Rutters has not yet received a permit from DEP to build a truck stop next to Old Crow Wetland in Huntingdon. It is likely that they will, and the coalition is raising funds to appeal a DEP stormwater permit. Our lawyer is working for us pro bono but we’ll need to pay experts who will testify for us at an appeal with the Environmental Hearing Board, so we are raising money for a legal fund. See below for how to donate.
We have two avenues to stop this project: DEP and Smithfield township. On the first Tuesday of each month, members of the Coalition to Save Old Crow Wetland voice opposition to Rutters’ plans at Smithfield township supervisors’ meetings. We point out how Rutters’ plans do not meet Smithfield township’s ordinances. The next meeting will be on January 2, 2024 at 6:00 pm at 202 South 13th Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652. Any member of the public may attend and speak at these meetings.
Local media calls Rutters’ project a “convenience store” because that is how it is labelled in DEP and township documents. Reporters claim they must use that term, but it is misleading because the project is a seven-acre truck stop, one of the largest in central Pennsylvania, open 24 hours a day. A large Rutters is being built in Blair county now and another is planned for Centre county.
Coalition members have spoken with the Maxatawny Community Coalition near Kutztown PA. Since a Rutters was recently built there, traffic congestion in the area has become worse. Residents are concerned about gambling machines and the sale of alcohol at the Rutters, as well as many warehouses now proposed for the area. A member of the Maxatawny group wrote:
“Even though Rutters calls themselves a convenience store, we consider them to be a truck stop due to the massive amount of parking they have for tractor trailers in the back parking lot and the amount of diesel gas pumps on the property. Trucks park overnight on the property which is against our ordinances and many of them are idling non-stop regardless of any laws against it. These types of facilities should be up on the Interstates and NOT in communities! - A.F.
The Coalition held a Non-Violent Direct Action Training session in December, 2023, led by Michael Badges-Canning and Penn Garvin (NVDA training facilitators) in Huntingdon, Pa.
If you want to prevent traffic, pollution, and related problems in Huntingdon and to prevent harm coming to the beautiful Old Crow Wetland, please join the Coalition.
To donate to the legal fund, send a check made out to Coalition to Save Old Crow Wetland to: Coalition to Save Old Crow Wetland, P.O. Box 7, Huntingdon PA 16652, or donate to fundrazr.com/saveoldcrow Any donation would be much appreciated.
from the September-October issue of the Gnatcatcher
I hope everyone has had a productive summer despite the rain, heat, and bugs. Ah, the bugs! At times, it has felt like the North Woods out there. Even so, JVAS has had a few activities going on this summer, including the monthly first Tuesday hike at the Ray Amato Memorial Nature Trail at the Northern Blair County Recreation Center in Tipton, led by George Mahon and Eric Oliver. We also had our annual picnic at Canoe Creek State Park in June, where Catie and Ethan Farr served up some delicious smoked chicken.
I want to give special thanks to past president Catie Farr for not only providing delicious food for our meetings and picnics, as hospitality chair, but also stepping up and taking over as secretary, in addition to coordinating the Earth Week Birding Classic. We hope her scheduled meals for the fall meetings in Bellwood can help entice you to join us live for some exciting talks. If not, however, we will endeavor to provide a virtual option as well for those who are joining us long-distance, or for any other reason can’t make it in person.
While the Juniata Valley environmentalist community has been rushing around on our vacations and family visits, the forces of destruction have not stayed idle, unfortunately. On the one hand, the Old Crow wetlands remain at dire threat from a Rutter’s, despite a fierce struggle mounted by a coalition led by Claire Holzner; on the other hand, another Rutter’s is being erected at the Pinecroft exit of I-99, obliterating important habitat. As if that weren’t enough, the Borough of Hollidaysburg recently decided to have the side of the mountain in front of iconic Chimney Rocks clearcut so that folks could see the rocks better.
This short-sighted decision will result not only in erosion of the fragile soil but also a hostile takeover by invasive plants. JVAS and other local groups are currently looking at ways to mitigate the damage, but the message is clear: never let down your guard when it comes to habitat. Be proactive: if you see valuable habitat that appears protected, never assume it’s safe from clearcutting and development, even if it’s on public land of some type. And while cutting forest has undeniable economic benefits, the inevitable environmental result now seems to be vast thickets of privet, barberry, mile-a-minute, and a ton of other invasives.
