Summer 2015 Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 3
Conservation Matters The Dog Days of Summer... “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” - Henry James Summer is a fun time of year. School is out and it’s vacation time. Summer for us means projects; much time spent outside. We hope YOU will spend a lot of time outside this summer. Take a hike, a bike ride, or just enjoy sitting outside with a good book. There is so much the outdoors has to offer. Summer is here—make the best of it! Sincerely,
New FALL BULB SALE! Check inside for details. Online ordering IS available.
Inside this issue
The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program allows farmers and businesses to earn tax credits in exchange for "Best Management Practices" (BMPs) on agricultural operations that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources.
Summer Interns ....................... ...2 Envirothon ................................ ...2 Support the NCCD ................... ...3 Gypsy Moth. ............................. ...3 Stream Life……………………….…....4
The program is administered by the State Conservation Commission (Commission) and the tax credits are awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
Fall Bulb Sale ........................... ….5
Eligible applicants may receive between 50% and 75% of project costs as state tax credits for up to $150,000 per agricultural operation. The amount of tax credit available to a recipient is dependent on the type of BMP implemented.
Bulb Sale Order Form.............. ….8
The (REAP) program has been proposed to be funded at ten million dollars in the upcoming state budget. If the budget is approved as it stands, applications will be accepted the first Monday in August. For more information please visit http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us or contact our office at (570)495-4665.
Dirt & Gravel Roads Funding…..10
Fall Bulb Sale ........................... ….6 Fall Bulb Sale ........................... ….7 Musing/Random Throughts……...9 District Assistance…………………...9 Erosion/Sediment Update………10 Soil & Water Quality Meeting....11 Directors and Staff…………………12
Our Programs: Erosion and Sedimentation Control, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Dam Safety and Waterway Management, Environmental Education, Nutrient Management, Chesapeake Bay Program, Dirt & Gravel Roads, Agricultural Land Preservation, Watershed Protection and Education
Visit www.nccdpa.org for more informaƟon. We are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nccdpa.
Meet our Summer 2015 Interns! My name is Richard Hayman, and as a 2015 summer intern I am privileged to be able to work with the Northumberland County Conservation District. I recently graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning. I plan to be actively working with the staff performing annual farm visits, onsite erosion and sedimentation plan inspections, watershed studies, and attending monthly meetings. Being an avid outdoorsman I spend most of my time when I am not working boating, kayaking, hiking, and fishing. I feel being active within our environment today is important because the health and availability of our resources are necessary for our future success. My name is Chesney Haupt and I am a senior at Lock Haven University. I am majoring in ecology/ environmental science and will be graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree. When I am not interning I work at Knoebels Amusement Resort as a supervisor. My interests and hobbies include almost anything outdoors, from biking to swimming and everything in between. Activities such as water testing and electroshocking really stick out to me as a biologist, and I feel that’s the kind of job I want to get when I graduate. I have also been exposed to various environmental education programs that I can assist with. I am a volunteer with Nature Abounds as a turtle ambassador. Interning for the conservation district is giving me a better rounded education and valuable experience I couldn’t find anywhere else.
If you know of a college student who may be interested in interning with the NCCD during the summer of 2016, please contact our office at 570-4954665 and ask to speak to District Manager, Judy Becker.
Susquehanna Valley High School Envirothon Approximately 200 high school students from Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties participated in the annual Susquehanna Valley High School Envirothon on Tuesday, April 28th at the Shikellamy State Park Overlook. Individual county winners each advanced onto the Pennsylvania State Envirothon competition held on May 19th and 20th at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Representatives from the PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Game Commission, Bureau of Forestry, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of State Parks conducted the testing at each station. The PA Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation District personnel also assisted at the event.
Northumberland County winner, Warrior Run Team A.
The competition is sponsored by Northumberland National Bank; VFW Post 84 in Bloomsburg; Bloomsburg American Legion Post 273; Squadron Post 273 Legion Bloomsburg American Legion; Ag Choice Farm Credit; Central Susquehanna Woodland Owners Association; Roaring Creek Valley Conservation Association; Fishing Creek Watershed Association; Chillisquaque Limestone Watershed Association; R. Wintersteen Excavating; Welby Homes, Inc.; Watson Excavating; JD Feaster Earthworks, Inc.; Service Electric Cablevision; Middleswarth Potato Chips; VFW Post 6631 in Selinsgrove; R J Hoffman and Sons; L/B Water Service, Inc.; Byerly Meats; Stackhouse and Son Well Drilling; Larson Design Group; Meckley’s Limestone Products, Inc.; The Daily Item; Waste Management of Coal Township; American Legion Auxiliary Post 273 in Bloomsburg; Oakes Coffee and Bottled Water; United Water; Heister House Millworks; Briar Creek Association for Watershed Solutions; Wood Mode, Inc.; Susquehanna Bank; and the local conservation districts of Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties.
