June 18th, 2018:
Wolf Administration Touts 550,000th Preserved Acre of Farmland
Pennsylvania is a national leader in farmland preservation, and today, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding announced that the state has hit a major milestone, preserving 550,000 acres of farmland in the commonwealth over the last three decades.
“By investing our energy and resources in protecting Pennsylvania’s farmland, we are not simply investing in commodities; we’re investing in people and the future of agriculture and our ability to grow food,” said Sec. Redding. “Today’s landmark achievement represents a commitment to our agribusinesses, a commitment to our food system, a commitment to our communities, and a commitment to the future of the commonwealth.”
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program is dedicated to slowing the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. Funding allows state, county, and local governments to purchase conservation easements from owners of quality farmland.
Since the commonwealth’s program began in 1988, federal, state, county, and local governments have purchased permanent easements on 5,329 farms totaling 552,703 acres in 58 counties for agricultural production. Under Governor Wolf, funding for farmland preservation has increased more than 45 percent, or $12.5 million. Since taking office, the Wolf administration has preserved 597 farms totaling 50,039 acres of prime farmland across Pennsylvania.
Today’s event, which celebrated the safeguarding of 550,000 acres, also recognized Lehigh County for its 30 years of participation in the program. Additionally, Secretary Redding presented the owners of Heidel Hollow Farms, Inc., with two bicentennial awards. The Bicentennial Farm Program was created in 2004 to recognize farms that have been in the same family for 200 years or more. To date, the Department of Agriculture has recognized 2,026 Century and 180 Bicentennial farms, representing 2,206 families dedicated to both their heritage and production agriculture.
Purchasing easements is a critical investment in Pennsylvania’s robust agricultural industry, an investment that protects agriculture’s $135.7 billion total economic impact and ensures future food supply production for a growing population. Since the program’s inception, total county
contributions have exceeded the half-billion-dollar mark, and state contributions have surpassed $1 billion.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
April 26th, 2018:
District Staff assisted in stocking trout with Fish & Boat Commission Officer Jeremy Yohe. Trout were stocked throughout the Hogland Branch, Elk Creek and Mill Creek . It was a great time has by all!
April 25th, 2018
Chief Oil & Gas donated $1,500 to the 2018 Lycoming & Sullivan County Envirothon. Thanks to this generous donation, and other donations providing the Envirothon is possible.
April 14th, 2018
The annual conservation district seedling sale was held at Cherry Township on Saturday, April 14th. There were over 100 pre-orders and many seedlings and fruit trees were purchased on the day of the sale. The seedling sale features a variety of evergreen and hardwood seedlings, fruit trees, food plot and wildflower mixes, as well as blue bird and duck boxes. Thank you to everyone that participated in our seedling sale and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
March 15th, 2018:
District staff were out and about at workshops on March 14th. Staff member Tori Welliver, attended the Northeast Contractors Workshop that was held at Keystone College. Sessions included speakers from PPL on Electrical Safety, Construction Site Safety from Allan Myers, Proper pipe installation by The Center for Dirt & Gravel Roads technician Wade Brown and the closing session included NTHA Manager Sarah Hall Bagdonas and President Paul Reining that covered topics of the Spotted Lanternfly and Chainsaw Safety.
Manager, Holly and Technician Corey attended the 4th Annual Connect Soils to Profits workshop at the Wysox Fire Hall on March 14th. Speakers, Ray Archuleta and Steve Groff, covered topics such as no-till, cover crops, soil health, grazing, and healthy streams. The Bradford County Conservation District introduced the air seeder program that will be offered across 6 counties and a local farmer gave insight on the practices he uses on his farm. Attendees learned alternative approaches to farming and shared ideas, tips, and suggestions. FFA students were in attendance and did a great job assisting the presenters with demonstrations. Both events provided a great opportunity for the staff to talk with different people about programs provided here at the district.
