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Independent review hails state forest management
DCNR Secretary Richard Allan this week applauded results of an independent review team’s study of state forestlands, noting its findings affirm the state’s efforts to conserve these resources and ensure their long-term health through sound management.

“This continued certification of our state forests is a reaffirmation of the pride we take in managing our state forest system for many values and uses, while maintaining its long-term health and viability,” said Allan. “Today, there are many threats and challenges in forest management, including fragmentation and disturbance, invasive plants, destructive exotic insects and insufficient regeneration.

“The certification process is a strong affirmation that we are doing everything we can to meet these challenges through management plans and practices. Read more...

Gov. Corbett proclaims March 18-24 Wildfire Prevention Week
Governor Tom Corbett proclaimed March 18-24 Wildfire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania, noting a relatively warm and dry winter has greatly increased the risk of spring wildfires in much of the state. Read more...

Four Pennsylvania schools nominated for National Green Ribbon Award
Pa. Dept. of Education Secretary Ron Tomalis recently nominated four Pennsylvania schools to compete for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award. Read more...

Weiser State Forest fire officer receives wildfire prevention award
David Duffy, a forest fire warden with the Weiser State Forest District, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Arthur N. Creelman Award for his dedication and success in spreading the wildfire prevention message. Read more...

Bureau of State Parks educator cited for professional achievement
The Keystone Award—the most prestigious annual honor extended by the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators—was presented to Bureau of State Parks environmental educator Estelle Ruppert for her dedication to “advancing the quality and opportunities of environmental education in Pennsylvania." Read more...

Also in the News

DEP to host online sessions on new Marcellus Shale law
The Department of Environmental Protection will host online information sessions on implementing Act 13, which Governor Tom Corbett signed into law in February to further protect the environment and place more stringent regulations on the natural gas drilling industry.

Act 13’s environmental provisions for unconventional gas operations, which take effect April 16, include increased setbacks from buildings and waterways; limited development in floodplains; and increased time and distance provisions in which gas drillers are presumed liable for water contamination until evidence proves otherwise, among other things. Operators must also register their hydraulic fracturing fluid ingredients with, a website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to make such information accessible to the public.

DEP will offer four one-hour sessions, starting with a general overview of Act 13 on March 27; details on permitting and notifications on April 3; information about environmental protection and enhancement on April 10; and a session on inspections and enforcement on April 17. The sessions, which will begin at 1 p.m., will be presented live through Cisco WebEx software. There is a maximum of 500 attendees to each session due to technological limitations. DEP will post recordings of the presentations on its website.

Bids approved for state forest, park projects
Stream erosion has taken a toll on a Sproul State Forest road to the point where a stabilization project is required on a stretch of the waterway in Chapman Township, Clinton County. Work along Little Greenlick Road will begin after a bid of $27,775 was awarded March 12 to Solveson Contracting Inc.

Another bid approved for state park work will see new roofs installed on two marina comfort stations and a concession building at Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County. A bid of $69,000 was awarded March 13 to Wespol Construction & Metal Distributors LLC, Bristol.

Agency Spotlight

Moshannon State Forest
Up on the Allegheny Plateau, this forest has seen a lot of changes over the years. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Digital Camera Hike at Delaware Canal State Park
March 31. Held 10:00 a.m. - noon. My cell phone takes photos, why bother with a digital camera? This fun, informative walk along the Delaware Canal will help illuminate the mysteries and benefits of the digital point and shoot camera. We'll delve into manual settings, such as aperature and shutter speed while looking for spring wildflowers along the canal. Participants may borrow our Canon Powershot A series loaner cameras or bring their own. Registration reqired. For more information, contact Ian Kindle at (610) 982-0166.

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.

March 28, 2012

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