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Conservation District
Snyder County > Departments > Conservation District
 
 

 To All Snyder County Farmers

To All Snyder County Farmers:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the state of Pennsylvania is behind in its pollution reduction goals for restoring the Chesapeake Bay and PA agencies must set a course to reach those goals.

One of several ideas in reaching those goals was to increase the number farms being inspected (from 2% to 10% of all farms/year) to determine if they are following state and federal water quality regulations. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) urged conservation districts to help with these compliance inspections. While conservation districts have traditionally conducted inspections among certain animal operations, they also offered technical and financial assistance to farmers as well.

If a conservation district agreed to do this, they would not see a reduction of state funding for technical staff. It would also likely mean a shift in time and resources away from offering technical assistance to farmers to conduct these inspections. Many conservation districts agreed to participate. However, several conservation districts felt uncomfortable doing this and decided not to participate.

The focus of the inspections is to determine whether farmers:

  • Properly handle, store and land apply animal manure and agricultural process wastewater on the farm consistent with the nutrient needs of growing crops [i.e., a manure management plan (MMP) or a nutrient management plan (NMP)]; and
  • Properly manage risks of erosion and runoff from agricultural plowing or tilling operations and animal heavy use areas [i.e., an “agricultural erosion and sediment control plan” (Ag E&S Plan) or a conservation plan].

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) Board of Directors (made up of one county commissioner, four farmers and two public members who are appointed by the county commissioners) voted that its staff conduct these inspections for one year (July 2016 – June 2017) on a trial basis. It was reasoned that it would be better for our farmers to be visited by SCCD staff instead of DEP or EPA. If a farmer was found deficient or lacking in their plans, that farmer could seek SCCD assistance with those plans upon request. In May 2017, the SCCD Board voted to have its staff continue with these inspections for another year (July 2017 – June 2018).

In the meantime, SCCD staff asks that famers work on seeking our guidance in getting their plans in compliance. There may be a time in the future when an SCCD staff member visits a farm and the plans are not in compliance. It’s possible that the SCCD may not be able to help and would be forced to report the problem to DEP.

 

As farmers you plan what crop varieties to plant, measure the amount of herbicide to use in your sprayer, inventory what forages and livestock you own, record what medicines you give your animals, and repair equipment when it is broken. Does it not make sense to plan how to handle and spread your manure and take measures on keeping your land productive? Also, does it not seem proper to show others that you, as a farmer, are doing your part in improving our local waters and the Chesapeake Bay?

If you have any questions or want to meet with us, please feel free to contact me or any of my colleagues at 570-837-3000.

Respectfully yours,

Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician

Note: A copy of this letter can be downloaded here

 SCCD Updates

Forty-seven (47) teams involving nearly 230 students from thirteen schools in five central Pennsylvania counties arrived at the Shikellamy State Park Marina for the annual Susquehanna Valley High School Envirothon held on April 24, 2018. (The Marina is located near Sunbury, PA on Packers Island.)

Topics that the students were tested in were wildlife, forestry, aquatics, soils and a specific current issues topic that changes yearly.  The current issue topic for this year is rangelands, grasslands and pastures. A non-testing station regarding charcoal production in the 1800s was also at the Marina.

Several cooperating agencies helped out with the event such as the PA Game Commission, PA DCNR-Bureau of Forestry, PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Fish &Boat Commission and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Staff members from the five conservation districts were in charge of the event’s planning, coordination and logistics.

Each conservation district awarded medals to the highest scoring team from its county. The Snyder County winners were from Selinsgrove Area High School located in Selinsgrove. They placed seventh (7th) overall out of 47 teams that competed. (A team from Central Columbia High School in Columbia County won the overall title this year.)

Click here for some photos and details of this event. Contact Craig Bingman, District Manager, Snyder County Conservation District, for more information at 570-837-3000, x118.

Note #1: County winners advanced to the PA Envirothon, held on May 22 & 23 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove and Camp Mount Luther west of Mifflinburg. Click here for more information on this event.

Note #2: A similar event for middle school students was held on May 8 at the Montour Preserve near Washingtonville and Danville. Check out how things turned out here.

 

The Conservation District (SCCD), along with staff members from various agencies and organizations, were invited to local schools to help out with environmental educational events in May.

Kindergartners from Middleburg and West Snyder Elementary Schools listed learned about soils, trees, song & game birds, birds of prey and aquatic life on May 2 & 3. Each student took home a tree, a flower pot with soil and flower seeds, a bag of bones from an owl pellet, a bird call, and other activity books inside a draw string backpack. Details and photos can be found here.

On May 11, the SCCD and others were invited back to Middleburg Elementary to hold a “Fifth Grade Envirothon.” Weeks before the event, the students and teachers were given materials to read, discuss and study regarding aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils & agricultural conservation practices, and vernal pools. Click here for additional details and photos regarding this event.

West Snyder Elementary School invited a SCCD technician to give a water quality/quantity presentation to its 5th graders on May 29. A write-up on this can be viewed here.