Support the NCCD! There are many ways to get involved with our organization. We welcome your involvement, as well as your ideas and input! Visit our website at www.nccdpa.org to see how you can get involved with NCCD today, either through volunteering or becoming an affiliate member. We recognize our 2015 Affiliate Members and thank them for their support! Friend of Conservation: PPL Electric Utilities, Northumberland Associate Members: Ag Choice Farm Credit ACA, Lewisburg Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., Shamokin Blair and Mary Carbaugh, Danville Daniel Shingara Enterprises, Inc., Paxinos First National Insurance, Selinsgrove Great Valley Consultants, Wyomissing H.H. Knoebel Sons, Inc., Elysburg Keefer and Associates, Inc., Sunbury Keystone Group Agricultural Seeds, New Columbia Larson Design Group, Williamsport Mark Ferster & Sons Excavating, Dornsife Mensch Recycling, Sunbury Northumberland County Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area Pioneer, New Columbia Robert C. Snyder Farms, Inc., Northumberland Rovendale Ag and Barn, Inc., Watsontown Sandra Shaffer Mattern, Dalmatia Scattered Acres Farm, Elysburg Susquehanna Bank Turbotville National Bank, Turbotville Watson Excavating, Inc., Watsontown Contributing Members: Dutch Mill Bulbs, Hershey Valley Ag and Turf, Halifax Affiliate Members: Brewers’ Outlet, Sunbury Central Builders Supply Company, Sunbury Philip Dunn, Mt. Joy Fairchild Brothers, Inc., Winfield Hilltop Environmental Engineering, Inc., New Berlin KIZ Resources, LLC, Altoona Lenape Solar, LLC, Sunbury Mahantango Game Farm, LLC, Dalmatia Dennis Martz, Dalmatia Representative Kurt Masser, 107th District Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver, 108th District Paul Q. Ross Construction, Inc., Sunbury Pik Rite, Inc., Lewisburg RHP Law Group, LLC, Selinsgrove Sunbury Animal Hospital, Sunbury
Gypsy Moth The NCCD office has received a number of inquiries regarding Gypsy Moth infestations. We certai nl y und e rs tand landowners’ frustrations. At this time, we do not know if there will be a spraying program next year. If the county does choose to participate, there are minimum requirements that must be met, including a minimum of 23 forested acres. In preparation for next year, it’s advisable that landowners who want to protect susceptible trees begin looking at contractors now and get with neighbors to achieve discounts by aggregating areas together. The District has a fact sheet, as well as a list of aerial spray contractors available on o u r w e b s i t e : www.nccdpa.org. Gypsy Moth Life Cycle
Stream Life by Jaci Harner, Watershed Specialist
If you operate a farm or have installed a project along or near a stream, you know there are rules and regulations that must be followed to prevent excess nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment from entering our local waterways. These rules and regulations may seem a bit excessive, however; there are numerous little critters living in the stream waters that depend on your efforts for clean, cool surface waters. Macroinvertebrates, the tiny “bugs” you find under rocks, on the stream bottom and in leaf packs, spend part or all of their life cycle in the stream. Macroinvertebrates fall into three main categories; surviving in a certain range of physical and chemical conditions: Tolerant macros can survive in poor quality, unhealthy, polluted waters. They are found in warm streams that have high levels of sediment and low levels of dissolved oxygen. Examples include leeches, planaria, blackfly larva, and water striders. Facultative or Somewhat Sensitive macros are somewhat sensitive to pollution and require good water quality. They can be found in cool streams that may contain some levels of nutrients or iron. Examples include crayfish, water penny, dragonfly nymph, and hellgrammite. Sensitive macros are sensitive to pollution and require good quality water. They are found in cool streams that have low to no levels of nutrients and sediment with high amounts of dissolved oxygen. Examples include mayfly nymph, caddisfly nymph, and stonefly nymph. Tolerant macros can be found in both polluted and nonpolluted streams but only a few or no sensitive macros would be found in polluted waters. These sensitive organisms are the first to decline in numbers when streams experience poor quality conditions. One can do a quick assessment of any stream just by flipping over a few rocks and observing which macros are living there. If you find only tolerant macros you can assume it is a poor quality stream. However, if you find a large number of one type of facultative or sensitive macro that is also a sign of a poor quality stream. Ideally, a high quality stream will have a variety of all three types of macroinvertebrates. We’ve all been inundated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s push for a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. But, just as importantly, our local streams serve as drinking water and recreational sources. Following appropriate land use rules, regulations and suggestions will provide clean waters for our local communities as well as the macroinvertebrates. The quality of our stream waters is a direct reflection of how we value our environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to assure our natural resources are clean and available for our use. How clean is your local stream? Go out and flip some rocks and see what kind of macroinvertebrates you find. Are you promoting a poor quality stream or high quality stream?
