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Governor Corbett nominates Richard J. Allan to lead DCNR
Governor Tom Corbett has nominated Richard J. Allan, of Camp Hill, Cumberland County, as secretary of DCNR

“Richard Allan is a proven leader and commands a wealth of knowledge and experience in environmental and energy issues,” Gov. Corbett said. “I am confident that his abilities and background will be a tremendous benefit to DCNR, especially during this critical time in the agency’s history.”

Since 1991, Allan has served as executive director for the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the national trade association that represents the recycling industry. Read more...

Yellow Creek State Park reduces its carbon footprint by 20 percent
Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County is the first in the system to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent, DCNR Bureau of State Parks Director John Norbeck announced recently. Read more...

Pa. state parks roll out a green welcome mat for spring visitors
Pennsylvania’s 117 state parks offer great places to watch wildlife and plants emerge from their winter sleep, DCNR Bureau of State Parks Director John Norbeck said last week. Read more...

Next South Mountain lecture to focus on American Chestnut restoration
The decline and restoration of the American chestnut tree will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Thursday, April 7 at the Penn National Community in Fayetteville, Franklin County. Read more...

Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park plans for second season
A section of the Appalachian Trail is being relocated from its current location near the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park so it passes by the museum’s front door. Read more...

Ground broken for model of sustainable park in Philadelphia
Philadelphia officials on March 15 held the groundbreaking for Philadelphia’s newest open space—Hawthorne Park. Read more...

Success stories offered on one-year anniversary of statewide outdoor rec plan
The state outdoor recreation plan Pennsylvania Outdoors: The Keystone for Healthy Living inspired a number of projects and initiatives in the first year since its release. Read more...

Also in the News

DCNR conducts white-water release into Bucks County's Tohickon Creek
White-water boating enthusiasts once again tested their paddling skills in tricky rapids this past weekend when DCNR released water from Lake Nockamixon into the Tohickon Creek in Bucks County. Annually scheduled the third weekend in March, the release was planned as a recreational event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20.

Nockamixon Lake water is released from the dam both days, beginning at 4 a.m., and it takes several hours for the high water to proceed downstream to Ralph Stover State Park. Water releases are eagerly awaited by white-water enthusiasts and draw skilled kayakers, canoeists and occasional rafters from throughout the Northeastern United States. Most launch their craft at Ralph Stover State Park, near Pipersville, Bucks County, and travel some four miles along the Tohickon Creek to its junction with the Delaware River at Point Pleasant. For information, contact Nockamixon State Park at (215) 529-7300, or Delaware Canal State Park at (610) 982-5560.

Ohiopyle State Parks extends falls access pilot program
The DCNR Bureau of State Parks is extending a pilot program at Ohiopyle State Park that allows boaters access to the Ohiopyle Falls. The bureau, in cooperation with the American Whitewater Association, assessed a pilot program granting private boater access to the falls during a three week period last year from Aug. 22 through Sept. 12. Nearly 700 boaters took advantage of this access. During this time, there were no visitor accidents or injuries associated with running the falls.

Beginning Saturday, May 21, and closing Sunday, Sept. 11, the falls will be open for runs between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with the last permits being sold at 2:15 p.m.. The park has received positive feedback from the boating community and from park visitors watching from the falls observation decks in anticipation, as the boaters negotiate the waterfall.

For more information about this pilot program, contact the Ohiopyle State Park office at (724) 329-8591.

Game Commission seeks reports of dead barn owls
Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologists are seeking information from the general public about dead barn owls that may have succumbed to starvation during the long periods of snow and ice that covered much of Pennsylvania this winter. Information can be submitted to the Game Commission’s Region Offices.

“Because of the length of time that much of the Commonwealth has had snow on the ground with a hard crust, barn owls have had an extremely difficult time attempting to catch meadow voles, which are their primary prey,” said Dan Mummert, Game Commission Southeast Region Wildlife Diversity Biologist and regional coordinator of the agency’s Barn Owl Conservation Initiative. “Therefore, we currently are in what is likely the highest annual period of mortality for these owls. We need landowners’ cooperation in reporting any dead barn owls, especially those barn owls that have been banded, so we can learn more about such things as fledgling dispersal, habitat usage, causes of mortality and average lifespan.”

For details on the commission’s barn owl initiative and regional office contact information, visit; click on “Wildlife” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, then click on “Barn Owl Conservation Initiative” in the “Wild Birds and Birding” section.

Aircraft to help re-vegetate Appalachian Trail portion of Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the National Park Service, is overseeing use of an aircraft to plant grass and other vegetation on a 500-acre section of the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site in Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Trail at the top of Blue Mountain. The project is part of an ongoing action to repair environmental damage that was caused by emissions from zinc smelting operations in the borough of Palmerton. Due to the steep and remote location, a modified crop dusting aircraft is being used to distribute a specific mixture of seed, lime and fertilizer on the property owned by the National Park Service and Pennsylvania State Game Land.

During the planting, the public are seeing aircraft flying low over the top of Blue Mountain. This aerial reseeding technique was previously used to restore other sections of the mountain west and east of the Lehigh River. The mixture of seed used during this restoration is designed to foster the growth of warm season grasses, shrubs and trees native to the area.

DCNR has been working with other federal and state trustees of the Palmerton settlement to identify high-quality upland and aquatic parcels for acquisition that can replace natural resources lost through contamination. In addition, DCNR was able to secure a $300,000 contribution from the settlement to forgive the remaining mortgage on the Lehigh Gap Nature Center near Palmerton, which has been restoring grasslands and other damaged ecosystems in the region.

The restoration work is being paid for by CBS Inc., formerly Viacom International, the party potentially responsible for the contamination. More information on the Palmerton site can be found on EPA’s website at:

Agency Spotlight

Cornplanter State Forest
This northwestern state forest was named after a great Seneca chief. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Sky Dancing at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
A Get Outdoors PA eventApril 2. Held 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. The evening spring courtship of the American Woodcock (also known as the sky dance)is one of the most fascinating sights in the natural world. Join us for this special evening to observe this spectacle. Participants will also learn about habitat restoration efforts to help woodcocks at Jacobsburg and what you can do to help wildlife in your backyard. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Registration required—to register, contact Rick Wiltraut at (610) 746-2810.

"What’s so Special about the Hopewell Big Woods?" Educators’ Workshop
May 2. Held 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at French Creek State Park. This one-day workshop, based on Environment and Ecology and Language Arts Standards, will introduce K-12 educators about the important plants, animals, places and people of the Hopewell Big Woods; the largest unbroken forest area in Southeastern Pa. This is a full day workshop that includes Act 48 credit hours and lunch for only $10. Space limited to 30, so sign up today. Online registration is available here. To request a pdf version of the registration form, or if you have questions, contact Jessica Sprajcar.

March 30, 2011

Agency Spotlight

Cornplanter State Forest

Cornplanter State Forest

This northwestern state forest was named after a great Seneca chief. Read more...

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