If you would like more information on how the Conservation District may help out with in-school or youth environmental education activities, contact us at sccd@ptd.net or 570-837-3000.

 

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held its annual tree, seed, and plant sale in 2018.

SCCD offered the following trees and plants: Norway Spruce, Red Oak, Paw Paw, American Persimmon, Winterberry, Honey Crisp Apple, Fuji Apple, Red Haven Peach, Bluecrop Blueberry, Seascape Strawberry and Dianthus. Seeds include Ginseng, French Marigold and Wildflower mixes. Again we are selling Shiitake Mushroom logs and Hop rhizomes. Also, the Conservation District sold bluebird boxes, tree planting bars, rain barrels, tree tubes and soil test kits.

Proceeds from the tree sale go towards education outreach. Click here for information regarding Selinsgrove students helping out with preparations before orders were picked up.

 

Currently a quarantine is in place for thirteen (13) southeastern Pennsylvania counties to try to stop the movement of the Spotted Lanternfly. This pest is a native of China, and could possibly work its way into our area. The destructive insect feeds on a variety of plants including grapes, apples, peaches, ailanthus, willow, hops and certain ornamental plants.

Seventy-seven (77) people were in attendance at the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) Workshop on Friday, February 23, 2018, at the Shade Mt. Winery north of Middleburg.  The informational session, hosted by the Snyder County Conservation District, was targeted towards the invasive and destructive pest that is threatening local fruit crops. Currently a quarantine is in place for thirteen (13) southeastern Pennsylvania counties to try to stop the movement of the Spotted Lanternfly.

For more information on this pest go to the links below:

http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/PlantIndustry/Entomology/spotted_lanternfly/quarantine/Pages/default.aspx https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly

Photos Above: Spotted lanternfly adult (left) and nymph (right). Courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Entomologist, PDA

The Conservation District (SCCD) is gathering a list of farmers, agricultural operators, livestock and equine owners and farm landowners interested in best management practices (BMPs). Potential BMPs to be funded may include riparian and vegetative buffers, streambank fencing, improved barnyards, manure storages and pasture watering systems.

Although the SCCD currently does not have any funds, we may find possible financial assistance in the near future for agricultural and streamside BMPs. If interested, either contact Jason Winey, Watershed Specialist, at 570-837-3000, x112, or Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118. (Copy of recent news release)

Note: Interested persons may also check with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at 401 West Market Street, Middleburg, (570-837-0007, x3) for possible financial assistance.

Recent Happenings: Go to "Conservation News" section of this web page for additional details: 
News Updates:
Effective or Happening Now:
Upcoming Events:
  • August 3: Craig Bingman, SCCD District Manager's Last Day before Retirement.

 

 General Information

A conservation district is a subdivision of state government that follows county lines as boundaries. Funding for the conservation district's programs is obtained from the Snyder County Commissioners, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other agencies. The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) was founded in 1956.

A partial list of what we are involved with includes:
The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) is governed by a seven member board of volunteer directors. The Board of Directors meet monthly to plan and direct local conservation issues. To accomplish their goals and objectives, the board relies on their staff, paid employees of the Conservation District, and cooperating agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), PA State Conservation Commission (SCC) PA Game Commission, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Bureau of Forestry, Farm Service Agency, Penn State Cooperative Extension, among others. 
 

 Contact Information

 
Snyder County Conservation District
sccd@ptd.net
 
10541 Route 522
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-3000
Fax: (570) 837-7300
 
Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 

 Our Sign Says ...

 
 
 
A message brought to you by the Staff and Board Members of the Snyder County Conservation District
 

 Upcoming SCCD Events

 SCCD Conservation News

 A Message for Farmers, Livestock & Equine Onwers

 

Farmers, Livestock & Horse Owners ...

Do You Have the Following?



Nutrient or Manure Management Plan?
Ag. E&S or Conservation Plan?

 

If yes, are they up to date? If not, meet with the Snyder County Conservation District as soon as possible. We will explain what is required of you and point you to the right direction. PA DEP has been conducting inspections throughout Snyder County to determine if farmers are following the new regulations.

 

Contact us and go to our Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Erosion Prevention web pages for more details.

 

 

 SCCD on Facebook

 
We are also on Facebook.
 

 SCCD Publications & Links

 Snyder County AG BMP Guide

 
 
 
In April 2016, the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held an agricultural BMP Tour in conjunction with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and financial assistance from others. One of the end products of this tour was the “Snyder County Agricultural BMP Guide” (AG BMP Guide). This guide pictures of BMPs installed within the county.
 
You may request a paper copy of the AG BMP Guide or download it off this website. Questions about the tour or AG BMP Guide can be forwarded to Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.
 

 Others in the SCCD Building

 
The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) currently has two tenants in our office building. They are:
 
Snyder County 4-H; Kathy Weller as Coordinator.
 
Edwards Moving & Rigging.
 

 General Downloads

 Cooperating Agencies: External Links

 Other Groups & Contacts: (External Links)