You may contact us at any time by email or phone to be added to, or removed from, our mailing list. Simply call 570-495-4665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather “Go Green,” email us with the words “electronic newsletter” in the subject line and we will send our newsletter to you electronically.
Important Informa on: Order Deadline: August 17th Pick up loca on: Northumberland County Conserva on District oﬃce, 441 Plum Creek Road, Sunbury. Pick up dates: September 22nd and 23rd.
It’s Ɵme to place your order for the 1st annual Northumberland County ConservaƟon District Fall Bulb Sale!
A noƟce will be mailed to customers closer to the pick up date with exact Ɵmes and direcƟons.
Order Instruc ons: There are two ways you can order: through mail or online. To order via mail: We will accept Check, Money Order, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) for payment. To place an order, remove the order form from the center of this newsle er, complete and send to the address on the order form with your payment. Payment must be included. Your order will not be entered if we receive your order without payment. To order online: Visit our website www.nccdpa.org. Click on the “Fall Bulb Sale” link. Make your selec ons (to make mul ple selec ons, click “con nue shopping” a er each selec on is made), provide billing and shipping informa on, and choose a secure method of payment (credit card or PayPal). A shipping fee of $4.00 will be applied to orders 24 packages or less, free shipping on orders 25 packages or more. VERY IMPORTANT: Please be sure to add “Northumberland County Conserva on District” in the “Add special instruc ons to the seller” field provided during the checkout process, which will be located on the page a er the credit card or PayPal informa on has been entered. By clicking “add”, a message box will appear to enter the informa on. SPECIAL NOTE: If you place your order online, you DO NOT have to pick up your bulbs. They will be shipped directly to you from the bulb company, Dutch Mill Bulbs. Also, “The Works” assortment IS NOT available online. We encourage you to pass along copies of this brochure to a friend. Thank you for your order!
Northumberland County Conserva on District 441 Plum Creek Road, Sunbury, PA 17801 Phone: 570‐495‐4665 2015 Fall Bulb Sale Price List and Order Form Instruc ons: Please fill in this order form, remove from the newsle er, and mail in an envelope to the above address. Total complete order below, including 6% sales tax. All orders must be prepaid, so please send your check or money order, tax included, with your order. Please do not send cash. If paying with a credit card, include your credit card number and expira on date. If payment is not included, your order will not be processed. There is a $25 service fee on returned checks. Orders must be received by August 17th. Bulbs
# of packs
King Alfred Daﬀodils
Pastel Tulip Mix
Indoor Narcissus Paper White $8.00
Snow Bunch Crocus
New Tiger Lilies
Blueberry Ripple Tulip
Heavenly Blue Bells
Giant Dutch Tulips
Super Color Hyacinths
Purple Drums cks
Mar ne e Narcissus
Red Parade Tulips
Alpine Bells Assortment
6% Sales Tax:
Thank you for your order!
