Friday, February 22, 2019

Keystone Tree Fund Bills In Senate, House Gain DEP Citizens Advisory Council Support

On February 21, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council sent letters to members of the House and Senate urging them to support legislation creating a Keystone Tree Fund to support DCNR programs to plant riparian stream buffers.
House Bill 374 was introduced by Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) and is now on the House Calendar for action.  The companion bill-- Senate Bill 108-- introduced by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) is in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
“The Commonwealth is faced with hard decisions and difficult obstacles in complying with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. The Keystone Tree Fund, however, is just the kind of initiative that can raise a significant amount of money that will go directly towards a proven method of improving water quality without placing further strain on the state budget—truly a win-win.
“The sooner this bill is passed the sooner we will begin to see measurable water quality gains.
“Cleaner streams mean better aquatic habitats, drinking water sources, and recreational uses. A citizen-driven volunteer fund that supports these goals and can help the Commonwealth comply with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL should be a legislative priority.”
The legislation would create a voluntary $3 checkoff on driver and vehicle registrations to support DCNR’s TreeVitalize and Riparian Forest Buffer Grants programs.  Click Here for a copy of the bill summary.
Click Here for a copy of the letters which support the respective House and Senate bills.
The 18-member Citizens Advisory Council is appointed equally by the Senate, House and Governor to advise DEP on its programs.
For more information, visit the DEP Citizens Advisory Council webpage.  Questions should be directed to Keith Calador, Executive Director, 717-787-8171 or send email to:
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