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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Legislators Urged to Increase Funding for Conservation Districts

The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) is disappointed that the Governor’s proposed state budget does not include an increase for conservation districts.  This additional conservation district funding is needed to continue our operations and ever-growing responsibilities. We urge legislators to include a $500,000 increase for the Conservation District Fund in both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environmental Protection. 

“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 legislators would be investing in continuing the conservation district mission of clean water and healthy soil for all Pennsylvanians,” said PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh.

Conservation districts continue to review permits, provide assistance to 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.  

For more information about the work of the state’s 66 conservation districts, visit www.pacd.org. You can also follow PACD on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PAConservation.

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Shambaugh, Dryzal, and Thompson Testify Before House

(Left to right): John Dryzal, Brenda Shambaugh, and Chris Thompson testify before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on January 24, 2022.

Representatives from PACD testified before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on January 24, 2022. The testimony favored House Bill 1901, which would help ensure clean water for all Pennsylvanians.

PACD endorses HB 1901 because it would start several programs. First, this would put much-needed Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the ground. These BMPs would reduce the amount of pollution getting into Pennsylvania’s ground and surface water.

Brenda Shambaugh, Executive Director of the PA Association of Conservation Districts, testified in favor of the legislation. PACD represents the state’s 66 conservation districts. Also, John Dryzal, Cambria County Conservation District Manager, and Christopher Thompson, Lancaster County Conservation District Managing Director, spoke in favor of HB 1901.

“Clean water is vital to all Pennsylvanians. HB 1901 provides a way to use federal dollars in various programs. We hope that this bill passes. In addition, we ask legislators to consider future funding to continue controlling pollution,” said Shambaugh.

HB 1901 would provide additional resources to conservation districts. With this support, conservation districts will better address clean water issues. This includes helping farmers to reduce pollution. 

The entirety of the testimony is available here: https://tinyurl.com/HB1901


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Westmoreland Hosts Annual Partner and Legislator Breakfast

District directors and state and county elected officials and their representatives talk at the breakfast. Photo provided by Westmoreland Conservation District.

On December 8, the Westmoreland Conservation District hosted its annual partner breakfast to thank and acknowledge the people and organizations who helped us complete conservation projects this year. Nearly 60 people attended the event at the District’s office, which is an 1880s-era barn that was decorated for the holiday season. Among the guests were three county commissioners and eight state legislators or their staff members. 

The partner breakfast allowed District staff and board members to discuss with our elected leaders how valuable conservation districts are to county residents. We also requested an increase in the transfer to the conservation district fund in the PA DEP and PA Department of Agriculture lines by 20% in the state budget. As a result, Senator Kim Ward’s office will arrange a meeting next year in Harrisburg to talk with PACD and representatives of various districts about the details of their budget needs.

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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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