CUSTOMER INFORMATION NAME______________________________________________ ADDRESS____________________________________________ CITY________________________ STATE_______ ZIP________ DAYTIME PHONE NO.__________________________________ CREDIT CARD NUMBER_________________________________ EXP. DATE_____ NAME ON CARD________________________
Musings and Random Thoughts by Mike Hubler, NCCD Associate Director
A universal tenet of successful farming is that the barn needs a good roof. The barn houses winter feed for the stock, planting and harvesting equipment, seed and fertilizer for the next growing season; all resources that must be protected from the elements and all essential for a profitable farming enterprise. Another agricultural essential resource needing protection from the elements, in this case the erosive force of rain, is our soils. The farm community has made impressive reductions in soil loss over the last several decades with the installation of structural Best Management Practices and especially with the widespread adoption of no-till planting, which in some areas exceeds 80% of the cropland planted. Cover crops, an equally effective cultural Best Management Practice for the reduction of soil erosion, has not enjoyed the same widespread adoption as no-till; and that is a disappointment. Keeping the soil covered with a growing crop or with a cover crop is like keeping a good roof on the barn. It protects the essential resource needed for a profitable enterprise, stores nutrients for the next crop, improves soil structure and may provide an early spring feed source. I became a proponent of cover crops in the early 1970’s when a neighbor and friend (Russ) learned of a government program that would cost share the application of a cover crop utilizing a helicopter. We bought some bin run rye grain and sure enough one day the helicopter arrived. The helicopter looked like the ones from the opening scenes of
the M* A* S* H television series with the bubble front, open structure tail boom, but without the combat casualties strapped to the skids. It worked well and at corn harvest there was a dense carpet of rye available to hold the soil over the winter. We participated in the program for several years learning along the way that in soybeans the best time for application was just before leaf drop. What a fine mulch those leaves provided for the rye seed. Eventually the program went away, but my enthusiasm for cover crops did not. Russ and I experimented with several different methods to establish cover crops in standing crops including spin seeding, application with a light cultivation, and application when side dressing corn. Some worked better than others. Cover crops provided me with the security of knowing that the soil was protected over the winter/early spring and that the nutrients applied with my fall manure application would be safely stored in that dense green carpet for next year’s crop. Today’s agriculturalists have new and innovative equipment that was unavailable or experimental in 1970. The widespread adoption of no-till drills, new equipment designed to seed a cover crop between growing corn rows, and new and improved cover crop seed mixtures contribute to the practicality and benefits of cover crops. It is not too early to think about cover crop application for this fall. The Northumberland County Conservation District can offer an incentive program to help you reap the benefits cover crops can provide. Please call Nathan Brophy at 570495-4665 Extension 304 for more information.
District Assistance for County Farmers—Why It’s So Important by Nathan Brophy, Agricultural Conservation Technician
Being a farmer in the Chesapeake Bay watershed there are some very important things to know. There are many regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help reduce the amount of sedimentation and nutrients from reaching the Bay. The EPA is responsible for the large push of PA Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) agriculture inspections throughout the state. We as conservation district employees are here to guide and educate farmers so they know and understand the regulations being promoted by EPA. The last issue of the Chesapeake Bay Journal (May 2015, Volume 25, Number 3) targeted Pennsylvania farms stating that “The shortfall is driven largely by PA, where estimated nitrogen loads have actually increased slightly.” The EPA is pushing with a heavy hand for PA to meet their reduction goals by 2025. The article goes on to say “Beth McGee, senior scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said she is worried that the progress promised under the total maximum daily load (TMDL) framework is falling short, especially in Pennsylvania.” “We are concerned.” McGee goes on to say “We think it’s time for the EPA to start acting on Pennsylvania’s lack of progress.” This could mean less voluntary compliance and possible increase of mandatory compliance needed by farmers to continue to operate. Many best management practices are being installed by farmers in Northumberland County to help with these reductions and are appreciated by the environmental community. Several of the BMP’s that have been utilized or installed include no-till farming, cover cropping, streambank fencing, gutters on barns, stabilized stream crossings, vegetated buffers, CREP buffers, animal walkways, roofed heavy use areas, and following manure setback regulations. We are available to accompany farmers on inspections with DEP or EPA. If you would like for us to accompany you during an Ag Inspection or for onsite guidance, feel free to give our office a call at (570)495-4665.
