Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DCNR Designates 35 Sites On State Forest Lands As Wild Plant Sanctuaries

On June 9, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the department is designating 35 areas of state forest land across the state as
Wild Plant Sanctuaries.

“Whether tucked into forest hollows with rich soils, growing in mucky peatlands, or rooted in dry, rocky barrens, some of the state’s rarest plant populations are now protected in Wild Plant Sanctuaries established in state forests across Pennsylvania,” Dunn said. “Designation of sanctuaries assists DCNR in carrying out its mission to conserve native wild plants and ensures the protection of some of the most botanically diverse sites in the Commonwealth.” 

The sanctuaries are located in 12 of the state’s 20 state forest districts. Specific locations are not being shared to prevent illegal poaching. Some sanctuaries also represent habitats with high plant species diversity or sites with large populations of host plants for rare pollinators and terrestrial invertebrates.

The newly designated sanctuaries range in size from five to 700 acres and cover a variety of habitats, including islands, glacial wetlands, and a wide range of unique, forested habitats.

Wild Plant Sanctuary sites offer opportunities for annual monitoring of plant populations and scientific research to better understand the conservation needs of state-listed species and their role in plant communities.  

Active management projects undertaken include mowing or cutting that provides more light to the forest floor, fencing to minimize over-browsing by deer, using prescribed fire to promote more open growing conditions, or efforts that seek to control or eradicate invasive plant species.

Set forth by Section 10 of the Wild Resource Conservation Act, the Wild Plant Sanctuary designation allows for the protection, management, and scientific monitoring of plant species populations in the Commonwealth that are designated as Rare, Threatened, or Endangered.

Once identified, sanctuary sites are surveyed to determine their size, boundaries, and to assess threats to the species of interest. Management plans are then developed to outline management and monitoring needs to conserve the species. 

When appropriate, collaboration between Bureau of Forestry staff, botanical experts, and local stakeholders helps to further refine management guidance and assess ecological health of the sanctuaries over time.

The knowledge gained by monitoring these sites and studying the results of active management projects can also be used in the future to provide guidance to landowners to protect state-listed plant populations on privately-owned lands. 

In addition to these new locations on state forest land, there are 19 Wild Plant Sanctuaries designated on private lands.

Landowners agree to protect the area and educate others about the importance of native and wild plants and habitats. In return, they receive any needed assistance with developing a management plan and have access to technical assistance and ecological checkups.

There are approximately 2,100 native plants in Pennsylvania.

Visit DCNR’s Wild Plant Sanctuaries webpage to learn more.


ScrantonT: Salt Springs State Park Inducted Into Old-Growth Forest Network In Susquehanna County

Marcus Schneck: PA Adds Old-Growth Forest To National Network, 5 More To Follow This Year

Related Articles:

-- Cline Family Partners With DCNR To Formally Designate Windinoll Wild Plant Sanctuary In Allegheny County

-- DCNR Celebrates Induction Of White Clay Creek Preserve In Chester County Into The Old-Growth Forest Network

[Posted: June 9, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Bay Journal: Happy Water Trails, Allan Quant, You Will Be Missed

By Cindy Adams Dunn & Brook Lenker,
Chesapeake Bay Journal

The region lost a champion for the Chesapeake Bay in November 2020, when Allan Quant of Lewisburg, PA, succumbed to cancer after a courageous, multiyear fight. His beloved Susquehanna River will seem more empty without his wise, endearing presence.

A veteran of the Bucknell University Outing Club, Allan spent two years at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina mastering skills as a paddler, guide and wilderness sage.

In 1978, he started a mechanical services business called Ironwood, but in his spare time ran forest trails and competed in local biking, canoeing and running races. In 1987, Allan and his dear friend, John Capwell, won the U.S. Canoe Association’s National Championship in marathon canoeing.

In 1992, Allan landed the role of providing on-the-water safety for the second annual Susquehanna River Sojourn — a weeklong, paddle-and-camp adventure for people of all ages and skill levels with stops along the way for educational talks and tours. 

Thus began 24 years of providing safety services for scores of these river awareness trips on multiple rivers. Through sojourns and shorter trips, Allan introduced thousands of paddlers to the enjoyment of waterways from Canada to Florida.

Sometimes the significance, the exquisiteness, of a thing is only realized in its absence. The first Susquehanna Sojourn in 1991 met its objective, but organizers discovered an urgent need to address safety and, more so, help participants figure out how to make their vessels go downstream. 

An experienced hand in paddling logistics was sorely needed. 

