DCNR to begin implementing recommendations of task force on target range in Michaux State Forest
DCNR Secretary Richard Allan recently announced that the department will move forward on the recommendations of a task force of stakeholders to improve and reopen for a three-year period a public shooting range on the Michaux State Forest in Franklin County
The range, originally opened in 2003, was closed in June 2010 due to maintenance issues; a need to develop baseline measures of lead and other contaminants associated with small arms; and ongoing misuse and vandalism at the site.
“DCNR is responsible for managing our state forest for multiple uses and values that sometimes conflict." Read more...
West Chester, Greenwood Furnace workshops target emerald ash borer in municipalities, state parks
To West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta, the cost of tree treatment sounded as high as the stand of ash trees towering before her. To do nothing, she learned, could prove even more costly. Read more...
Lumber heritage mini-grants announced
The Lumber Heritage Region and the Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team recently announced the 2012 recipients of a mini-grant program that funds projects that promote heritage and nature-based tourism in the region. Read more...
Also in the News
Beaches at Presque Isle State Park among best restored in America
Presque Isle State Park is among the three top vote-getters in the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association's “Best of the Best Restored Beach” online contest. The Lake Erie shoreline park wom “Top Park/Habitat Beach.”
“Pennsylvania is fairly unusual in this contest, in that most of the beaches included are coastal,” DCNR Secretary Richard Allan said. “This is a good way to remind people that the beaches on Lake Erie at Presque Isle are Pennsylvania’s ‘seashore’ and are among the many unique characteristics that make our 120-state park system so diverse.”
Winning beach communities will be honored at a special ceremony in Washington, DC, Feb. 26-28. Complete descriptions of each of the beaches that were in the running are online at www.asbpa.org. ASBPA created the Best Restored Beach award a decade ago as a way of highlighting the value of restored beaches. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion.
Park manager Mumau recognized for coldwater leadership
At its recent spring banquet in Uniontown, the Chestnut Ridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited presented its 2011 Meritorious Service Award to Mike Mumau, DCNR park operations manager at the Laurel Hill State Park Complex. The Laurel Hill complex includes Laurel Hill, Laurel Ridge and Kooser state parks.
The Chestnut Ridge TU Chapter, which has been active in stream restoration in the Youghiogheny River watershed, annually recognizes an individual, organization or agency for outstanding contributions to coldwater conservation and trout fishing in the Laurel Highlands region.
The group selected Mumau for the 2011 award because of his leadership role in several projects aimed at improving water quality and trout habitat in Laurel Hill Creek. Chestnut Ridge also noted efforts by Mumau and his staff to promote trout fishing through educational programs at the parks.
“Laurel Hill Creek is one of our most important coldwater streams in the Laurel Highlands region,” said Chestnut Ridge TU president, Scott Hoffman. “Mike Mumau’s exemplary work on behalf of the stream as a state park manager also benefits the entire Youghiogheny River downstream. We are proud to recognize park manager Mumau as a leader and a partner in conserving and restoring our coldwater resources.”
Implementation of DCNR program leads to Lebanon County principal earning White House recognition
Marian Robidas, principal at Jonestown Elementary School in Lebanon County, was recently honored in Washington, D.C. as part of the “Champions of Change” initiative. Robidas was nominated for the award—which recognized efforts throughout the country of “everyday Americans doing extraordinary things”—by DCNR’s Estelle Ruppert. Ruppert, who works in the Bureau of State Parks’ outdoor programming services division, helped Robidas establish the PLACE/PA Land Choices program in her school. PLACE is an educational program designed to strengthen DCNR’s connection with local land choice issues through workshops, education, implementation and outreach directed toward schools and other learning institutions.
Robidas was feted along with nine others for the “greening of America’s cities.” The White House recognized them for using innovative approaches to promote energy efficiency, revitalizing outdoor spaces, encouraging transportation options, and improving the quality of life in their communities. Robidas received the honor for several environmentally-themed projects at Jonestown Elementary, including a rain garden that was installed last year, an air quality study, and a study focused on counting calories burned while walking and riding. The school also does an annual study of Swatara Creek.
For more information on the PLACE program, contact Estelle Ruppert.
Pennsylvania outdoors writers honor DCNR employee
A newspaper column focusing on the joys of teaching a daughter to fish earned state writing honors for DCNR Deputy Press Secretary Terry Brady.
Brady received two Excellence in Crafts awards in competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers (POWA) for a column entitled “First striper: A pound for every year she’s been his fishing buddy.” The piece appeared Nov. 11, 2011 in Pennsylvania Outdoor News.
The column was honored with the Pass It On Award, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, and the Youth Fishing Award, sponsored by Expositions Inc., promoters of outdoors and travel shows across Pennsylvania.
Brady and other outdoors communicators were honored at POWA’s annual spring conference May 3-6 in Pottsville, Schuylkill County.
Susquehannock State Forest
After fires and cutting, a new, 20th century forest emerged here. Read more...
Woodpecker Woods Walk at Ricketts Glen State Park
May 18. Held 10:00 - 11:30 p.m. This is a follow up program to last week's initial birding program. Plan to meet at the Visitor's Center Activity Room first. Then we will drive over to the 3-bay parking lot to explore part of the Mountain Springs Trail to check out our woodpeckers and other tree climbing birds. Don't forget those binoculars! (in case you don't have any, the park EES, Judy, has some extras available). For more information, call (570) 477-7780.
Sustainable Backyard Landscape series
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.
Agroforestry training workshops set for May
DCNR's Bureau of Forestry, Penn State and Shaver's Creek Environmental Center will host two agroforestry workshops in May. Agroforestry integrates trees and shrubs with crops or livestock to create a system that is managed to provide economic, environmental and social benefits to landowners.
Five key practices of agroforestry that will be covered are: silvopasture, the integration of trees and livestock; forest farming, including such non-timber products as maple syrup, ramps, or mushrooms; riparian forest buffers, planting trees along streams to enhance water quality; windbreaks; and alley cropping, the intercropping of plants between rows of trees for food, fiber, or forage.
The worships are:
- May 15 at the Ag Progress Days site in Rock Springs, Centre County, and will focus on forest farming and windbreaks.
- May 17 in Mifflintown, Juniata County; this workshop will focus on forest farming and silvopasturing.
'Motorized Recreation in Pennsylvania – Partnerships for Progress' workshop to cover OHV recreation
June 7-9. Held at the Best Western Country Cupboard Inn, Lewisburg. The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), in conjunction with DCNR and the Pennsylvania OHV Association (PaOHVA), will present a three-day workshop that includes two days of classroom sessions and one day of field sessions to provide hands-on opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom. Topics will include principles of OHV recreation management; planning, operation and maintenance of sustainable trail systems; benefits of active management; economic benefits of OHV recreation; conflict resolution; effective use of volunteers; and partnership development opportunities.
A nominal registration fee will be charged. For more information, visit here.
For more DCNR events, go here.