The Central Susquehanna Valley Throughway by Michael McCleary, Erosion & Sediment/Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads Technician
The Northern Section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Throughway has been issued environmental permits for construction. The Northern Section will begin approximately one half mile south of County Line Road SR 1022 and T -519) in Snyder County. It will cross the Susquehanna River in the vicinity of Silo Road in Union County and will touch ground in Northumberland County on the Mertz farm in Point Township. The throughway will then cross Ridge Road (T-703) and proceed north to tie into SR 0147 where the current two lane road becomes four lanes. Two new bridges will be built over Chillisquaque Creek (one for each of the northbound and southbound lanes). The Northumberland, Snyder, & Union County Conservation Districts have completed their reviews of the Erosion and Sedimentation Pollution Control Plans to ensure that they comply with PA Code Title 25 Chapter 102 regulations. During these reviews over 80 technical deficiency comments were sent to the project consultants for revision of the drawings and supporting documents. While the Districts were completing their reviews, DEP was reviewing the Post Construction Stormwater Management Plans to ensure that they comply with PA Code Title 25 Chapter 105 regulations. DEP also sent numerous technical comments to the consultant for revision of the drawings and supporting documents. As a result of these reviews and several meetings with PennDOT and their consultants a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit was issued on May 7, 2015. Also, DEP issued permits governing the operations which will affect the waters of The Commonwealth during the construction of the Central Susquehanna Valley Throughway. T.J. Cunningham of PennDOT gave The News-Item, (a newspaper from Shamokin, PA), the following bridge trivia: “Enough dirt will be removed from the bridge area to bury all 512 acres of the City of Shamokin in nearly 10 feet of dirt. The amount of concrete needed for the bridge all 50,000 cubic yards of it, would cover a football field leaving just the tips of the goal posts showing. The accompanying 20,000 tons of steel is equal to the weight of 133 blue whales. The entire bridge will weigh about the same as the 7 billion pennies minted in 2013 – 17.5 billion pounds. it’s 4,500 feet long and, at its highest point, 180 feet – twice as long and three times as high as the next largest existing bridges in the area. The estimated price tag is $180 million.”
Dirt and Gravel Roads Funding Still Available by Michael McCleary, Erosion & Sediment/Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads Technician
May 15, 2015, the deadline to submit applications for funding through the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Paved Roads Program has come and gone. We had $104,981.00 available for Low Volume Paved Road Projects. Four municipalities submitted five Low Volume Paved Road Project applications totaling $151,362.51. Since this is more than was available, three municipalities were awarded grants for three projects totaling $82,600.26. We also had $198,482.00 available for Dirt & Gravel Road Projects. Two municipalities submitted three Dirt and Gravel Road Projects applications totaling $133,979.00. One municipality was awarded grants for two projects totaling $82,128.00. This leaves $116,354.00 available for Dirt & Gravel Road Projects. Due of the amount of available funds remaining we are again asking for applications for Dirt & Gravel Road Projects which need funding. Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2015. These funds can be used for this year or next year’s construction season. All public entities that own public roads in Northumberland County which are open to public vehicle travel are eligible to apply for program funding through the Northumberland County Conservation District. This includes state, county, municipalities, and municipal authorities within the county. Only entities with an employee who has been certified in Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance techniques are eligible to receive funding through this program. Please remember that the focus of this program is on improving water quality of the streams in our county. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on roads that have a detrimental impact on at least one stream.
PRE-SORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE
Northumberland County Conservation District 441 Plum Creek Road Sunbury, PA 17801 Phone: (570) 495-4665 Website: www.nccdpa.org
WILKES-BARRE, PA 18701 PERMIT NO. 243
Directors Northumberland County Conservation District The NCCD, formed in 1943 under the Conservation District Law, is a subdivision of state government and is one of 66 Conservation Districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The purpose of the Conservation District is to promote protection, m a i n t e n a n c e , improvement, and wise use of the land, water, and other natural resources.
Dave Crowl: Chairman, Public Leon Wertz: Vice-Chairman, Farmer Richard Shoch: Commissioner Gary Truckenmiller: Farmer John Kopp: Farmer Richard Daniels: Farmer Mike Erdley: PublicÂ
Mike Hubler: Associate Dave Swank: Associate Blair Carbaugh: Associate Albert Mabus: Associate John Pfleegor: Associate Ted Carodiskey, Associate
Staff Judy Becker: District Manager, AgLand Preservation, Editor Shirley Snyder: Administrative Assistant Jaci Harner: Watershed Specialist, Nutrient Management Technician Michael McCleary: Erosion & Sediment Technician, Dirt & Gravel Roads Nathan Brophy: Agricultural Conservation Technician NCCD Board of Directors Upcoming Meetings are at 7:00pm August 6th at the Little Shamokin Creek Picnic Area September 3rd and October 1st at the NCCD EE Center