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Governor Corbett signs budget, cutting spending, without tax increases
Gov. Tom Corbett on June 30 signed the 2011-12 budget which cuts government spending, does not raise taxes, includes property tax reform, and restores common sense to the state spending process.

The $27.15 billion budget cuts overall government spending by more than $1 billion.

“This reality-based budget marks a return to the Constitutional principles that must guide Pennsylvania’s fiscal policy,” Corbett said. Read more...

'Prowl the Sproul' State Forest hiking activities set for July 22-24
The rugged beauty of the Sproul and Susquehannock state forests again will be showcased for hikers and other visitors when the three-day “Prowl the Sproul” series of hikes steps off Friday, July 22.. Read more...

American Heart Association and Presque Isle State Park unveil walking path
Erie residents are encouraged to walk for 30 minutes in celebration of a newly designated American Heart Association walking path. Read more...

South Mountain presents a unique treasure
Hiking enthusiasts and geocachers will now be able to seek out valley treasures while exploring the South Mountain's natural beauty and communities by following the outdoor adventure trail to hidden vistas, tucked away historical sites and more. Read more...

DCNR supports Erie playground built in one day
Mayors and officials attending the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities’ annual convention June 21 joined hundreds of volunteers from the City of Erie, DCNR, organizers from non-profit KaBOOM! and residents of the Erie community to build a new, child-designed playground at Gridley Park. Read more...

Also in the News

Paddlers learn about conservation during the 13th annual Schuylkill River sojourn
On June 4, over 100 paddlers climbed into their colorful kayaks and canoes in Schuylkill Haven and set off upon the 13th annual Schuylkill River sojourn. By the time the sojourn came to an end at Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row on June 10—113 miles and seven days later—over 230 paddlers from nine states had participated in all or part of the journey. And all of them had learned something about conservation from DCNR.

For the 2011 Sojourn, the Heritage Area partnered with DCNR, which provided programming throughout the event entitled “Taking Conservation Personally—Save Energy, Live Local, Plant Smart.” Through presentations at evening campsites and afternoon lunch stops, sojourners learned about a variety of environmental and conservation topics, including green camping, renewable energy, Tree Vitalize and permaforestry.

Over the years, the Schuylkill River Sojourn has attracted over 2,000 paddlers from 20 states and Washington D.C. It also engages over 70 partners and sponsors annually, who provide funding, food, entertainment and programming. The Schuylkill River Sojourn is the signature event of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, which runs the program in order to draw attention to the river as a valuable natural and recreational resource, and as a source of drinking water for over 1.5 million people.

Time is here for summer bat count
In an ongoing effort to monitor White Nose Syndrome—a phenomenon currently afflicting bats in Pennsylvania—the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is encouraging participation in its annual Bat Summer Concentration Survey. The mysterious syndrome has been causing high levels of mortality at hibernacula throughout the northeastern states—and is now spreading to the midwest and up into the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The malady was first observed in 2006.

The bat count is designed to collect date from summer roosts and share it will the Pa. Game Commission. DCNR is pitching in with counts at bat boxes and structures, and at a variety of other sites throughout the state forest and park system. Last year, DCNR employes and volunteers counted 27,431 bats.

The first three weeks of July are critical to catch the bats at their summer roosts. For more information on the bat count and how to participate, visit here, then click on “Wildlife,” then “Bats.”

Agency Spotlight

Susquehannock State Forest
The American Indian tribe for which this forest is named is gone, but the black cherries are still growing tall. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Snake Hike at Ohiopyle State Park
A Get Outdoors PA eventJuly 9. Held 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Are there snakes in Ohiopyle? Of course there are! Ohiopyle State Park is the perfect habitat for our slitherin’ scaly friends. Join us for this fun hike where we search every nook and cranny for our slitherin’ friends. Along the way we will learn all about what makes them so special, how to identify snakes and what to do in the unlikely event of a snakebite. Meet at the Train Station/Visitor Center. For more information, email

Family paddle program at Memorial Lake State Park
July 11. Held 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Whether you’re a novice or a paddling pro, you are invited to bring your family to “Paddle with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission,” a free event which will take place at Memorial Lake State Park in Lebanon County on Monday, July 11, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Those who are interested in kayaks or stand-up paddleboards will get the opportunity to try them, courtesy of the PFBC, DCNR and local boat dealers. Individuals who prefer to stay on land can enjoy several interactive displays, including proper life jacket fitting and throwbag practice. Waterways conservation officers will be on hand to answer questions. Free items for all attendees include boating safety brochures and stickers, the Wear It! pledge card, maps and whistles.

Pre-registered participants will learn key navigation rules and basic paddling strokes from paddling instructors. All boating equipment and life jackets will be provided and multiple paddling sessions will be running during the two-hour event. Paddling participants must pre-register for a time-slot and complete free safety instruction on-site before going on the water. To pre-register for group instruction, call (717) 705-7834. Registrations will be accepted through July 6.

July 6, 2011

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