March 9th, 2018:
LAST CALL, last Chance for Pesticide Credits
Penn State Extension will be offering a pesticide credit meeting for applicators on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Sullivan County Agricultural Resources Center in Dushore. This meeting will take place from 1:00PM through 3:30PM in the upper conference room. The meeting will provide 2 +2 credits for licensed applicators.
The same session will also be offered in the evening of April 4th at the Wysox Fire Hall in Wysox. For any additional information or questions please call us at 570-928-7057.
February 6th, 2018:
NTHA is holding a "Spotted Lanternfly Informational Meeting" on Tuesday, February 27th in Mayfield, PA from 6:30-8:30 PM.
There is currently a quarantine in place for 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania to try to stop the movement of the invasive pest, Spotted Lanternfly. This pest is a native of China, and could possibly work its way into our region. This destructive insect feeds on a variety of over 70 species of plants including hardwood trees, grapes, apples, peaches, ailanthus, hops and certain ornamental plants.
To educate those possibly affected by the Spotted Lanternfly and to combat the spread of this insect, the Northern Tier Hardwood Association will be holding this informational meeting for the general public and members of the forest product industry.
This meeting is free, but please RSVP online at nthardwoods.org or email@example.com.
This meeting will cover general information about the Spotted Lanternfly including: initial detection, biology and life cycle, current distribution, impacts of pest feeding, recorded damage, pathways for spread, and control methods.
We will also cover what to do: if you find a SL, quarantine expansion, compliance agreements, etc.
February 2nd, 2018:
2018 ESM Training Dates Announced
2018 Environmentally Sensitive Management (ESM) training dates have been announced! This is an awesome opportunity for any public entity to join Sullivan County's Dirt & Gravel/Low Volume road program. There is grant money still available!!
To be eligible for funding participants must have a current ESM certification (valid for 5 years) - so if one of these date's work (there are others, but these are the closest to Sullivan), please add it to your calendar!!
The District will reimburse for travel/hotel costs!
Pre-registration is required and lunch is supplied both days!
Please contact Tori at 570-928-0108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
April 3 & 4: Centre County (To be eligible for 2018 Funding)
Ramada State College Hotel & Conference Center
1450 S. Atherton Street, State College, PA
Room Block: Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads, $73/night || valid until March 15, 2018
May 1 & 2: Luzerne County (To be eligible for 2018 Funding)
Woodlands Inn & Resort
1073 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Room Block: Dirt & Gravel Roads Training, $83/night || valid until Apr. 15, 2018
June 13 & 14: Schuylkill County (To be eligible for 2019 Funding)
The Lodge at Sharp Mountain
201 S. 26th Street, Pottsville, PA 17901
Suggested Hotel: Ramada Pottsville
101 S Progress Ave, Pottsville, PA 17901
Room Block: Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads, valid until May 29, 2018 @$77.00/ night
October 17 & 18: Lycoming County (To be eligible for 2019 Funding)
Holiday Inn Williamsport
100 Pine Street, Williamsport, PA 17701
Room Block: Dirt & Gravel Training, valid until Sept. 16, 2018 @ $104/night
Dates In Blue: to receive funding for summer 2018 projects, you MUST attend one of these training's!
January 8th, 2018:
Loyalsock Creek named PA River of the Year!
Home to outdoors enthusiasts in north central Pennsylvania, the Loyalsock Creek has been voted the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year.
“This annual honor highlights our state’s wealth of rivers and streams, and recognizes the core of dedicated folks who fight to protect them,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn noted.“Public awareness of the Loyalsock’s value will be increased and initiatives along the waterway river will be underscored. Both serve economic revitalization by enhancing access to the stream; increasing tourism; and providing additional land and water-based recreational opportunities for area residents and visitors alike."
As applicant for the honor, Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund year-long River of the Year activities.
“The Pennsylvania 2018 River of the Year competition truly showed the depth of the region’s ‘Loyalsock Love,’” said Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper Association Executive Director Carol Parenzan. “We are grateful to those who voted and encouraged others to vote as well, and we thank our lead partner -- Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association -- for its unending commitment and unlimited loyalty to this precious waterway, flowing from the Endless Mountain region of Pennsylvania to the West Branch Susquehanna River."