The details of moving more than 100 people — with varied levels of paddling and camping expertise — from point to point on the East Coast’s largest river were mind-boggling. Add in meals, education and dignitary events, and you need a water-savvy magician.

During the latter days of the first sojourn, a most serendipitous recommendation came forth: “You need Allan Quant.” 

Soon, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the organizer of the voyage, would discover that Allan wasn’t merely the magician they hoped for, but a one-of-a-kind riverine wizard.

The next year, Allan and Betsy Quant led the sojourn on the West Branch of the Susquehanna. 

With their deep experience, problem-solving mindset and good-natured but firm leadership, they educated and motivated the sojourners. The event improved. A tradition began that lasted for more than two decades and, as is said, the rest is history.

Allan Quant’s knowledge of the outdoors ran deeper than the depths of the Bay, and his abilities to instruct were nothing short of collegiate.

Coordinating these events afforded the pleasure of working closely with Allan. He exercised a calm that permeated a group and a jolly, can-do attitude that encouraged even the most recalcitrant curmudgeon to try a little harder. 

His knowledge of the outdoors ran deeper than the depths of the Bay, and his abilities to instruct were nothing short of collegiate. Taller than 6 feet, 5 inches, his lean, towering presence amplified these qualities. He was a giant, literally and figuratively.

Allan served on the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program and developed a successful local outfitting business, Canoe Susquehanna, serving students and recreationalists with signature care and patience while carrying on other personal and professional ventures.

In 2018, under a pavilion on a rainy day at the Loyalsock River sojourn, Allan and Betsy announced they were selling their outfitting business and retiring from leading trips. Allan needed to focus on cancer treatments.

Even then, acknowledging the cessation of his lifetime’s river work, Allan had a positive attitude and shared belly laughs about the trips of the past and what they meant to all of those involved. 

Somehow what he was facing didn’t take away from the joy and significance of his calling — to connect thousands to our waterways and discover the joys of paddling.

Like the brave captain at his core, Allan weathered a storm of treatments and relentless peaks and valleys in his battle against cancer. Despite his tenacity, he eventually acceded.

No one knows what journey awaits the departed, but Allan’s adventures while in our presence inspired and uplifted. They showed places worth protecting and the many wonders of a watershed. Only in his absence do we begin to realize the full contributions of his life so well-lived.

At a virtual remembrance last fall, friends gathered and shared their recollections, revealing tale after tale of Allan’s profound humanity: a neighbor who helped his neighbors; a farmer who cherished his land; a husband and father who loved his family; and yes, a man who adored rivers.

It’s not too far a stretch to imagine that the rivers, too, reciprocated his affection. The surfaces seem different without the strong, nimble, strokes of a most magnanimous grinning explorer. Rivers remember. And grateful hearts never forget.

Godspeed, Allan. 

Cindy Adams Dunn is secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Brook Lenker is executive director of the FracTracker Alliance. Both served with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and in other capacities organizing Susquehanna Sojourns and encouraging river stewardship activities. In these roles, they developed a lasting friendship with Allan Quant and his family.

Resource Link:

PA Organization Of Watersheds & Rivers: 2021 Pennsylvania Sojourn Schedule

(Reprinted from the Chesapeake Bay Journal.)

[Posted: June 9, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 828 More Permit Reviews, 1,681 More Inspections Since Last Week

From March 16, 2020 to June 8, 2021 Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission.  DEP staff have--

-- Conducted 108,283 inspections - 1,681 more than last week;

-- Processed 44,155 permit applications and authorizations - 828 more than last week;

-- Processed 94 percent of Permit Decision Guarantee applications and authorizations on time; and

-- Responded to 350 environmental emergencies, seven more than last week.

DEP continues to prioritize field inspections that are critical to public health and safety. DEP staff are working remotely, and responding to complaints related to issues critical to public health and safety.

DEP will continue to respond in the field to environmental emergencies that present an immediate threat to public health and safety.

To report environmental emergencies, please call 1-800-541-2050.

Visit DEP’s Alert webpage for more information and updates. 