Case in point: along the I-99 corridor between Bedford and Lock Haven are literally hundreds of small wetlands, of which only a handful have any meaningful protection. Any wetland, no matter the size, or whether it’s vernal or permanent, is important, but pretty much every single one is vulnerable to development, despite existing federal and state legislation. Sometimes, it’s not even the wetland itself that gets directly destroyed or polluted, but, as in the case of Old Crow wetland down in Huntingdon, an adjacent piece of land. Nevertheless, I know personally of wetlands large enough to hold breeding herons, Wood Ducks, and much more, that are at the back of junkyards, have garbage dumped into them, and are otherwise abandoned, neglected, and forgotten. It is high time that we took a more systematic approach to finding, studying, and anticipating possible protection measures for such threatened places. Look at the success that Wetlands for Everyone has had with the Soaring Eagle Wetland and the Dreibelbis Viewing Area (former Julian Wetland) along HWY 220 in Centre County. Within a few miles of Tyrone in either direction are close to a dozen similar places, a few of which are “protected,” but for how long? To mention a few: Moorhen Marsh by Altoona, wetlands around Bellwood, wetlands on either side of the Tipton-Grazierville exit including the Charlottesville Wetland, wetlands around Olivia, Vail, and Bald Eagle—and of course, the Northern Blair County Rec Center wetlands that Angie Spagnoli has been instrumental in studying and promoting.
The Friends of Tipton Wetlands has been promoting the Charlottesville wetland all summer, with photo essays by Frank Nale on their Facebook page that show the beauty of this location and the hard work put in by JVAS board member and talented wildlife artist Michael Kensinger, who has erected nesting boxes here as well as at Old Crow and along the Ray Amato trail and elsewhere.
If you are as interested in the subject of Logan Valley-Bald Eagle Valley wetland protection as I am, please let me know. I’m thinking about ways we can be several steps ahead of the developers. Companies, private landowners, the state government, and most importantly, local governments, should be partners in this, not adversaries. Perhaps it’s time for all the different local environmental NGOs, coalitions, and Friends groups to get together to discuss some sort of unified strategy.
The form will ask you to "select the section of the draft Plan your comment refers to." Choose "Summary of Recommendations."
Please let the Army Corps know that you support their decision, which is based on sound science versus a desire for economic gain. Comment deadline is Dec. 7, 2019.
Use the following excerpts from the Plan as talking points to support the draft Master Plan:
The draft plan states that, "The proportion of public comments received specifically opposing the proposal to develop and/or reclassify the Hawn’s Bridge area was significant. This indicates that expressed public desires at this time do not support the reclassification to High Density Recreation." Justification for this decision was based on factors that changing the area to “high density recreation” would potentially negatively affect the following:
Proximity to Bat Conservation Area
Impact on fisheries
Proximity to Shale Barren area
Impact on hunting
Impact on timber resources or tree cover
Topographic impacts to infrastructure construction
The USACE applied objectives in the classification analysis with the following results:
The proposal would support the objective to identify and evaluate increased opportunities to provide and implement education and outreach on the missions of the RLP.
It would not preserve the unique scenic beauty and aesthetics of the project by minimizing development and maintaining the undisturbed natural buffer between the shoreline and all future development.
It would not achieve recreation goals in conjunction with the USACE Recreation Strategic Plan and the Pennsylvania SCORP.
It would not actively manage and conserve fish, wildlife, and special status species or enhance biodiversity.
In addition, it would not support goals to manage invasive species, promote forest health, or prevent erosion and sedimentation.
There is already pushback from the developer who wants to turn Hawn’s Bridge area into a resort. Janet Chambers, spokesperson for the proposed resort, is quoted in a recent issue of the Huntingdon Daily News. Chambers maintains that the Corps ignored the WIIN Act, which instructed the Corps to increase recreation areas. She also is quoted as stating that any conflicting issues can be "worked out."
Although we need renewable energy infrastructure to combat climate change, surely there are more appropriate sites where less environmental damage will occur. Reclaimed strip mines, brown fields, and developed areas should be considered for renewable energy projects, not forested mountains that serve as important habitats for species of concern, migratory corridors, and sources of clean water.
