North West Pennsylvania PRISM Pilot
PACD was awarded a $210,000 Landscape Scale Restoration grant from the USDA Forest Service to pilot a Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) program in the NW region of Pennsylvania. The NW region covers 13 counties: Erie, Warren, McKean, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Forest, Elk, Lawrence, Butler, Clarion, Jefferson, and Armstrong.
The NW conservation districts will form advisory groups consisting of local partner organizations and community members to identify and prioritize projects in their counties. Projects may be educational events and/or treatment projects.
$40,000 of the grant will be used for education & outreach mini-grants. NW conservation districts will apply for up to $2,000 at a time to offer things like project tours, guided walks, invasive species visuals and factsheets, workshops and trainings, community science projects, etc.
$149,000 will be used for invasive species treatment and management projects. Funding will be distributed evenly among conservation districts participating in the program in order to allow for a wider span of treatment projects. Projects in some cases will be multicounty to treat large areas threatened by invasive species.
A 50:50 match is required. Partners including the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA), Penn State Extension’s Master Watershed Steward Program, Western PA Conservancy, Allegheny Forest Health Collaborative, and Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group) have partnered with PACD to contribute match to the invasive species pilot program.
Like all of PACD’s sub-grant programs, the conservation districts will be the primary applicants. Conservation districts, with the consultation of their diverse advisory groups and conservation district boards, will submit applications for projects to PACD for approval. The program opens July 1, 2023, and will close June 30, 2027.
Financial and other support for the PRISM Pilot Program in NW Pennsylvania is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant from the USDA Forest Service. “This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”