January 1st, 2018:
Looking around this beautiful county, it's not hard to see that agriculture is an important industry here. Almost 30,000 acres of the county are farmland. Not only is agriculture essential for production of food, shelter, and clothing, but it is also very important to the environment and provides wildlife habitat as well. With farming being such important part of our lifestyle, it is very important to protect it.
The Sullivan County Ag Land Preservation Program, also called the Farmland Preservation Program, allows for the purchase of Ag easements on farms encouraging land owners to continue farming. Whena landowner sells an easement, the land must remain in farming in perpetuity and the owner gives up development rights of non-agricultural buidlings on the property. In Pennsylvania, the program has had great success. Nearly 550,000 acres of farmland across the state have preserved with 58 counties participating. This is great news for the the Ag community and environment. In Sullivan County, over 700 acres of farmland have been preserved.
If you are interested in participating in the program and would like more information, contact the conservation district at 570-928-7057. Applications will be accepted January through March each year.
December 8th, 2017:
PEST ALERT! The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species that has been discovered in Southern PA. This insect attacks and kills many hosts, up to 70 different species. Grapes, apples, hops, sugar maple and other important agricultural products, early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.
The Spotted Lanternfly adult is around 1 inch long with grey and black spots. The hind wings have patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black, with the abdomen being yellow with black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots and evelp red as they grow.
Winter is the time to scrape and destroy egg masses. The Spotted Lanternfly lays egg masses, 30 to 50 eggs each, and covers them in a brown, mud-like substance (As Pictured Below). They can be found on tree trunks or any outdoor, flat surface (such as lawn furniture, stone, brick or vehicles). We encourage those in and around quarantined areas to be on the look-out for egg masses to scrape and destroy the viable eggs, to decrease the new population for the coming spring. Video: https://youtu.be/WoFp_MbDiE8. If you think you have found a Spotted Lanternfly collect the insect and place in a container. Then report it to 1-866-253-7189 or at email@example.com.
For more information contact us at 570-928-7057 or visit http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/…/spotted_…/Pages/default.aspx
June 5th, 2018:
The conservation district had their picnic board meeting at the Eagles Mere Air and Auto Museum. It was a great experience and everyone had a good time. Thank you to everyone who made it a great day.
June 7th, 2018:
The Northern Tier Hardwoods Association held its Spring Meet and Greet at Promised Land State Park. Guests were treated to a barbecue cookout and had to opportunity to speak with board members about NTHA. It was a fun event that was held in a beautiful location, another Meet & Greet will be offered in the fall at our own World's End State Park.
The annual Sullivan County 5th grade environmental took place on May 30th. Presenters from DCNR, DEP, 4-H, the game commission, northern tier solid waste, World's End State Park, the north-central Pennsylvania conservancy and the conservation district discussed various environmental topics. Stations included bird watching, fire safety, recycling, water quality issues and the movement of streams.
2018 Pennsylvania State Envirothon Results
The 35th Pennsylvania Envirothon state competition was held at the Susquehanna University and Camp Mount Luther on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 22 and 23, 2018. High school students from 65 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event.
At the Envirothon, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. The 2018 current environmental issues focused on The Benefits of Grassland and Pastureland Management. The teams also prepare and deliver oral presentations to panels of judges who evaluate each team on its problem-solving capabilities, oral presentation skills and recommendations to help solve the specific environmental challenge, which relates to the current environmental issue.
