Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

We support Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts who work for clean water and healthy soil every day.

Northumberland County Conservation District Holds 7th Annual Legislative Luncheon

(left to right): County Commissioner Sam Schiccatano, State Representative Kurt Masser, State Representative Lynda Culver, District Manager Judy Becker, State Senator John Gordner, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, and Northumberland County Conservation District Board Chairman Michael Hubler. Photo provided by Northumberland County Conservation District.

On April 5, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Northumberland County for the district’s legislative breakfast. During the breakfast, the district thanked state legislators and the commissioners for their continued support.

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Shambaugh Attends House Appropriations Hearing

The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on January 25, 2018 in Harrisburg on the use of special funds. Photo taken by Brenda Shambaugh.

On January 25, 2018, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended a House of Representatives Appropriations Committee hearing at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The committee received testimony related to the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn provided testimony on how their agencies use special funds.

During the hearing, several questions were asked about conservation district funding and timely reimbursements. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell explained the funding comes from several sources and the balance [of the conservation district fund] has a lot to do with when the fees are actually collected and deposited. Several legislators on the Committee commented about the great work accomplished by conservation districts.

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Shambaugh Provides Testimony during Ag Progress Days

Brenda Shambaugh testifies in front of (left to right) Rick Ebert, PA Farm Bureau President, Congressman G.T. Thompson, Congressman Dwight Evans, and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding on the state of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

As is their custom, the Pennsylvania House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees held a joint informational meeting on August 16, 2017 at Ag Progress Days. The session covered the state’s contributions to the multi-state effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay. The second hearing was organized by Congressman Thompson and addressed the state of agriculture in Pennsylvania in front of a panel consisting of the PA Farm Bureau President, two congressmen, and the Secretary of Agriculture. 

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh provided testimony during these two sessions. Click here to read the text of Shambaugh’s testimony titled, “Conservation District Activities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed” and here for “Barnyard Discussion: Issues Driving the State of Pennsylvania Agriculture.”

Click here to read more about the meeting. 

 

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Legislators Urged to Restore Funding for Conservation Districts

 

Those who control water pollution in our local streams, rivers, and lakes are facing funding cuts under the House of Representative’s budget. The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. (PACD) is urging the general assembly to restore $1.1 million in funding to the county conservation districts.

The staff at your local county conservation district office work directly with community members to prevent pollution and ensure enough clean water for future generations. They know the local area and what causes the biggest pollution problems. Their goal is to address these problems by working together with community members to make sure drinking water is safe, streams are clean, and nature is protected. 

However, the House proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-18 significantly cuts conservation district funding from current levels. The cuts are as follows:

House Department of Agriculture Budget

  • Transfer to the Conservation District Fund: $739,000 ($130,000 less than current fiscal year)
  • Transfer to the Nutrient Management Fund: $2,307,000 ($407,000 less than current fiscal year)

House Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Budget

  • Transfer to the Conservation District Fund: $2,130,000 ($376,000 less than current fiscal year)
  • Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Source Abatement: $2,423,000 ($222,000 less than current fiscal year) This fund is used to match federal dollars, mostly for DEP staffing.

PACD asks the General Assembly to restore this “pass through funding” to the conservation district line items through the PA Department of Agriculture and the PA Department of Environmental Protection to the levels in the current 2016-17 budget.

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Lebanon County Conservation District Holds Legislative Roundtable

Lebanon County Commissioner JoEllen Litz, District Manager Lynette Gelsinger, Representative Frank Ryan, Representative Russ Diamond, Teresa Leitner (from Representative Sue Helm’s Office), Randall Leisure LCCD Board Chairman, Kori Walter (from Congressman Costello’s office), Brian Craig (from Congressman Dent’s office), Lebanon County Commissioner Bill Ames, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh.

On June 9, 2017, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh traveled to Lebanon County for a legislative event. The Lebanon County Conservation District (LCCD) held an informative Legislative Roundtable with Representatives Diamond and Ryan, Commissioners Ames and Litz, and staff from the offices of Congressman Dent, Congressman Costello, and Representative Helm in attendance.

