Sunday, April 30, 2017

Intro To Backpacking In Tracy Ridge Wilderness Allegheny National Forest June 17-18

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness are hosting an Introduction to Backpacking in the proposed Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County on June 17-18.
Join the guided backpacking trip into the wild, untrammeled 9,700-acre proposed Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area with all food and equipment provided from 9:00 a.m. Saturday to 4:00 p.m. Sunday.
The program will feature an introduction into the planning process, what gear you'll need, how to pack and what to do along the trail while hiking, setting up camp, and meal preparations.
The meeting place for the hike is Pavilion #2, Chapman State Park, 4790 Chapman Dam Road in Clarendon.
The cost of the hike is $30/person. Registration is required by June 2.  Questions should be directed to Jennifer Moore at the park office at 814-723-0250.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness website.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

May 1 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The May 1 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

Winners Of 2017 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards Honored At Dinner
Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Environmental Council Tuesday honored the  21 organizations across the Commonwealth receiving the prestigious 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for 16 projects at a special dinner in Harrisburg.

EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Sustainable Funding For Parks, Environmental Restoration Matters
Environmental health and sustainability is a growing priority for communities everywhere.  A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association found that most Americans want their governments to prioritize sustainable environmental practices in such things as water quality monitoring, green space assessment, urban planning, eco-friendly buildings and lawn upkeep.

PJM: States Should Create Climate Benefit Markets If They Want To Subsidize Nuclear Plants
Representatives of the PJM Interconnection made a presentation before the Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus Wednesday showing how electricity generation fuel sources have become more diverse and the competitive market for power run by PJM has resulted in significant benefits to  reliability and in costs for consumers.

Pittsburgh 2030 District Saves Nearly $53 Million In Energy, $4 Million In Water Costs
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday the Pittsburgh 2030 District released its 2016 annual report documenting cumulative energy savings of nearly $53 million and $4.6 million in savings from water use reduction toward its goal of reducing energy and water use by 50 percent by 2040 in downtown Pittsburgh buildings.

EARTH DAY Op-Ed: Student To Instructor-Andre Carpenter-Energy Coordinating Agency
Some people become environmentalists; others like Training Center grad and new instructor, Andre Carpenter, are born. A young man with a well-honed sense of what he wants to see in the world, like the best teachers, he leads by example.
Report: Upstream Pollution Reductions Could Ease Effects Of Conowingo Reservoir Infill
Reducing pollution in the Susquehanna River watershed could ease the environmental effects of an essentially full reservoir behind Conowingo Dam, according to a final report from the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment Team released in March.

DCNR, PA Outdoor Corps Plant Trees Along Creek In Laurel Hill State Park For Arbor Day
To celebrate Arbor Day-- April 28-- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined young adults participating in the PA Outdoor Corps planting trees along Laurel Hill Creek in Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset County, to protect and improve water quality.

Watch The Banding Of Peregrine Falcon Nestlings Live From Harrisburg May 10
Game Commission staff will band the peregrine falcon nestlings living on the Rachel Carson Building Harrisburg from 11:00 a.m. to noon on May 10.   And you can watch it live online!

PRC Celebrates 15 Years Of Household Chemical Collection Events In Western PA
The PA Resources Council celebrates its 15th year of holding household chemical collection events by setting 2017 collection dates for household chemicals.

Center for Responsible Shale Development Recertifies Shell, CONSOL Drilling Operations
The Center for Responsible Shale Development Tuesday announced both Shell’s and CONSOL Energy’s Appalachian operations have been recertified to the Center’s 15 Performance Standards focused on responsible stewardship of air and water resources.

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PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.

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Apply Now For Community Garden Sustainability Fund Support In Allegheny County

The Grow Pittsburgh Community Garden Sustainability Fund is now accepting applications for two types of support for members of community food gardens.  The deadline for applications is June 1.
Are you a member of a community food garden? Could your garden use some support to become more sustainable?
Apply to the Community Garden Sustainability Fund for materials like compost, fencing and tools or technical assistance like consulting and educational programming.
Small Potatoes Awards are generally for time sensitive projects that do not require extensive staff time, and are fairly inexpensive. We have set an eight week timeline which is intended to speed up the process of getting awarded applicants the materials needed to get growing!  Applications can be submitted June 1, August 1 and October 1.
Big Tomatoes Awards are time-intensive projects that tend to have a higher dollar amount. Accepted projects will include a site visit by staff before any work begins.  The deadline for applications is June 1.
The Community Garden Sustainability Fund is a project of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Grow Pittsburgh that exists to provide support to existing community food gardens in Allegheny County. The program has been active since 2012, having supported 60 community gardens with nearly $35,000 in materials, not including staff time.
Visit the Grow Pittsburgh Community Garden Sustainability Fund webpage for all the details.