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

[Posted: June 9, 2021] PA Environment Digest

Wednesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips 6.9.21

returns to voting session June 9
House returns to voting session June 9

Click Here for LATEST Updated PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events

Growing Greener Coalition: 93% Of Pennsylvanians Agree We Have A Moral Obligation To Take Care Of Our Environment - Let's Use American Rescue Plan Money To Do Just That [PaEN]

PA Parks & Forests Foundation: Opportunities To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Environmental Rights Amendment  [PaEN]

Bay Journal: Happy Water Trails, Allan Quant, You Will Be Missed [PaEN]

Republicans On House Committee Report Out Bill To Take Away DEP’s Authority To Adopt Carbon Pollution Reduction Programs [PaEN]

MCall: Met-Ed Increasing Rates 23% For Those Customers Who Don’t Shop For Electricity

Guest Essay: PA’s Electric Choice Program Is Stuck In The Past

Pennsylvania Releases New Mapping Tool To Show Flood Risk Areas [PaEN]

KYW: At Least 2 Dozen Water Rescues In Chester County As Flash Flooding Occurs

Inquirer: Philly Flower Show Evacuated As Downpours Prompt Flood Warnings, 7+ Inches Of Rain In Chester County

DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 828 More  Permit Reviews, 1,681 More Inspections Since Last Week [PaEN]

French Creek Valley Conservancy Purchases 21 Acres To Expand Its Black Bridge Property In Erie County

DCNR: Kinzua Viaduct In McKean County To Undergo Routine Bridge Inspection In July

ErieT: Frank Lloyd Wright’s California Office Has New Address: Erie’s Hagen History Center

ErieT: Erie Officials Like Enthusiasm Of Griswold Park Plan, But It’s Not A Done Deal

Penn State Agricultural Sciences: July 21 The Spotted Lanternfly - Where We Are And Why It Matters [PaEN]

Marcus Schneck: Moms Say Camping Means More Family Time, Less Screen Time

Click Here For This Week’s PA Coronavirus NewsClips

Wednesday - PA Capitol & Coronavirus NewsClips 6.9.21-- Click Here

Biden Infrastructure Plan

WESA: Toomey Reiterates Opposition To Biden’s Broad Infrastructure Plan

AP: Biden Ends Republican Infrastructure Talks, But New Group Emerges

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FairDistrictsPA: Fix Our Broken Redistricting Process 

[Posted: June 9, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pennsylvania Releases New Mapping Tool To Show Flood Risk Areas

On June 7, the
PA Emergency Management Agency released a new mobile PA Flood Risk Tool  that provides the latest flood mapping information. 

The new mapping tool, which can be used from a desktop computer, cell phone, or other mobile device, brings together data from FEMA and across the Commonwealth into one consolidated application.

“This is a great way for the residents of Pennsylvania to learn about their flood risk in an easy-to-access application”, said Maurie Kelly, Director of Informatics at Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment. “Users just type in their address and can immediately see information about their location, print a report, or get a quick 3D visualization of how a flood will impact their home.”

The PA Flood Risk Tool is designed to provide floodplain managers, insurance agents, developers, real estate agents, local planners and citizens with a clear picture of flood risk for a specific area or property. 

With the onset of Hurricane Season this June, the tool will help the Commonwealth’s residents be prepared for tropical storms and heavy summer rains that have historically caused significant floods in Pennsylvania.

“This new flood risk tool will be a valuable resource in addressing the Commonwealth’s top natural hazard,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “The team worked diligently to develop a resource that incorporates multiple flood risk products and datasets into one tool that is straightforward to use and provides a lot of information for emergency managers, county and local officials and citizens alike.”

The tool provides access to the best available flood information in both a Public and Expert mode including:

-- Flood Risk Summary – key flood risk information pops up in an easy to read table when you search your property. 

-- Personalized Flood Risk Report –users can download and print a map with flood risk information unique to their properties.

-- Flood Depth Visualizations - show residents and businesses how deep water can be in a flood.

-- Cross sections for Approximate Flood Zones- help local communities regulate floodplain development.

-- Preliminary Flood Zones- provide the latest information for maps being updated while in draft.

The tool was developed by Penn State University in partnership with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and funded with a Cooperating Technical Partners grant from FEMA. 

“We’re happy that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leveraged this funding to build a tool that will help local floodplain administrators across the Commonwealth.  The tool gives access to up-to-date information so local officials can more easily and consistently manage development in the floodplain.” said Janice Barlow, FEMA Region 3 Acting Regional Administrator. “It’s even better that the public can also easily learn from the tool.

Visit the PA Flood Risk Tool website to see it for yourself by typing in your address in the search bar or click the launch tool button to begin exploring the map.

Related Articles:

-- PEMA/Insurance Dept. Urge Pennsylvanians To Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance

-- PEMA/Health Urge Residents To Prepare For Hurricane Season And Extreme Summer Heat 

-- Gov. Wolf: 2021 Climate Impacts Report Projects Pennsylvania Will Be 5.9° F Warmer by Midcentury, Precipitation To Increase, Targets Areas to Reduce Risk

[Posted: June 8, 2021] PA Environment Digest

Growing Greener Coalition: 93% Of Pennsylvanians Agree We Have A Moral Obligation To Take Care Of Our Environment - Let's Use American Rescue Plan Money To Do Just That

On June 8, the
Growing Greener Coalition released an open letter to all members of the Senate and House and to Gov. Wolf urging them to use $500 million from the $7.3 billion Pennsylvania received under the federal American Rescue Plan for community-based water and green infrastructure projects.

