2017-12-02 / Outdoors

PCCD lives up to its name

Potter County Conservation District (PCCD) board members reviewed a number of stream restoration projects recently completed by staff members during this month’s meeting. Several log and stone instream structures were built to enhance fish habitat and improve bank stabilization.

Structures were placed or repaired on Freeman Run along Portage Road, Southwoods Branch, Ludington Run, and several along the Genesee River.

Meanwhile, local farmers within the Chesapeake Bay watershed have been working with PCCD to complete manure management and agriculture erosion and sedimentation plans, which are required by the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reduce pollution in the bay.

Staffers conducted a demonstration of no-till equipment. To assist local farmers, the district rents no-till farm implements, including a corn planter and seed drills to reduce soil erosion and compaction, chemical runoff, fuel consumption and time and labor. The machinery also helps increase organic matter, infiltration, and soil quality.

In related news, PCCD announced it is seeking to obtain easement for a farm to be enrolled in the Farmland Preservation Program. Purpose of this program is to protect viable agricultural lands by purchasing easements, which prevent the development of the land for any purpose other than agricultural production and related activities.

Farms are chosen based on location, soil conditions and other quality factors, as well as stewardship – use of conservation practices and best management practices of nutrient management, erosion and sedimentation control. Seven Potter County farms consisting of 1,136 acres are enrolled in the program.

In other business, PCCD:

• announced that several dirt and gravel roads in Potter County have been upgraded, primarily for pollution control. Roads in Eulalia, Genesee, Harrison, Homer, Keating, Sweden, Sylvania and West Branch townships were involved in the most recent round of repair work.

• reported that oneon one meetings were recently held with Potter County Planning/GIS staff and local municipalities to discuss erosion and sedimentation plans, wetland and stream permitting, building permit processes, stormwater and flood plains, subdivision and land development, and other topics of interest.

• assisted the Pa. Environmental Council (PEC) with a dumpsite cleanup in Roulette Township on Oct. 31. Since 2015, a total of 35 illegal dumpsites have been remediated through the collaborative efforts of PCCD and PEC.

• reviewed 26 permit applications and 183 technical assistance contracts, inspected 27 sites, and investigated two dozen complaints.

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