Teams participating represent the best and the brightest of the thousands of high school teens who have competed in county Envirothon competitions sponsored by conservation districts from across the state and the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. At the state level, the Envirothon is sponsored by Pennsylvania’s sixty-six county conservation districts, the State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. The program is managed by a board of directors representing those sponsors. Technical expertise is provided by the following partners: PA Department of Agriculture, PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Game Commission, PA Fish and Boat Commission, and U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Sponsors and partners of the 2018 Envirothon are PA Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA), Shell Oil Company, PPL, The Hershey Company, EQT Foundation, Weis, Chief Oil & Gas LLC, UGI Utilities, Smithfield, and National Conservation Foundation Envirothon.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Envirothon champions will represent the Commonwealth at the 30th NCF-Envirothon competition planned for July 22 – 28 at Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho. More than 47 states, eight Canadian provinces, one Canadian territory, and two Chinese provinces have initiated Envirothon contests based on the program that was originally developed by Pennsylvania’s conservation districts.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Envirothon champions, scoring 546 points of a possible 600, are from Carmichaels Area High School located in Greene County. The Greene County team earned the honor to represent Pennsylvania at the NCF-Envirothon international competition.
Top 10 winners, with scores area as follows.
First Place – Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, score of 546
Second Place – Palmyra High School, Lebanon County, score of 523.67
Third Place – Penncrest High School, Delaware County, score of 512.67
Fourth Place – Bangor Area High School, Northampton County, score of 506
Fifth Place – MMI Preparatory School, Luzerne County, score of500.33
Sixth Place – York Home School Association, York County, score of 489.67
Seventh Place – Bradford Area High School, McKean County, score of 482
Eighth Place – Blue Mountain High School, Schuylkill County, score of479.67
Ninth Place – Conneaut Area High School, Crawford County, score of 473
Tenth Place – West Perry High School, Perry County, score of462
The Pennsylvania Envirothon awarded scholarships to the first through fifth place teams. The scholarships were sponsored by Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts and Shell Oil. Each of the top ten teams received a plaque and other prizes.
The high station winners, with scores, include:
Soils/Land Use – Palmyra High School, Lebanon County, with a score of 96;
Aquatic Ecology – Penncrest High School, Delaware County, score of 93;
Forestry – Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, score of 97;
Wildlife – Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, score of 85;
Current Issue – Conneaut Area High School, Crawford County, score of 90;
Oral Presentation Component – Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, with a score of 100.
For more information on the Envirothon program, contact your county conservation district or contact the Pennsylvania Envirothon by phone (814) 310-3271, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.envirothonpa.org.
May 14th, 2018:
For the past 25 years students from grades 4th-6th have participated in the Sullivan County Conservation Poster Contest. The Contest is sponsored by the Sullivan County Conservation District, Dushore Borough, and White Ash Land Association. Winning entries received prizes of stainless steel water bottles, t-shirts, plaques, colored pencils, ribbons. The overall winning entry also received a personalized handbag. Congratulations to all the students that entered posters and best of luck to the overall winner in the PACD State Poster Contest.
April 21st, 2018
The Conservation District along with Dushore Borough gathered on April 21st to celebrate Earth Day. The district and borough shared the cost of 6 semi-dwarf apple trees to be planted along Marsh Run to help with thermal pollution and to provide fruit to the location community. Local children from grades 7-9 attended the tree planting and learned about the many benefits of planting trees along the streams.
April 4th, 2018:
The meeting for the last chance for pesticide credits was held on April 4th at the Ag Resources Center in Dushore. The event drew in about 25 members of the community and surrounding areas. Dwane Miller from Penn State Extension, Schuylkill presented. He talked to participants about pesticide drift management and shared a personal story of his own experience with pesticide drift. What's new in weed control was also discussed at this meeting. Some new problematic weeds may make their way into our county, Palmer and Waterhemp. Be on the look out for these weeds and contact Penn State Extension immediately if you think you have found them on your property. Corey Richmond also spoke at the meeting and mentioned that the high boy interseeder is available to the local farmers.
March 13th, 2018:
Looking for something to do this spring? Volunteer to help with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in their trout stocking this year. For 2018 trout stocking locations and times CLICK HERE.