Here's the text of that letter--

93 percent of Pennsylvanians agree—68 percent strongly—that “we have a moral obligation to take care of our environment.” 

Whether the focus is protecting waterways, wildlife and natural areas conservation, the importance of parks and open spaces, or preserving productive farms, an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians find these matters to be “very important.”

Support crosses party lines; for example, “protecting PA’s drinking water” is found to be very important by 75 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Independents, and 92 percent of Democrats.

90 percent of likely voters agree that “protecting water quality and land in Pennsylvania is critical to keeping the state’s economy strong, even in a time of COVID”—67 percent feeling strongly about this.

COVID has triggered a boom in outdoor recreation that is clearly continuing beyond the peak of the crisis. 

This is borne out in polling that finds 91 percent of the public agreeing—60 percent strongly—that “it is more important than ever in a time of COVID to have parks, preserves, and other public spaces where we can safely enjoy the outdoors.”

Pennsylvanians care deeply about our natural resources. 

The American Rescue Plan provides a unique opportunity to boost investments in projects that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support, can be implemented now, and will continue to deliver value for decades to come. 

From nature-based solutions that prevent flooding and stream degradation (for example, riparian forest buffers on farms and wetland restoration), to rehabilitation of the parks and trails that underpin a large part of the Commonwealth’s tourism and outdoor recreation economies, American Rescue Plan dollars can make a huge difference.

The Growing Greener Coalition urges the General Assembly and Governor to direct at least $500 million (7 percent) of state government’s share of Rescue money to these investments. 

For more information, visit the Growing Greener Coalition website.

Related Articles:

-- PA Farm Bureau Calls On Senate, House To Pass And Fund Legislation To Support On-Farm Conservation Efforts To Improve Water Quality

-- WeConservePA: Water & Green Infrastructure - A Good Fit For PA American Rescue Plan Funding

-- WeConservePA Urges Groups To Work With County, Local Govts. To Invest Federal Rescue Funds For Watershed Restoration, Land Conservation, Park & Trail Improvement Projects

[Posted: June 8, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Republicans On House Committee Report Out Bill To Take Away DEP’s Authority To Adopt Carbon Pollution Reduction Programs

On June 8, Republicans on the
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out House Bill 637 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) which takes away DEP’s authority to adopt carbon pollution reduction programs covering power plants and any other source.

Reps. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) and Manuel Guzman (D-Berks) also voted for the bill.

The legislation is part of the Republican initiative to oppose DEP’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants that is consistent with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  Read more here.

This House Bill is companion legislation to Senate Bill 119 (Pittman-R-Indiana) that was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on April 27 and now sits in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Read more here.

Gov. Wolf vetoed similar legislation in September. Read more here

The strategy by Republicans seems to be to do exactly the same thing again and see if they get a different result.

Four DEP advisory committees recently recommended DEP move ahead with the final Carbon Pollution Reduction regulation which is expected to go to the Environmental Quality Board for a vote in July.  Read more here.

Click Here for more background on this issue.

Other Legislation

The Committee unanimously reported out House Bill 668 (James-R-Venango) which would add another member to DEP’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board representing the coal refuse energy industry.

Both bills will now go to the full House for consideration.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-1707 or sending email to: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7647 or sending email to:


U.S. EIA: U.S. Energy Consumption In 2020 Increased For Renewables, Fell For All Other Fuels

Related Articles:

-- Clean Power PA Coalition: 95% Of Commenters At EQB Hearings On Proposed Power Plant Carbon Pollution Reduction Regulation Supported The Proposal

-- New Poll Finds 7 In 10 PA Voters Favor Participating In Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative To Reduce Power Plant Carbon Pollution

-- PA Conservative Energy Forum: 68% Of Voters Support Candidates Who Back Clean Energy

-- PJM Successfully Clears Capacity Auction To Ensure Reliable Power Supply; Renewables, Nuclear, Natural Gas Saw Greatest Increases, Coal Saw Largest Decrease

-- 4 DEP Advisory Committees Express Their Support For DEP’s Final Carbon Pollution Reduction Regulation Covering Power Plants [RGGI]

--Senate Republicans Report Out Bill Taking Away DEP Authority To Reduce Carbon Pollution From Any Source, Including Power Plants

[Posted: June 8, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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