Friday, October 31, 2014

Nov. 3 PA Environment Digest Now Available

Nov. 3 PA Environment Digest Now Available.  Click Here To Print Entire Digest.

PEC Q/A With Gov. Corbett, Tom Wolf On Environmental Issues, Now You Decide
Tuesday, November 4 you get to decide whether Tom Corbett (R) or Tom Wolf (D) will be Governor the next four years.
Here are the responses the candidates gave in May to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to questions on important environmental issues.  They are still very relevant today as voters go to the polls.

Stormwater Permit In Lititz Boon To Rock ‘n’ Roll Town, Water Quality, Sets Precedent
Thanks to the likes of the Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, Willie Nelson and other music stars, the Chesapeake Bay will benefit from cleaner upstream waters in one Susquehanna River tributary.
The Lancaster County Conservation District and the Department of Environmental Protection have authorized a permit for an innovative post-construction stormwater management plan for Rock Lititz, the $100 million rehearsal campus catering to the rock-concert industry.

Call For Presentations: High School, College Student Symposium On The Environment
Westminster College and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition are again sponsoring the Student Symposium on the Environment December 4 at the McKelvey Campus Center, Witherspoon Rooms and Mueller Theater, Westminster College

Keep PA Beautiful: Electronics Waste Collections In Juniata, Mercer, Venango Counties
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliates invite local residents to dispose of electronics properly. PA CleanWays of Venango County, Tri-County CleanWays and Keep Juniata County Beautiful are holding electronic collections during the month of November.

Feature: Great Strides With MEGA-Transect Chestnut Project In PA
In 2014, Mike and Kieu Manes played a tremendous role in moving the Appalachian Trail  MEGA-Transect Chestnut Project forward in Pennsylvania. This project trains volunteer hikers to recognize and count surviving American chestnut trees, as they hike along the Appalachian Trail.

Calvin Ernst, Ernst Conservation Seeds, Honored By Penn State, Atlantic Seed Association
Calvin Ernst, founder and president of Ernst Conservation Seeds in Meadville, Crawford County, was recently honored for a lifetime of contributions to the native seed industry by the Atlantic Seed Association and Penn State University during separate events.

Western PA Conservancy: TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Seeks Volunteers

Fall tree planting season has begun for TreeVitalize Pittsburgh and we need your help with plantings across the Pittsburgh area. Plantings run through November 22 and are held rain or shine.
Managed by the Western PA Conservancy, and with the help of volunteers, TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is planting more than 800 trees in about 24 communities and neighborhoods in and around Pittsburgh in November.
If you’re interested in volunteering or want to learn more, call 412-586-2386 or register online for a tree planting.

November Water, Land, Life Newsletter Now Available From Western PA Conservancy

The November edition of Water, Land, Life newsletter is now available from the Western PA Conservancy featuring articles on--
-- TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Seeks Volunteers
-- WPC Natural Area Dedication Honors Donor’s Legacy
-- Fallingwater Museum Store Hosts Book Signing Nov. 13
-- End-Of-Year Stewardship Workday, Potluck Nov. 8
-- Click Here to start receiving your own copy of Water, Land, Life.

Keep PA Beautiful: Electronics Waste Collection Events In Juniata, Mercer, Venango Counties

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliates invite local residents to dispose of electronics properly. PA CleanWays of Venango County, Tri-County CleanWays and Keep Juniata County Beautiful are holding electronic collections during the month of November.
The collections, which consist of one-day events will accept various electronics, some fees apply.  The will be held on--
-- November 1: PA CleanWays of Venango County, Contact Erik Johnson at 814-432-9684;
-- November 6: Tri-County CleanWays Mercer County (by appointment only), Call 724-658-6925 for more information; and
-- November 15: Keep Juniata County Beautiful, Contact Teddi Stark at 717-436-8953 x 123
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works to increase the availability of convenient, affordable disposal for certain items, such as tires, household hazardous waste, pharmaceuticals, and appliances. Our affiliates across the state often work with local solid waste and recycling offices to identify local disposal needs and implement special collections.
“I applaud our affiliates for providing this valuable service to their communities. Without special collections and drop-off locations, we would be expending far more resources on pulling those materials up the hillside,” states Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.   
Visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website’s Calendar of Events to find a special collection site near you. Or contact your local Recycling Coordinator for a listing of one day events or permanent drop-off locations in your area.