DCNR, PA Outdoor Corps Plant Trees Along Creek In Laurel Hill State Park For Arbor Day

To celebrate Arbor Day-- April 28-- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined young adults participating in the PA Outdoor Corps planting trees along Laurel Hill Creek in Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset County, to protect and improve water quality.
“On Arbor Day we celebrate trees, and all they do to help clean our air, protect our water quality, and make our landscapes and communities beautiful,” Dunn said. “Trees are even more beneficial growing along our waterways, because they buffer them from runoff from the land, and cool the water for fish and other wildlife in the stream.”
About 500 trees are being planted on 3-acres of the Countryman parcel acquired for Laurel Hill State Park in 2012. Laurel Hill Creek is a 37-mile tributary to the Youghiogheny River, and is a prime destination for trout fishing.
National Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care.
“Critical to the future of conservation work is connecting young people to the outdoors, and that’s why I’m excited to pitch in and work alongside members of the PA Outdoor Corps, who have a 10-month opportunity to learn about jobs involving the stewardship of our land and water resources,” Dunn said. “Planting trees – anywhere – is something that anyone can do to make a difference.”
The PA Outdoor Corps offers young people ages 15-25 job training, work experience and educational opportunities on Pennsylvania’s public lands. A 10-member crew of 18-25 year olds based in Greensburg has been working on projects at Laurel Hill for several weeks.
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.
“One of the original purposes for establishing the state forest system and the various bureaus including state parks that today make up DCNR was to protect forested watersheds that provide clean water,” Dunn said.
Dunn noted that DCNR Bureau of Forestry service foresters located in each of the 20 forest districts statewide can assist landowners with information about planting buffers.
Forest buffers along stream banks provide critical barriers between polluting landscapes and receiving waterways.
Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and the fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; improve water quality; reduce flooding; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.
For more information, visit DCNR’s Stream Buffers and the PA Outdoors Corps webpages.
More information on recreation and outdoor opportunities in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Click Here to be part of DCNR’s Online Community,  Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Penn State Geologist Terry Engelder Who Calculated Marcellus Gas Reserves To Retire

Penn State University Geologist Terry Engelder, who is credited with calculating some of the first estimates of natural gas contained in the Marcellus Shale fields covering the six northeast U.S. states in 2007-- 489 trillion cubic feet, about 18 years’ worth of total U.S. gas consumption, is retiring.
“The calculation that I did was based on very little data and a whole heck of a lot of insight. And maybe you could argue that bubble gum and some rubber bands held it together but it worked,” said Engelder. “That was the firm number that allowed a lot of people who spent money on this to move forward. That particular calculation was by far the highlight of my career.”
Engelder said people recognized that vast reserves of gas were in the Marcellus Shale, but most thought they were inaccessible. But when fundamental changes in technology, through hydrofracturing, or fracking, showed promise in areas such as Texas, Engelder applied that technology to his calculation.
The result led to a natural gas boom that — for the first time in decades — allowed the nation to extract more natural gas than it used. It also led to a boom in jobs for the region and hundreds of millions of dollars in lease bonuses flowed into the region.
“In terms of satisfaction, very few scientists can say that they did something that affected a lot of people in the state and the nation in such a palpable way,” said Engelder. “The amount of money that was spent in Pennsylvania, particularly off of the excitement generated by that initial projection, was rather remarkable.”
That projection thrust Engelder into the spotlight, as well. He’s been interviewed by nearly 600 reporters worldwide. He’s been cited by Foreign Policy magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” alongside Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
He’s served on commissions advocating for the safe extraction of natural gas for former Gov. Tom Corbett and current Gov. Tom Wolf.
Engelder said despite losing valuable research time during those years of intense public interest in his expertise, he doesn’t regret the countless hours he’s spent educating the public and advocating for U.S. energy sustainability.
“There are a number of ways that science manifests itself,” said Engelder. “One way is writing peer-reviewed papers. Another is serving as a liaison between science and the public, and very few scientists have the opportunity for such intense interaction with the public.”
The Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania began in 2003 after Range Resources drilled its first exploratory well in Washington County.
Penn State Geologist Who Calculated Marcellus Gas Reserves To Retire

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