While renewable energy projects are an important step away from fossil fuel consumption and have great potential to mitigate climate change impacts by reducing carbon, they must be sited properly. In Pennsylvania, the best wind resources are at higher elevations, so wind turbines are most often sited on forested mountains instead of degraded lands. Joseph Kiesecker, Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, points out in his book, “Energy Sprawl Solutions,” that it is possible to balance energy needs and conservation, but we need careful planning, or we could trade one crisis for another: “land-use change and conflict.” His research shows that wind projects should be built on degraded lands, instead of forested mountains, in order to protect critical wildlife and their habitats.
Such is the case for Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain, a forested ridge in Bedford County that contains core forest habitat for several species of conservation need. CPV Kettle Wind, LLC is in the early permitting stages of an industrial wind turbine project proposed for the top of Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain. The turbines would be constructed just south of Rt. 869 and could extend for over 5 miles along the top of the mountain in East St. Clair, South Woodbury, and Bedford Townships. Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain is quite narrow in areas, so a cut and fill construction project would most likely involve:
a. removal of trees on the top of the mountain
b. blasting of bedrock to create rubble
c. bulldozing and compacting the rubble to create a shelf wide enough to support wind turbine pads and roads
d. deep sedimentation ponds below each wind turbine to control stormwater runoff – these ponds would be filled with permeable soil obtained off-site to slow runoff
e. trenches between turbines for electric cables
f. a swath of trees removed down the mountain so an above-ground transmission line can be run from on top of the mountain to the substation along Black Bear Lane ...continue reading "Environmental Concerns and Potential Impacts of a Proposed Wind Project on Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain in Bedford County"
It’s been a hot summer, so aren’t you interested in finding out how to capture all that solar power? We are proud to announce that JVAS is sponsoring a solar rooftop co-op called Solar United Neighbors (SUN)! One of our members who lives in Cambria County is already part of SUN with 28 solar panels on her roof. We also applaud other members who have solar. You may wonder why a bird group like JVAS is sponsoring solar, but just remember that rooftop solar helps to preserve important bird habitat since it reduces the demand for fossil fuels.
We are working with Henry McKay, SUN’s program director in Pennsylvania. Henry writes,
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights. We'd like to bring together individuals and organizations in and around Blair County who are interested in helping to launch and promote a local solar co-op.
Solar co-ops are nonprofit programs that make it easier for homeowners and small businesses to go solar. People interested in going solar join the solar co-op, learn about solar technology and incentives, receive unbiased technical guidance from Solar United Neighbors, and pool their collective buying power to get a better deal on a solar installation. Solar co-ops are a powerful tool to increase solar adoption and build a stronger movement of solar advocates.
Solar co-ops are administered by Solar United Neighbors but require the assistance of motivated individuals and local partners to spread the word in the target communities and drive sign-ups. Right now, we are trying to determine if there is enough interest and support from local organizations in the Blair County area to launch a successful solar co-op.
Watch for a planning meeting announcement later this fall.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society has partnered with Lenca Farms to bring you the highest quality shade-grown coffee direct from Honduras. The farms support many species of native birds, as well as wintering Neotropical migrants.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society has partnered with Lenca Farms to bring you the highest quality shade-grown coffee direct from Honduras. The coffee farmers retain the forest canopy above the small coffee trees and use organic practices so the farms support many species of native birds, as well as wintering Neotropical migrants. Research by Cornell University shows that this type of coffee farm provides important habitat and food for many birds.
Lenca Farms Coffee is a medium roast with flavors of chocolate and cardamom. Because it is high elevation, it is low in caffeine. You will find the coffee to be very rich and smooth.
Lenca Farms is small group of coffee farmers in the high mountainous region of Marcala, in southwest Honduras. The farmers produce shade-grown coffee using organic practices, thus producing specialty coffee of the highest quality. Many species of Neotropical songbirds spend part of the winter in these shade coffee farms, as JVAS members have been able to verify for themselves.
One of the farmers, Emilio Garcia, is a fourth generation coffee grower who started importing the Lenca Farms coffee into the US in 2013. Lenca Farms offers direct trade with US roasters and guarantees that their specialty-grade coffee comes "From Our Farms to Your Door." Since the coffee harvest is from January to March, the green coffee is brought to the US in early summer, ensuring high-quality fresh coffee.
