16th Annual Watershed Specialist Meeting Concludes

Group photo

Group photo of the Watershed Specialists taken by Molly Burns.

The annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting was held October 4-6, 2016 in State College. Sixty-four watershed specialists from conservation districts across the state attended the meeting, which was sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection and facilitated by PACD. Presentation topics included: attracting and engaging adult learners; Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan; how to deal with Hydrilla (an invasive species); Pennsylvania’s State Water Plan; how to address harmful algal blooms, and much more.

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Susquehanna County Conservation District Completes Phase 2 of the DuBois Creek Stream Restoration Project

Submitted by Jim Garner, Susquehanna County Conservation District
A cross vane and root wads used for stream bank protection are pictured. Photo provided by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

A cross vane and root wads used for stream bank protection are pictured. Photo provided by Susquehanna County Conservation District.

Recently the second phase of the DuBois Creek Stream Restoration project was completed. DuBois creek is a direct tributary to the Susquehanna River. The project is taking place in Great Bend Township near Hallstead, PA. Construction went well, with the entire stream channel graded per design. The channel block has been installed near the downstream limits of the project. This structure will aid in stopping debris from moving further downstream under normal stream conditions. Slightly upstream is a rock deflector. The purpose of the deflector is to protect the stream bank from erosion on a very sharp corner. Several other cross vanes have been installed upstream, which will in turn help with fish habitat as well as stream bank stabilization. This phase of the project has been funded by a Grower Greener grant awarded to the Susquehanna County Conservation District to help minimize erosion, and in turn, reduce flooding downstream. The project is being monitored and administered by the District.  

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Meet PACD’s Newest Conservation Technician

phillipwilsonWelcome our newest PACD Engineering Assistance Program technician, Phillip Wilson! Phillip works out of the Somerset Conservation District office, along with full-time engineer Eric Robertson and part-time technician Phil Gardner. His first day was September 26, 2016. Phillip has a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a certificate in AutoCAD from the Somerset County Technology Center. He can be reached at pwilson@pacd.org.

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PACD Creates Conservation District Video

cdvideo PACD recently created a video explaining conservation districts and the great work they accomplish on a daily basis. The video was created for districts to use to introduce new board members and the public to conservation districts. Please share the video with county commissioners, other elected legislators, and others who are unfamiliar with conservation districts. Click here to view the video.  

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PACD Executive Director Travels to Arkansas

Attendees of the NACD Executive Director Conference pose in front of the Arkansas River. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh is pictured in the middle row, second from the left.

Attendees of the NACD Executive Director Conference pose in front of the Arkansas River. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh is pictured in the middle row, second from the left.

From September 25-28, 2016, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the National Association of Conservation District’s Executive Director Conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The group focused on topics such as:
  • Strategic planning for state associations
  • Partnerships – developing, maintaining and not competing
  • New programs, projects and outreach efforts
  • Arkansas programs and projects highlighted through a conservation tour and success stories
  • State issues, funding sources, and much more

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PACD Testifies before Joint Legislative Conservation Committee’s Forestry Task Force

Westmoreland Conservation District Chairman Ronald Rohall delivers testimony before the Legislative Forestry Task Force on September 29, 2016.

Westmoreland Conservation District Chairman Ronald Rohall delivers testimony before the Legislative Forestry Task Force on September 29, 2016.

On September 29, 2016, PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh and Westmoreland Conservation District Chairman Ronald Rohall traveled to State College to represent conservation districts before the Legislative Forestry Task Force. Their testimony spoke to the past, present, and future of the regulatory relationship between the state’s forestry industry, local governments, and county conservation districts. Click here to read the testimony.

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Advanced Soil Health Partnership Training Oct. 18-19

trainingbuttonA two-day soil health training to be held on October 18th and 19th will feature practical discussions by specialists and expert speakers on technical soil health qualities and management effects. Topics will include working with producers, cover crops and cover crop mixtures, in-depth soil health and soil biology, as well as hands-on field evaluations. The training, hosted by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Capital RC&D, and partners, will be held at the Ag Progress Days site in the Special Events Building and nearby fields. The cost is $30.00 for the two-day workshop, which includes all materials and lunch/break costs. Space is limited and the registration deadline is October 11, 2016 so please register early if you can! Click here for the event flyer. Click here for registration details.

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New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$99,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), each conservation district is eligible for a mini-grant (up to $1,500 initially per conservation district) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would assist farmers in understanding requirements and lead to development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion & sedimentation plan. Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. You should hear within a week if your project is okay or if it needs fine tuning. These are non-competitive grants — we have $1,500 earmarked for your district. Grants pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis. The Mini-grant application and guidelines are available here.  The deadline to apply is December 30, 2016. Mini-grant activities must be completed and final reports must be submitted by May 5, 2017. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions about the mini-grants. Two free trainings on the Manure Management Manual will be held this winter. These “train the trainer” events are for new conservation district staff or those who want a refresher from when the same training was held in previous years.  More information to follow. DEP left-rgbFinancial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

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