Thursday, October 16, 2014

Farm to Table Gala 10/18

Animal Encounter with Pocono Wildlife Rescue

Another Monocacy Creek Watershed Association Sponsored Event. Bring the Kids!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HB 1565 Passes Senate


Despite all of our collective efforts, and the efforts of our conservation partners, on October 14 the PA Senate voted 27-22 to pass HB1565 (PN4258). The bill will now go to the House for concurrence. Senators Baker and Brubaker spoke in support of 1565, while Senators Dinniman, Rafferty, and Ferlo spoke in opposition to the bill. While the outcome is certainly not what we want, it is better than the original bill that would have just removed the riparian buffer requirement…period. It is apparent that the amendments adopted over the past few weeks, particularly those made in the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, were in response to concerns we raised about vagueness of the bill language and the effectiveness of buffers. So thank you for sending that message to Senators! Regardless, our work on this issue; i.e. protecting certainly not done. DEP will very likely be developing regulations next year, and there will be opportunities for public input. It will be important for TU to weigh in on those regulations, to ensure that they are as protective as the law will allow. Again, thank all of you for your efforts! And if your Senator voted No on this bill, please be sure to thank him or her for standing up for what’s best for our coldwater resources.

 To find out how your Senator voted, see the following: CLIcK

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

BREAKING NEWS ON HB 1565 (the buffer bill) - UPDATE 10-8-14

 HB1565 was amended in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on 10-6. While the amendments improve the bill, HB1565 still falls short of protecting headwaters streams
We all know the value of maintaining appropriate riparian buffers, especially as they affect the quality of our coldwater streams. As currently proposed, HB1565 would substantially alter the existing protection afforded by riparian buffers by allowing their elimination on those streams designated as special protection waters.

HB1565 proposes a "trade off" in the form of an option allowing the elimination of riparian buffers in one portion of a stream as long as an equivalent section is provided for in another section of that same drainage. What this means is that development along headwaters sections of our coldwater streams could eliminate riparian buffers on those waters which are so critical to sustaining a wild trout population.

Update on Amended Bill

On Monday, HB1565 was amended and voted out in the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. The amendments do two things:
(1)    Clarify that the replacement buffer must occur along special protection waters within the same drainage list (according to chapter 93). This does not mean that the replacement buffer has to be installed on the same stream.
(2)    Attempt to strengthen practices that can be used instead of a buffer, by requiring the alternatives used to be “collectively…substantially equivalent to a riparian buffer…” This section recognizes that riparian buffers are the most effective management tool.

Bottom line: While the amendments improve the bill, HB1565 still falls short of protecting headwaters trout streams.

Please contact your Senator today, and before Oct. 14, and urge him or her to vote NO on House Bill 1565 (P.N.4258) for the following reasons: CLICK HERE TO FIND SENATOR
1.       Although the amendments clarified the bill and made slight improvements, we are still opposed to the bill because it fails to require maintenance of existing riparian buffers in high quality and exceptional value watersheds.  
2.       We currently have a system that requires riparian buffers, but allows for flexibility through waivers and exemptions.  If there is an issue with delays in the waiver process, let’s look for an administrative fix rather try to legislatively fix the problem and as a result allow for existing buffers to be destroyed.
3.       Stress that there are no equivalents to a riparian buffer—these are the best and most effective management tool for protecting streams and we need to protect our best streams (EV and HQ).

HB 1565..still around

HB 1565 Passed the Senate Environmental Committee on Monday, next stop the Senate floor.  Some amendments were made, but this is still a very dangerous Bill.  A Senate Vote on this could come as early as today, Wednesday the 8th.  Please contact your Senator and let them know you are opposed to this Bill.  TU National has issued an action alert HERE.  All you have to do is put in your address and a letter is already written for you.  A personal phone call works even better.

This is one of those moments when we have the ability to make a positive impact in our waterways and how they are protected. So the next time you are standing in a stream and wondering why the fishing isn't as good as it used to be and why someone isn't doing something about it, this is your chance to make a difference.

Thank you to everyone who has already taken a moment to make their Senator aware of the issues.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

HB 1565...again

HB 1565 has passed the House of Representatives and the fight will now be in the Senate.  It is likely that this will come up for a vote in the very near future, so it is imperative that you contact your local Senator and ask them to vote "no" on this bill.

You can find your Senator HERE.

Here is the official TU position on this Bill:  HERE

This is a position taken by David Hess, former Secretary of the PA DEP:  HERE

Everything that can be done by your State and Local TU leaders is being done, but the Senators need to hear from you, the people that vote for them, and that they are supposed to represent.

Monday, September 22, 2014

HB 1565

A potentially harmful Bill(HB1565) has been introduced into the House of Representatives by Maria Hahn (R) Northampton, which, in short, would remove the requirement to leave a 150ft riparian buffer on HQ and EV (exceptional value) streams, when creating a disturbance of 1 or more acres. This would be an change to the clean water act as it stands now. HQ streams make up about 23% of the streams in PA, and EV about 2%. These streams have the best water quality, and often support outstanding wild fish populations. As you may or may not know, riparian buffers (trees, bushes, etc) are the single cheapest and most effective way to reduce/ prevent/ manage storm runoff, pollutants, sedimentation etc. They provide shade and hiding places for fish, bugs and wildlife. Please consider contacting your legislator(s) and let them know you are opposed to HB 1565. You can find your legislator(s) here: CLICK When you get to the home page of your rep./ senator you can click on the little envelope below their picture and send them a message. This Bill already seems to have strong support in the House, so time is important.

Thank you.
Erik Broesicke
President Monocacy Chapter TU

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rain Barrel Workshop

Please see the below flier for a rain barrel workshop sponsored by the Monocacy Creek Watershed Association and the Penn State Master Watershed Stewards/ Master Gardeners.  You must Register and info can be found in the flier.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TU Monthly Drawing

Throughout 2014, Trout Unlimited will be conducting monthly drawings for great books, gear, rods and reels from manufacturers including Brodin, Redington, Hardy, Abel, Ross, Simms, Lamson and more.  Click HERE for the form to enter.

No donation or purchase necessary to win, but you can increase your chances of winning by registering monthly.