About the Roasters
Emilio Garcia is a partner with Jeff Myers, who started Abednego Coffee Roasters in 2008 in Chambersburg with the purpose that "we would make the world a better place." Emilio Garcia and Jeff Myers offer the highest quality coffee that is air roasted in small batches, ensuring our customers get freshly roasted coffee. They support sustainable coffee production through direct trade from small coffee growers. They also donate supplies and food to schools in Honduras, since they know that learning empowers children to rise above poverty.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society's Policy regarding wind development states that,
Industrial wind development on forested ridges creates a suite of ecological problems that outweigh the benefits of a renewable energy source. Since many birds and bats use our ridges as migratory pathways, tall towers with spinning blades cause almost certain mortality. In addition, large clearings for turbines and an extensive network of roads through forests create forest fragmentation, which is also a negative impact on forest birds and bats. For these reasons, as well as many more, the Juniata Valley Audubon Society opposes industrial wind development on forested ridges.
Specifically, if the first of two wind turbine applications proposed by Atlantic Wind, LLC are approved, up to 37 industrial wind turbines would be constructed, impacting three forested mountains in the Wild Creek Watershed: Stony, Pohopoco, and Call Mountains. These turbines, with their associated turbine pads and wide road clearings, will cause extensive forest fragmentation resulting in up to 292 acres of cleared forest.
If the second application is approved, the project will contain 28 turbines in linear rows impacting Pohopoco and Call Mountains, with up to 203 acres of forest being cleared. We know that roads and clearings through forests invite invasive plant species, more avian predators, and more ATVs. None of these are beneficial to forests and their inhabitants.
Wild Creek Watershed produces some of the cleanest water in the nation and is designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as an Exceptional Value Watershed. It is the undeveloped forest that makes this water so clean. Additionally, this water sustains thousands of people and businesses in the Bethlehem area.
Not only do the extensive tracts of forests provide clean water, they also provide homes and sustenance to a number of birds that are species of special concern in Pennsylvania: the Osprey, Broad-winged Hawk, Whip-poor-will, Brown Creeper, Wood Thrush, and Golden-winged Warbler breed in the Wild Creek Watershed. Birds that depend on vast forested acreage are also found in this watershed. In addition to the Wood Thrush, Pennsylvania has a global responsibility to provide large areas of unfragmented forest for the Scarlet Tanager since more than 19% of the population breeds in Pennsylvania.
The Wild Creek Watershed is located in the Appalachian Raptor Migration Corridor and partly within the Kittatinny-Shawangunk National Migration Corridor. Raptors use the watershed as stopover sites during migration.
The forests found in the Wild Creek Watershed are some of the most rare and unique habitats in the world. The habitat areas are called Yellow Run Barrens, Pitch Pine Barrens, Hell Creek Barrens, and Pine Run Woods. The term, "barrens," is often misleading as people think it is an area bare of trees and other vegetation. These barrens are actually lush with vegetation, but the trees are stunted and don't grow as tall as in other forests. Yellow Run Barrens contains a scrub oak-heath-pitch pine natural community that is unique in Pennsylvania and should be maintained through prescribed fire. Pitch Pine Barrens is also unique and rare in the state. Hell Creek Barrens contains a Pennsylvania endangered and globally rare plant species of concern, while Pine Run Woods is a maple, oak forest and scrub oak Shrubland Natural Community.
In 2005, when The Nature Conservancy completed a Natural Areas Inventory of Carbon County [PDF], they noted that no threats or disturbances were present in the Wild Creek Watershed because the Bethlehem Authority protected almost the entire watershed.
The Nature Conservancy recommended,
Continued protection will not only serve to protect these important municipal water supplies into the future, but also provide critical open space and wildlife habitat. It will serve to benefit the bird species of special concern [Osprey] and, perhaps, attract additional nesting pairs to the lake. The plant species of concern would be harmed by a loss of overstory and reduction in water quality at this site.
Sadly, in 2013, the Bethlehem Authority leased thousands of acres in the Wild Creek Watershed to Atlantic Wind, LLC. If the project is built, most of the watershed will become an industrial zone for energy production.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society supports properly sited wind projects, but an industrial wind project in the Wild Creek Watershed is clearly inappropriate. We urge the Bethlehem Authority to focus on the generation of clean water and the protection of special habitats and species by protecting the forest.
