2017-03-18 / Front Page

PCCD surviving squeeze


Potter County has the distinction of launching the first conservation district in the state. Among attendees at the annual PCCD legislative luncheon were, from left: front – Brenda Shambaugh, executive director of the Pa. Conservation Districts Assn.; Alex Veto (PCCD); Berty Kurtz (PCCD); Rep. Martin Causer; Commissioner Susan Kefover; Rob Thompson (PCCD); back – Earl Brown (PCCD); Rep. Matt Baker; Chuck Dillon, aide for Sen. Joe Scarnati; Jason Childs (PCCD manager); Jared Dickerson (PCCD); and Glenn Dunn II (PCCD). Potter County has the distinction of launching the first conservation district in the state. Among attendees at the annual PCCD legislative luncheon were, from left: front – Brenda Shambaugh, executive director of the Pa. Conservation Districts Assn.; Alex Veto (PCCD); Berty Kurtz (PCCD); Rep. Martin Causer; Commissioner Susan Kefover; Rob Thompson (PCCD); back – Earl Brown (PCCD); Rep. Matt Baker; Chuck Dillon, aide for Sen. Joe Scarnati; Jason Childs (PCCD manager); Jared Dickerson (PCCD); and Glenn Dunn II (PCCD). Pennsylvania’s oldest county conservation district is also one of its most impressive.

Staffers from the Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) shared details on their latest activities during the agency’s annual legislative luncheon at the Susquehannock Lodge. In an era when state financial support is waning, the local team took advantage of the opportunity to showcase the importance of conservation districts’ work.

Among those attending were two members of the Pa. House of Representatives, Martin Causer and Matt Baker, as well as an aide to State Senator Joe Scarnati.

Glenn Dunn II, the district’s resource conservationist, and watershed specialist Jared Dickerson detailed projects that are protecting Potter County’s waterways by controlling erosion and sedimentation, as well as agricultural pollution.

Meanwhile, staffer Alex Veto summarized the district’s ongoing improvement of dirt and gravel roads that can also foul area waters.

Agriculture remains a major focus of PCCD. Administrative assistant Berty Kurtz discussed the county’s farmland preservation initiative. Rob Thompson, agriculture conservation technician, weighed in on a wide variety of activities the district has been pursuing to assist farmers.

PCCD is also assisting with municipal culvert replacements that remove obstructions blocking passage of fish and other aquatic organisms; the continuing cleanup of illegal dumps in Potter County; construction of a canoe and kayak access point at the Genesee Community Park; and many ongoing educational projects.

PCCD Manager Jason Childs said the district has adapted to reductions in government funding.

“We’ve learned to work with limited funding over the years,” Childs said. “We feel we’re safe at this point, but there could be an impact from the cuts that are being proposed.”

Brenda Shambaugh, executive director of Pa. Assn. of Conservation Districts, emphasized the value of conservation districts in protecting and preserving critical environmental assets.

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