North America’s Largest Predatory Bird Visits Hawk Mountain Nov. 8

Visitors to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, Berks County, will have a guaranteed chance to see North America’s largest predatory bird on “Golden Eagle Saturday,” held November 8 with one-day-only eagle programs at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
This live raptor event coincides with the peak of golden eagle migration at Hawk Mountain. Each golden eagle program is free, but a trail fee applies for those who walk the Sanctuary’s trails.
Courtesy of Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, visitors to the eagle programs will see a live, non-releasable golden eagle in the Sanctuary’s Outdoor Amphitheater. In the event of inclement weather, programs will be held inside the Visitor Center.
This program also will include other raptor species in order to show how adaptations differ among species, and to help explain what sets the golden eagle apart from other raptors.
A solitary and secretive bird, the golden eagle is rare to see throughout the northeast but during autumn, an average 90 are spotted at Hawk Mountain, most during the first two weeks of November. The bird sails by on plank-like wings that stretch more than seven feet and typically migrates alone, heading south on updrafts and thermals along the Kittatinny Ridge or “Blue Mountain.”
Early November also is the best time to see both bald and golden eagles in the air on the same day, another rare opportunity that brings birders and wildlife enthusiasts to Hawk Mountain’s North Lookout for a chance to glimpse the two enormous raptors. In fact, last weekend at Hawk Mountain, the two species were photographed together, in flight.
The golden eagles that do pass, biologists believe, move south from nesting grounds in Quebec and the chilly, northern provinces of Canada.
At this time of year, visitors also can expect to see large numbers of red-tailed hawks, the Sanctuary’s third most numerous migrant, as well as rarer birds of the north, such as the northern goshawk.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a prime observation point for autumn raptor migration because of its location along the easternmost edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Hawks use ridge currents for uplift like glider pilots on long-distance flights.
In addition to birds of prey, hummingbirds, monarch butterflies, songbirds and waterfowl use the Appalachian Mountain Flyway. Some species follow the Appalachians to their end, before heading south to the coastal plains of eastern Mexico and falling out to the tropical forests of Central and South America.
The official Hawk Mountain raptor watch runs from August 15 to December 15. As the world’s first refuge for birds of prey, the Sanctuary boasts the longest-running database of hawk migration in the world.
Visitors during November should wear sturdy shoes, dress in warm, layered clothing, and bring binoculars, something soft to sit upon, and a daypack. The Sanctuary has no trash receptacles and follows a carry in–carry out trash policy. Snack food and water are available for sale in the Visitor Center.
Trails to the lookouts at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary are open daily from dawn to dusk. Weekday trail fees are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children 6-12. Weekend trail fees from September 1 through November 30 cost $8 for adults and seniors, and $4 for children 6-12. Trail fees include a variety of free weekend programs, which continue through November 21.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a non-profit, member-support organization located just seven miles north of I-78 near Hamburg (exit 29B).
For more information on weekend programs or for weather forecasts, interested visitors can call the info line at 610-756-6000. For daily hawk counts, visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s website or call the hawk count line at 610-756-6000x6.

Feature: Great Strides With MEGA-Transect Chestnut Project In PA

In 2014, Mike and Kieu Manes played a tremendous role in moving the Appalachian Trail  MEGA-Transect Chestnut Project forward in Pennsylvania. This project trains volunteer hikers to recognize and count surviving American chestnut trees, as they hike along the Appalachian Trail.
In October 2014, Kieu and Mike completed counting all the chestnuts along the Appalachian Trail in PA, between Route 61 (Port Clinton) and the Delaware River, a distance of more than 75 miles. They found a total of 4,631 chestnut trees three feet or more in height within 15 feet of the Appalachian Trail.
The Appalachian Trail MEGA-Transect Chestnut Project is a long-term plan to provide information about trends in chestnut survival including characteristics of locations that support chestnut survival. The ultimate goal of the project is to inform eventual restoration of the American chestnut to its pre-blight role in the Appalachian forest.
Mike and Kieu received their training for the project from TACF Regional Science Coordinator Sara Fitzsimmons in 2011 at Hawk Mountain. As active trail maintenance volunteers they brought a wealth of skills and knowledge of the trail to the task of collecting American chestnut data, and their first data collection report revealed their dedication and creativity via careful documentation, beautiful and informative photos.
Subsequent years have found the Manes organizing and leading trainings to engage new volunteers in counting American chestnut along the trail. John Stempa, another experienced trail maintainer, was one of the Manes’ trainees this year. In discussing his training, John stated, “[I] never knew what an American chestnut even looked like, until Mike and Kieu introduced me to the American Chestnuts along the AT. Since then, it’s been a lot of fun for me to help educate others. My son has learned how to identify the American chestnut and has taught others since then.  In fact, our dogs know more about the American chestnut than most of my neighbors.”
Heather Housekeeper, another 2014 recruit, offered similar praise for the work Mike and Kieu do for TACF. She states, “It was such a pleasure to join Mike and Kieu in their surveying of the American chestnut. I am an AT thru-hiker (08') as well as an herbalist and author who is regularly educating the public on our local plants. Now that I have a better knowledge of the American chestnut, I plan to incorporate it into my plant walks whenever possible! And I'd like to echo John Stempa in remarking on my ignorance of the American chestnut the whole while I was hiking the I can educate other hikers I come across in my travels. Much thanks to Mike and Kieu and the American Chestnut Foundation!”
Mike and Kieu Manes have been avid members of The American Chestnut Foundation since 2011.
For more information, visit the PA Chapter-The American Chestnut Foundation website.

PA Parks & Forest Foundation To Showcase Photo Contest Winners Nov. 12

The PA Parks and Forest Foundation will showcase the winning entries in its Through The Seasons Photo Contest on November 12 at the Roy Pitz Brewing Company, 140 N. 3rd St. in Chambersburg on November 12 at 4:00.  Click Here for more information.
Photo is from Kettle Creek State Park by Scott Hafer, Best In Show-People’s Choice winner.

DEP Publishes Notice Of Proposed Agreement To Clean Up Parts Of Dunkard Creek

On November 1 the Department of Environmental Protection published notice of a proposed consent order and agreement with Dana Mining and AMD Reclamation, Inc. to collect and treat acid mine drainage discharges from abandoned underground coal mines in the Dunkard Creek Watershed in Greene County.  (PA Bulletin page 6994)
Under the proposed agreement, AMDRI and Dana will continue to collect and treat the Shannopin Mine pool at the Steele Shaft treatment facility.  In addition, they will also capture and collect four additional discharges from the Maiden Mine pool.
Public comments are due on the proposed agreement by December 1.
Copies of the proposed agreement can be reviewed or obtained by contacting Joel Koricich, District Mining Manager, California District Office, 25 Technology Drive, Coal Center, PA 15423. Phone: 724.769.1100, Fax: 724.769.1102 or sending email to:

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