Nominate an Environmental Leader

NEWS FROM: Northeast Environmental PartnersPEC

The Northeast Environmental Partners announce the “23rd Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment” and are seeking a Call For Nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

The Northeast Environmental Partners (Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University) are proud to announce that the 23rd Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment has been scheduled for Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Woodlands Inn and Resort. Additionally, nominations are being sought for the Twenty Third Annual Environmental Partnership Awards, the Nineteenth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the 2013 Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards are presented annually to recognize the achievements of individuals or organizations that, through partnerships, have achieved excellence in environmental protection or conservation. The Evening showcases the Recipient of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award. This award, in its nineteenth year, was established by the NEPA Environmental Partners to recognize an individual who stands out for his or her long-term commitment to environmental quality through inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment to partnering. This year we will also focus on the 2013 Emerging Environmental Leader Award, which will be awarded to a student who demonstrates young environmental leadership, creativity and dedication to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment. “Northeastern Pennsylvania is overflowing with friends of the environment, who provide ample opportunities for partnerships that involve young children and grandparents alike,” said Meg Welker, manager of education and public outreach at PPL and dinner planning committee chairperson. “Please consider nominating the leaders who demonstrate successful partnerships in our communities and inspiration for future generations to carry on.”

The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.

During the past 22 years, over 160 individuals and groups involved in agriculture, forestry, business, industry, education, science, environmental awareness, community service, and government have been honored.

Nominations may be made by a person or persons involved in the activity, or by a third party.

Nominations must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2013. Your Nomination form is attached or Visit http://www.pecpa.org for a nomination form. Award presentations will be made during the Environmental Partnership Awards Dinner being held on Thursday October 24, 2013 at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes-Barre PA.

Young and Restless

Fawn052013cropSpring is here in all its glory. The old and drab is giving way to the new and lush. Young birds and animals are testing wings or legs and venturing farther afield from nests and burrows. As they leave the shelter of their hiding places, young animals have many encounters with other species. They learn about finding food and how to avoid becoming food themselves. Sometimes they narrowly escape disaster and sometimes…
We must remember that if we encounter a young animal or bird in our travels, the best approach is to allow it to go its own way. Countless generations of animals have survived quite well without human intervention and will continue to do so. Young animals and their parents know much better than we do how to care for themselves and their offspring. Not that a helping hand once in a while can’t be beneficial. A quick airlift of a box turtle from a busy highway assures it will live to produce many more generations. The honk of a horn to frighten an undecided deer or rabbit from the berm of the road keeps your car and the animal intact.
Yet, when it comes to young animals, we seem to lose all our senses and cave in to a deep-seated maternal instinct. Our need to be good Samaritans, while certainly good intentioned, has very detrimental effects on young animals taken from the wild. Many “rescued” animals survive, but only with proper and almost constant human care. However, the quality of life is drastically reduced for these animals. Chances are they will never lead a “normal” life and may perish suddenly and unexpectedly in captivity. The probability of surviving in the wild on their own is actually very good for young creatures. Parents are usually nearby even though unnoticed, ready to answer distress calls of the young quickly and effectively. Natural food is also close at hand, allowing young animals to feed at will. So, if you find a cute, young animal, resist the temptation to pick it up, take it home and care for it. Confinement to a cardboard box pales in comparison with life in the natural environment. Allow nature’s babies to be young and restless on their own.

Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival: Free family-friendly fun!

Earth Day_Ben Every year around Earth Day, Pike and Wayne County based conservation organizations get together with the same goal in mind: Celebrate Earth Day with the community. For several months prior to the event, the planning committee meets to determine what new activities will be offered to the public. All of the planning ends with one big celebration. This year’s event is almost here!

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On Saturday, April 20, the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and packed full of hands-on activities, craft projects, games and much more. We’re highlighting the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act that has saved many species like red wolves and bald eagles with a species celebration. Visitors are encouraged to come wearing a mask or

costume that represents their favorite native or endangered flora and fauna. We’ll have a “Costume Cave” set-up that day for crafting simple representations of a variety of species. Whether you come prepared or transform while you’re here, visit the “Costume Cave” to find facts about your species or add to your costume.  Think eco-friendly by using recycled or natural materials… and have fun!

Do some spring cleaning before you come and bring your old t-shirts and tennis shoes! Cub Scout Pack #229 will help your memories live on by transforming your  favorite shirts into reusable bags. Tennis shoes can be recycled with Girl Scout Troop #50151. They’ll show you the process of how Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program works and collect your old tennis shoes to be recycled.