Topics discussed included the state budget, agricultural land preservation, and the Chesapeake Bay Reboot. Representatives Diamond and Ryan talked about the status of the State Budget and Brenda Shambaughemphasized the importance of not cutting spending for agricultural and DEP line items that impact conservation districts such as Lebanon.

 

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Susquehanna County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

Photo of legislators, SCCD Directors, and District Manager Jim Garner was provided by SCCD.

On May 12, 1947 the Susquehanna County Commissioners and the State Conservation Commission formed the Susquehanna County Conservation District (SCCD). While many changes have occurred over the years, the district continues to protect and preserve natural resources. SCCD held a legislative breakfast to share what they are doing, how funds are being spent, and to listen to what legislators are working on. PA Senators Gene Yaw and Lisa Baker attended the breakfast, as did PA Representatives Tina Pickett and Jonathon Fritz. SCCD thanks them for their time and support.

 

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Legislative Day on May 19

Pictured in the back row – Earl Robbins (Board Director), Matt Baker (State Representative), Mark Hamilton (County Commissioner), Kerry Miller (County Planner), Erick Coolidge (County Commissioner), Chuck Dillon (Representative for Senator Joe Scarnati), Donna Cleveland (Board Director), Mike Glazer (Representative for Congressman Glenn Thompson), Carl Koch (Board Chairperson), Lee Hoar (Board Director) Front – James Neal (Erosion & Sedimentation Technician), Liz Constanzo Kreger (Watershed Specialist), Charlotte Lilley (Resource Conservationist), Jim Weaver (Board Director), Erica Tomlinson (District Manager), Andrea Boyce (Nutrient Management Specialist), Carolyn Kreger Kilburn (Conservation Stewardship). Photo taken by Dianna Townsend (Administrative Assistant).

On May 19, 2017 the Tioga County Conservation District held a Legislative Day. Several legislators and their staff were in attendance. 

 

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Franklin County Conservation District Holds Legislative Breakfast

Jennifer Bratthauar, Franklin County Conservation District Ag Technician, explains the benefits of having and implementing a nutrient management plan or a manure management plan. Photo provided by Franklin County Conservation District.

During Conservation District Week, Franklin County Conservation District held a legislative breakfast. The event was held April 28, 2017, at the district office in Chambersburg. Numerous elected officials attended the event and learned about district programs such as the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program, PA’s Nutrient Management Program, and the Erosion and Sediment Control Program.

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Berks County Conservation District Receives Proclamation

Pictured (left to right) are: Brian Boyer, Treasurer and Public Director; Dean Druckenmiller, District Executive; Christian Leinbach, Commissioner Director; Piper Sherburne, Chair, Public Director, and PACD South East Region Director; and Glenn Seidel, Farmer Director and PACD President. Photo provided by BCCD.

A proclamation for Conservation District Week was presented to the Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) on April 21, 2017 at the Berks County Ag Center. BCCD partners, including the Berks County Department of Agriculture, USDA Farm Service Agency, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, took the time to show their support and attend the presentation. The presentation was made during the district’s annual seedling sale and Backyard Basics workshop.

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Four Districts Visit Capitol for Legislative Visits

Senator Gene Yaw, Chair, Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee; Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director; Sandy Thompson, McKean County Conservation District Manager; Cliff Lane, McKean County Conservation District Director and PACD North West Region Director; Andy Trostle, Sullivan County Conservation District Director; John Dryzal, Cambria County Conservation District Manager; Joanne Day, Sullivan County Conservation District Director; and Senator Elder Vogel, Chair, Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Not pictured are Berks County Conservation District attendees who were visiting Senator Schwank at the time.

On Tuesday, April 25, directors and staff from four conservation districts visited their legislators at the Capitol in Harrisburg. The districts included Berks, Cambria, McKean, and Sullivan. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh joined the visits to both House of Representative members and senators.

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