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Schuylkill River named Pennsylvania’s 2014 River of the Year
Once among Pennsylvania’s most heavily-polluted waterways, the Schuylkill River in southeastern Pennsylvania has undergone a dramatic recovery and has been voted the 2014 Pennsylvania River of the Year.

Four other rivers were nominated finalists. They were: Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh rivers in the southwest; Ohio in the west; Brodhead Creek Watershed in the northeast; and the West Branch of the Susquehanna in the north central section of the state.

The general public was invited to vote online from Nov. 25 – Dec. 27, with a total of 5,527 votes being registered. Read more...

Sec. Ferretti visits Lower Paxton Twp., Dauphin County, to announce $200,000 grant
DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti met with Lower Paxton Township officials in Dauphin County to formally announce funding of two park projects that will enhance the township’s commitment to honoring military veterans and conserving energy. Read more...

Gov. Corbett unveils 'Energy = Jobs'
Governor Corbett has developed Pennsylvania’s first state energy plan, unveiling it in January at an event at Penn College in Williamsport. Read more...

Sewer system repairs require tree removal at Little Pine State Park
DCNR announced last week that repairs to a storm-damaged, on-site sewage treatment system at Little Pine State Park will require removal of a 7-acre tract of white pine from the park’s Lycoming County woodlands. Read more...

DCNR appoints new managers at Beltzville State Park, Delaware State Forest District
DCNR has named Devin Buzard manager of Beltzville State Park in Carbon County, and Timothy R. Dugan as manager of the Delaware State Forest District, Monroe County. Read more...

Pa. Game Commission names executive director
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has approved the appointment of a new executive director. Read more...

Also in the News

History Channel prompting interest in ginseng
The show “Appalachian Outlaws” on the History Channel is prompting a number of calls to DCNR about ginseng. The current series focuses on ginseng root harvesting, sale and poaching in West Virginia.

Ginseng is a forest plant that is native to the eastern half of the United States and Canada. Parts of the ginseng plant, particularly its root, are valued for their therapeutic qualities and have been traded commercially, both domestically and internationally, for centuries. In recent years, the export of both wild and cultivated ginseng has been increasing from the United States to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and Canada.

Classified as “PA Vulnerable,” ginseng is protected under the Wild Resource Conservation Act overseen by DCNR. PA Vulnerable plants are in danger of population decline because of their beauty, economic value, or other factors which entice people to remove them from their native habitats. As it takes a ginseng plant at least five years to mature, its seeds have the best chance of producing new plants if they come from a mature plant and are planted near the site of those harvested.

Pennsylvania’s harvest season is Sep. 1 through Nov. 30. For details on ginseng and harvesting regulations in Pennsylvania go here.

Bids approved for projects in state parks and forests
Major rehabilitation of the sewage collection system at Frances Slocum State Park, Luzerne County, will be undertaken this year after a bid was among several awarded late in 2013 by DCNR.

A bid of $489,210 was awarded to State Pipe Services Inc. of Cranberry Township. The general construction bid was approved Dec. 5.

Another major sewage improvement project is slated at Marsh Creek State Park, Chester County, where rehabilitation of a lift station will begin after a $164,700 bid was awarded. Approval was granted Dec. 19 to PSI Pumping Solutions, York Springs.

Bridge replacement is planned on Bear Run Road in Hartley Township, Bald Eagle State Forest, after a $146,819 bid was awarded to Lycoming Supply Inc., Williamsport. The bid for the span over Laurel Run was approved Nov. 7.

Finally, a bid of $89,990 was approved Dec. 5 for mansion roof replacement at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center, Cumberland County. The bid was submitted by Mid-State Roofing and Coating Inc., Belleville.

Agency Spotlight

Kettle Creek State Park
This park is perfect to float kayaks and canoes. Read more...

Upcoming Events

Woodchuck Walk at Keystone State Park
Feb. 1. Held 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. This is not only a weekend for waking up sleepy animals and predicting the weather, it’s also a great time to hit the trails and explore the woods! Hike with us to learn about how plants and animals cope with cold winter weather. We’ll also talk about the star of the day and what this shadow business is all about! Please call 724-668-2566 or email if you wish to join us for this adventurous hike. Meet at the visitor center and dress for the weather (don’t forget your warm shoes/boots and clothing – it’s best to dress in layers).

Grant workshops for recreation and conservation projects slated for February
These workshops will provide information to potential applicants on DCNR grants available for public recreation and conservation projects.  The next grant period opened January 15, 2014 and ends on April 16, 2014. Locations and dates are:

  • Feb. 5, Camp Hill (Prosser Hall, Camp Hill Borough Building)
  • Feb. 6, Conshohocken (Fire Academy, Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus)
  • Feb. 19, Nanticoke (Educational Conference Center, Luzerne County Community College)
  • Feb. 20, Boalsburg (Pennsylvania Military Museum)
  • Feb. 25, Wexford (Pine Township Recreation Center)
  • Feb. 26, Clarion (Clarion Holiday Inn)
The workshops will provide in-depth information on projects eligible for DCNR’s grant funds, how to develop a competitive “ready-to-go” application, eligible applicants, and matching fund requirements.  Participants will also receive guidance and updates on the eGrants application process and have an opportunity to interact with Bureau staff. Community leaders, municipal officials, consultants, land trusts, board members, trail managers, and park and recreation professionals are encouraged to attend.  Preregistration is required.  Click on the individual workshop event that you would like to attend and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to register.  For additional information, email BRC's Linda Manning.

For more DCNR events, go here.

January 22, 2014

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