Other activities include:

  • Bird walks
  • Puppet shows
  • Face painting
  • Food and maple products for sale
  • Help build an eagle’s nest
  • Seedling giveaways and take-home wildflower plantings
  • Stream and lake water study using microscopes
  • Energy bicycle

For more information and directions, visit www.pikewayneearthday.wordpress.com or call (570) 253-7001.

Better yet, come out on Saturday, April 20 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to see what all the buzz is about!

Enhancing the Habitat

invasive bush honeysuckle from nps siteIn a cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Wildlife Management Institute and PPL, invasive bush honeysuckle is being removed from land managed by the PPL Montour Preserve. Bush honeysuckle was introduced to the states from Eurasia as an ornamental shrub, for wildlife cover and for soil erosion control. It grows rapidly and takes over an area, forms a dense shrub layer, decreasing light and depleting soil nutrients. Bush honeysuckle grows in an early-successional forest habitat.

A young forest habitat, or early-successional habitat is required to maintain sustainable populations of many species. American woodcock, ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit and indigo bunting are examples of the many species that find young growth shrubs and trees suitable. Young forest habitat also provides food and cover for many other species that use a variety of habitats, including ring-necked pheasants, song sparrow and white-tailed deer.

Invasive removal 2013Habitat improvements and maintenance are proposed for existing young forest habitats. To maintain the young forest stage of plant succession, ongoing habitat management practices, primarily periodic treatments, will be completed as needed. A large part of the habitat

Exotic bush honeysuckle is often confused with native honeysuckle species. Most native honeysuckles have solid stems and are an excellent food source for birds. Learn more at the National Park Service’s website. management plan includes the control of invasive species and noxious weeds, like bush honeysuckle, autumn olive and multi-flora rose. All habitat improvements to existing young forest habitat are proposed as enhancements.

To ask your questions, contact us at pplpreserves@pplweb.com.
Find directions to our preserves, program information and trail maps at pplpreserves.com.

Eagle Watching

Bald EaglesBald eagles are more numerous in Pennsylvania than anytime within the last fifty years. That means there are more opportunities to see eagles for wildlife watchers. That watching comes with a price. Get too close to an eagle nest and the disturbance can be enough for the eagle pair to abandon the nest. With bald eagles into their nesting season now be careful of human intrusion near the nest site. We can enjoy eagles, but it is better to do so through good optics. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers the following etiquette as guidelines for eagle watching to minimize their disturbance:

• Stay back! Keep at least 1,000 feet from an active nest, roost, or feeding area. Use optics like binoculars or a telescope to view the eagles at a distance.
• Quiet please! If you must talk, whisper.
• Cover up! Use your vehicle or boat as a blind; eagles often are more alarmed by pedestrians.
• Be cool! Avoid sudden movements — and movements directly toward the eagles or the nest — while on foot or in a vehicle or boat.
• No flushing! Don’t make the birds fly. Flushing an eagle off a nest may expose the eggs or young eaglets to cold or wet weather or a nest predator. It also wastes precious energy and may cause them to leave a valuable meal behind or abandon a nest that they are constructing.
• Pay attention! Watch how the eagle reacts to your presence — if it acts agitated, vocalizes repeatedly, or starts moving away, you are too close!
• Stay out! Respect restricted zones. They protect eagle nesting areas. And you’re breaking state and federal laws if you enter them.
• Privacy please! Respect the privacy of the landowner. Don’t tell everyone about a new eagle nest. It will attract people to nesting areas who will not use proper etiquette and other unnecessary attention to a nest. If you unexpectedly stumble onto an eagle nest, or hear an eagle vocalizing overhead, leave immediately and quietly.

If you find a new nest, report it to the PGC endangered bird biologist, Patti Barber, including details about location. Her mail is: patbarber@pa.gov. To learn more about bald eagles and eagle-watching in Pennsylvania take advantage of the wealth of information on the PA Game Commission’s web site. See: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=978032&mode=2

Few sights are more thrilling than a bald eagle at its nest or in action along a shoreline. Enjoy eagles but make certain your presence and behavior do not have a detrimental effect on the eagles or their future use of the area. Keep your distance from eagle nests and roosts and eagles feeding on the ground. Respect their space.

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