DCNR holds first meeting of Forest Buffer Advisory Committee
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has announced the launch of the Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee that will provide advice and expertise as the commonwealth works toward a goal of planting 95,000 acres of buffers along waterways by 2025.
“DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is leading an effort to work with numerous agencies, partners and landowners to expand forest buffers along waterways in the commonwealth,” Dunn said. “We are convening a group of experts that will share their ideas about what’s working on the ground and lessons they have learned planting buffers, as well as brainstorm around new ideas and provide advice about outreach to citizens and stakeholders.”
Dunn said Pennsylvania is in the process of developing a comprehensive approach to provide funding, training, and outreach to farmers and landowners to increase forest buffers. Read more...
New PA Conservation Explorer tool to allow users to avoid impacts on threatened, endangered species
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has announced that the department and its partners have launched PA Conservation Explorer to assist businesses, local governments and citizens with conservation planning, and improve the process for environmental reviews for threatened and endangered species that are required during permitting for construction and other activities. Read more...
DCNR announces funding to help volunteer fire companies battle wildfires
With spring’s arrival and the increased risk of forest and brush fires across the state, federal grants now are available to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped and unprotected areas. Read more...
Fees to help defray cleanup, maintenance costs at Little Pine State Park shooting range
Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas has announced DCNR will begin charging fees for use of its shooting range at Little Pine State Park, Lycoming County, effective Friday, April 1. Read more...
Presque Isle State Park beaches place first in national competition
The beaches of Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania’s most heavily visited state park on the shore of Lake Erie, placed first in the “Best Freshwater Beach” category of nationwide, online voting in a travel award contest sponsored by USA TODAY, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced recently. Read more...
Also in the News
North Branch of the Susquehanna to celebrate its River of the Year status by hosting sojourns
Three upcoming sojourns are scheduled to highlight 2016’s River of the Year, the North Branch of the Susquehanna. The guided, multi-day paddling and camping trips will give a unique look at the North Branch by featuring exclusive access to the area’s history, wildlife and conservation efforts through educational programs by local experts.
Enthusiasts can join any trip for the full duration or just a few days. Registration is required; costs vary per trip. The sojourns on the North Branch include:
Hawk Mountain to host Spring Hawk Watch
Berks County’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is once again hosting its Spring Hawk Watch, beginning April 1 and running through May 15. During the count, staff, trainees, and volunteers will be stationed at the Lookout to help visitors spot and identify raptors including broad-winged hawks, red-tailed hawks, ospreys, and bald eagles. Migration typically peaks in mid to late April, especially on days with southerly winds and cloud cover, when counts of more than 100 birds may be seen.
In conjunction with the count, spring weekend programs begin as well and are held every Saturday and Sunday through the count. The Sanctuary’s signature live raptor program, “Raptors UP Close!” is sponsored by M&T Bank and continues through Memorial Day. A full schedule of weekend programs and other details can be found on Hawk Mountain's website.
Members are admitted free, however non-member trail fees are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children ages 6-12. For more information, and for raptor enthusiasts and those who cannot make it to Hawk Mountain, counts are posted daily after 6:00 p.m. at www.hawkmountain.org.
Two Pa. commissions to host special “Working Together for Wildlife” exhibit
The Pa. Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pa. Game Commission will host the opening of a special exhibit, “Working Together for Wildlife: Three Decades of Pennsylvania’s Nature in Art” at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8, at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. James Vaughan, executive director of the PHMC, and Matt Hough, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, will join museum staff and other officials to celebrate the opening of this exhibit.
“Working Together for Wildlife: Three Decades of Pennsylvania’s Nature in Art” features 34 original paintings by 19 different Pennsylvania artists. In the historical tradition of the Pennsylvania naturalist-artists Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon and Ned Smith, “Working Together for Wildlife” artists depict the beauty of animals in their natural habitats. The works highlight game and non-game animals such as the black bear, the bobcat, the gray squirrel, the great blue heron, the cardinal and the ruffed grouse—Pennsylvania’s state bird.
Each year, the Game Commission hosts “Working Together for Wildlife,” a competition that is open to Pennsylvania artists. The Game Commission makes the winning artwork available in special edition prints and patches, with the proceeds benefitting the preservation and maintenance of Pennsylvania’s wildlife. This entire collection will be exhibited publically and for the first time on April 8 at The State Museum. For museum hours, admission and other information, visit www.statemuseumpa.org.
Caledonia State Park
This park was the site of a very famous ironworks owned by an even more famous Civil War-era Pennsylvanian. Read more...
Buds, Barks, and Branches at Raccoon Creek State Park
April 2. Held 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Identifying trees without leaves can be challenging, but not impossible. Join park educator on a short 1-mile hike, and learn some tricks and tips to identifying leafless trees by buds, barks, and/or branches. Free Program.