Cumberland Conservation Collaborative – General Meeting
Meeting Notes – April 4, 2016 – Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, Carlisle
1. Rick Rovegno welcomed the group. Attendees introduced themselves and provided overviews of their organization’s current projects.
2. Around the Room:
Sara Haxby – Keystone Trails Association – just moved from Dauphin to Cumberland – first meeting.
Ben Mummert – Central PA Conservancy – nothing to report.
Dennis Auker – Yellow Breeches Watershed Authority – YBWA is dealing with management and use issues. Essentially the Yellow Breeches is getting a lot of use by the public and the WA is trying to find resources to manage this usage.
Susan Richards – Capital RC&D: Sponsoring a project on agroforestry – training the trainer on maintenance and management of trees for commercial use. This has an impact with respect to riparian buffers.
Rick Rovegno – reminder about Central PA Conservancy’s Ironmaster’s Challenge race – over 500 people have registered so far.
Bill Schneider – Member at large: Nothing to report at this time.
Gil Freedman – Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Authority – Cleanups will start in May and will be held on the third Saturday of each month through the summer. June 2 is watershed day in Hampden TWP which is also sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Association. For details see conocreek.org.
At this point a discussion ensued regarding a letter requested by Gil from the CCC to the PA DEP regarding monitoring of construction and use of the new gas lines crossing Cumberland County. The sense of the discussion was that we couldn’t stop this sort of thing at this point because of laws and existing rights (e.g. use of eminent domain). The best we can do is to urge DEP to do its job. Rick agreed to draft a letter and have it sent to the membership for review and comment. The final version will be sent to the board of directors for approval.
Thomas Au – Clean Air Board – There will be a workshop on April 26 for municipalities at Weidner University Law School on ways to reconcile local quality of life consistent with new development and redevelopment.
Herb Weigl – LeTort Regional Authority – nothing to report.
Chet Hagenborth – Trout Unlimited – Ongoing concern with water quality in the upper LeTort from agricultural run off. Working with LRA on what can be done.
Gail Witwer – Partnership for Better Health – nothing to report.
Mark Spicka – Big Spring Watershed Association – Also concerned about low water oxygen levels and are starting testing in late spring working with Dickinson’s ALLARM project.
3. Mitigation database discussion: There is continued interest in creating a Cumberland County waterways and wetlands mitigation database. In the ideal, as first discussed at the February CCC meeting, developers could use this to choose an government-approved mitigation project – with a known cost – to offer as a compensatory project for unavoidable waterway or wetlands damage.
The first step is aggregating existing waterway plans, studies, and analyses from the watershed associations – determine what exists now. Standards for approval of a specific remediation project from the USACOE are detailed and high (for example requiring a detailed watershed plan), but some lower level of information may be useful. Per email, Mike Danko from the COE is going to ask his supervisors what this might be and will let us know.
There is one existing watershed plan for a Cumberland County waterway – a 2009 Middle Springs watershed plan - downloadable at:
Even this plan, which cost $30,000, is not “actionable” by itself without further specific and detailed planning and project cost estimation for individual remediation sites. The plan does provide context for specific site remediation impact within the Middle Spring Creek and Gum and Mains Runs.
It is not clear as yet what types of projects are within the sole approval authority of the state – for example BSWSA has received substantial funds for mitigation projects from the Turnpike Authority as an offset for damage done by turnpike widening in Cumberland County without the COE required watershed plan. The approval process appears Byzantine at best at this point.
As a first step, CCC WSA’s will be requested to send whatever waterway plans, analyses, or other data they have to Jerry for an initial Cumberland County listing of what we have.
4. Next meeting: The next CCC meeting will be at 6 pm on Monday, June 13, 2016 in the CVVB.
Clean Air Board
Yellow Breeches WSA
CV Trout Unlimited
Central PA Conservancy
Big Spring WSA
LeTort Regional Authority
Part. for Better Health