan Kefover, Communications and Outreach Advisor Emily Shosh, District Manager Jason Childs, and Resource Conservationist Glenn Dunn II.

On March 21, 2019, Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) held a legislative luncheon in Ulysses, PA. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event. During the luncheon, legislators and county leaders received updates on district programs and services the district provides to  county residents.

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Conservation District Leaders Take to Capitol Hill

Adam Tarr, Legislative Assistant for Bob Casey poses with Kelly Stagen, PACD Secretary and North East Region Director.

On Wednesday, March 13, conservation district officials from across the nation descended upon the nation’s capital as part of NACD’s 2019 Spring Fly-In. More than 150 district representatives from over 30 states took to Capitol Hill to educate their federal representatives about and advocate for voluntary, locally-led conservation.

Kelly Stagen, PACD Secretary and North East Region Director, attended the fly-in.

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