March 6th, 2018:
There was a great turnout for our third “Spotted Lanternfly Informational Meeting” presented by Northern Tier Hardwoods Association (NTHA) program manager, Sarah Hall-Bagdonas, in Wysox. The NTHA is currently in the process of scheduling more training opportunities throughout the region, please check their website at nthardwoods.org for all of their upcoming events. Thanks again to all of the concerned forest product industry members and citizens who have attended these important meetings! More to come...
March 2nd, 2018:
March 14: Connect Soils to Profits
The Natural Resource Conservation Service(NRCS) is partnering in a conference in March on how farmers can increase their profits by increasing soil health. The Bradford County Conservation District will unveil their innovative Air Seeder Program and explain how they can help “keep you covered”.
->Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
->Location: Wysox Fire Hall, 111 Lake Road, Towanda, PA
->Cost: $20/person (includes lunch)
->Registration: Kevin.L.Brown@pa.nacdnet.net, 570-265-5539 x3105
->Featured Speakers: Ray Archuleta, Soil Health Consulting, LLC; Steve Groff, Cover Crop Coaching
February 20th, 2018:
February 14th, 2018:
Our E&S Technician, Tori Welliver, attended the Rotary Club of Towanda meeting. She spoke with the members about the Loyalsock Creek winning the 2018 PA River of Year and the threats of the Spotted Lanternfly. The club presented Tori with a Towanda Rotary banner, pictured is Towanda Rotary Club President, John Secor and E&S Technician Tori Welliver.
February 8th, 2018:
District Receives Grant funds to support Envirothon
The First Community Foundation Partnership (FCFP) has recently provided its annual grants and through the generosity of the original Loyalsock Creek Watershed both Sullivan and Lycoming County Conservation Districts were each awarded $762 for expenses with their county Envirothon programs and competition.
The original Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association had continued funding natural resource education through interest in their financial accounts. As the members got older, the choice was made to put the money into a foundation and establish where funds were to be dispersed on an annual basis. Through the foundation, the amount of the grants awarded has grown and we are appreciative of receiving these funds that allow us to provide a better Envirothon experience to high school students.
The Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association fund is in memory of Timothy Leach, Phil Kretchman, and Gordon and Georgene Wurster.
January 23rd, 2018:
Coming To A Field Near You!
Do you want to plant cover crops but can't due to the late season harvest of soy beans or corn silage? Then the Highboy inter-seeder could be the solution for you, this machine will be available in the County for planting cover crops in late harvested fields. If you are interested or would like more information please check out our Agriculture page or visit www.bccdpa.com/interseeder
January 10th, 2018:
The district is now accepting Dirt & Gravel Applications (only Dirt & Gravel applications will be accepted). To be eligible for funding the applicant must be ESM certified, the proposed project must affect stream quality and be open to the public. The deadline for applications is April 20th, 2018. For more information contact Tori at 570-928-0108 or visit the Dirt & Gravel page.
January 31st, 2018:
On January 9th, 2018 at the Sullivan County Conservation District board meeting, three directors were sworn in to serve on the board. Wylie Norton, Commissioner Director; Joanne Day, Public Director; and Richard Ryan, Farmer Director are shown taking the oath of office, read by Francis Moll, Chairman. Wylie has served on the board since 2012, Joanne since 2016, and Richard since 2006. All three were also elected as officers. Wylie is Vice-Chair, Joanne is Treasurer, and Richard is Secretary. We are proud to have them on the board and greatly appreciate their dedicated service. Directors are appointed by the county commissioners from nominations submitted by approved nominating organizations. Conservation district boards consist of farmer members, public members, and a member of the county governing body. Duties of the board include establishing and implementing programs to protect and conserve soil, water, and other renewable natural resources on local, non-federal land.
January 30th, 2018:
DEP Releases New Resource for Stream Maintenance
DEP releases new resource "Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community booklet". The new guide is intended to proactively share information with the public so that stream work is done in an environmentally-sensitive manner, and in a way that reduces the likelihood of future problems. Performing stream work that is not properly designed can cause serious damages to you and your neighbors down stream. To view the booklet click the HERE or find it on the Chapter 105 Page.