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Gov. Corbett’s budget focuses on fiscal restraint, free enterprise
Governor Tom Corbett on Feb. 7 presented his 2012-13 budget to the General Assembly, asking legislators to continue the path of fiscal restraint and to encourage free enterprise for a more prosperous Pennsylvania.

“Last year, we accomplished much of real consequence. For the first time in 40 years, we spent less,’’ Corbett said. “Pennsylvania took its first steps toward changing the culture of tax and spend. Together, we showed we can make reforms that count. It is time to show citizens, weary of empty promises…that we can accomplish more.

“Today I bring before you a budget grounded in difficult realities but framed in the optimism that we are solving our problems,’’ Corbett said. Read more...

Governor signs historic Marcellus Shale law
Governor Tom Corbett this week signed House Bill 1950, the Marcellus Shale bill, into law. Read more...

Newly elected leaders learn of DCNR services, department’s commitment to their municipalities
They came from Aston and Swatara, Lock Haven and Lower Providence. Read more...

Also in the News

DEP ‘Falcon-Cam’ returns
The Department of Environmental Protection has begun its annual live, 24-hour webcast of a nesting pair of peregrine falcons living on a ledge on the Market Street side of the Rachel Carson State Office Building—which is shared by DCNR—in Harrisburg. Three cameras chronicle the falcons while streaming the footage live on the Internet to viewers around the world.

Falcons have nested at the building for 12 years. To date, the nest has produced 53 eggs and 45 hatchlings. Of these, 29 falcons survived; 13 males and 16 females. The gender of one of the nestlings that hatched in 2008, the runt of the clutch, or set of offspring, could not be determined.

Already this year, the resident male, who has been at the site since 2005, has had to defend his territory from an ambitious adolescent tiercel. This development leaves the female falcon with two potential mates this season. Last year, the female falcon laid a clutch of four eggs, and only one hatched. The first eggs of the 2012 breeding season will be laid in late March. The eggs should begin to hatch around mid-May and the young falcons, or “eyases,” will begin to take their first flights, or “fledge” in mid-June.

Follow the falcons by visiting here. There, fans can also sign up to receive the Falcon Wire electronic newsletter. Follow the falcons on Twitter here.

PA Wilds hosts 2nd regional workshop on sustainable tourism
A regional conference on sustainable tourism development will be held in late April in the Pennsylvania Wilds, and organizers are encouraging communities in the region to send teams to the three-day event to help advance local projects in their areas.

“PA Wilds Spring Workshop: Connecting Nature, Economy and Community Character,” will be held April 25-27 at the Red Fern in St. Marys.

The workshop is designed to help communities advance sustainable tourism projects that are important to them. Participants will hear from national and regional experts on topics relevant to the region, and then work as a group in a structured setting to flesh out their project ideas, budgets, and next steps.

The workshop, offered by the Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team, is similar to one the group held in 2007, which led to several successful community-driven projects in the region, from the “Trail Central” branding and trail developments in McKean County, to an impressive local, state, and federal partnership along the Clarion River that led to new directional signage and access points and camp sites along that river, new water trail maps, and to improved roads and public restrooms along the river corridor.

This year, conference organizers will be accepting six to eight teams from across the PA Wilds. The strongest teams will have five to seven people from a variety of backgrounds – small business owners, public lands managers, municipal officials, heritage and tourism professionals and community activists – who together bring a wide range of skill sets and knowledge to the table to help push projects forward.

Applications are due March 12. Application packets and a working agenda for the event are available online or by contacting Janine Morley at (814) 274-4877.

Agency Spotlight

Elk State Forest
While you certainly may bump into an elk, this forest has more to offer. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Snowman in the Forest Day at Cook Forest State Park
Feb. 18. Held 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Come join us for a day of fun wintry activities along the picturesque National Wild & Scenic Clarion river within Cook Forest State Park. Various activities will be held at the Ice Skating Pond, along River Road approximately 1-mile up-river from the Park Office. Events include horse-drawn carriage rides, two snowshoe intterpretive hikes within the old growth forest and a chili cook-off. For more information, visit here.

Sustainable Backyard Landscape series to kick off in March
A workshop series focusing on backyard sustainability will be offered throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2012. The series is sponsored by DCNR, the Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The series includes:

Registration information is available at the links. All program fees include lunch and program materials. For more information, contact Vincent Cotrone, Penn State Forester, at (570) 825-1701; or Diane Madl, DCNR State Parks, at (570) 403-2006.

For more DCNR events, go here.

February 15, 2012

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