A recent study, "Return on Environment," which was partly funded by Audubon Pennsylvania, shows the importance of undeveloped forests in Carbon County. To quote:
WE CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO PROTECT CARBON COUNTY’S OPEN SPACE
The first rule of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. Whatever we do to natural habitats— good or bad, big or small—ripples through the economy. Simply stated, the loss of open space costs more than we know. Losing natural resources, like trees and good water quality, is a significant strategic choice. Natural systems provide a form of insurance or risk management. They work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and have been doing so for the last 10,000 years, free of charge.
Catie Farr, President
Juniata Valley Audubon Society
Juniata Valley Audubon Society supports the protection of the eastern shore of Raystown Lake, specifically the endangered shale barrens which include the one located on Hawn's Bridge Peninsula. We request that Hawn's Bridge Peninsula be reclassified as an Environmentally Sensitive Area and that Terrace Mountain remain as a Low Density Recreation Area in the new Master Plan.
Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers by Laura Jackson, Vice President, on behalf of the Juniata Valley Audubon Society.
To Whom it May Concern:
Please accept this letter as a formal comment submitted by the Juniata Valley Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, with over 300 members residing in Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Mifflin, and Centre Counties in central Pennsylvania. We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to be considered in the development of the Raystown Lake Master Plan Revision.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society (JVAS) recognizes the diverse recreational resources offered by the Raystown Lake, its economic development potential, the importance of the flood control, and its clean hydropower. More importantly, however, we value the significant amount of relatively undisturbed habitat: approximately 18,000 acres (84%) of the Raystown Lake Project is forested. Since Terrace Mountain provides a forested backdrop to much of the eastern lake shore, we know that sustainable forest management is key to maintaining not only the viewscape, but the quality of water in Raystown Lake. We commend the US Army Corps of Engineers on their work to maintain this important habitat, so vital to maintaining clean water and healthy fish and wildlife.
Furthermore, we applaud the Corps' efforts to establish a Bat Conservation Area on Terrace Mountain in the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula area to maintain roosting and foraging habitat for northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats, as well as other forest dwelling bat species. JVAS supports managing these areas to mimic old growth conditions, which will create better habitat for roosting bats.
Another type of habitat quite different from the forested expanses are the rare shale barrens that occur in the Raystown Lake Project Area. We understand that the shale barren communities in Bedford and Huntingdon counties are one of the most unusual, and also most endangered, ecosystems in Pennsylvania. They are few in number and small in acreage, but contain endemic plant species found only in this habitat. The eleven shale barrens in the Raystown Lake Project are each significantly important since they vary in geographical and environmental features, as well as types of flora and fauna. We appreciate the Corps' dedication to protecting them by designating them as "Natural Areas," which will be preserved in their natural state.
We ask that the Corps continue to protect the shale barrens as designated Natural Areas by placing total restriction of any development in the area, and protecting the steep slopes and fragile environment of the barrens areas from disturbance, except for scientific investigation. Especially important is the restriction of foot travel on the slope and prohibition of watercraft docking at the base of the cliffs.
We are concerned, however, that the 9-acre shale barrens on the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula is under threat from future development. In the 1994 Master Plan, the Corps pledged complete protection and did not agree to any development on the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula. We know that the current Master Plan update is considering changing the use of this area. In keeping with the Corp's pledge to protect one of Pennsylvania's rarest and most endangered habitats, we would like to emphasize that this complete protection will only occur if the entire Hawn's Bridge Peninsula is protected from development. The 1994 master plan emphasized protection of the eastern shore, which includes the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula. We feel the eastern shore and Terrace Mountain should remain protected.
The Shale Barrens are also designated as part of the Raystown Biological Diversity Area (BDA), a Natural Heritage Area documented by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in the Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Inventory. Within the strata of BDAs, Huntingdon County recognizes Hawn's Bridge Peninsula to be the highest ranking: an "Exceptional Biological Diversity Area." See map at end of letter.
Our request to protect Hawn's Bridge Peninsula from development is supported by many local residents, including the Coalition to Protect Hawn's Peninsula. It is important to note that our request to protect Hawn's Bridge Peninsula is also aligned with the Huntingdon County Comprehensive Plan, 2007 Supplement. Sadly, the businesses and organizations that are promoting development of Hawn's Bridge Peninsula are at odds with the Comprehensive Plan.
Although it is not regulatory, the Comprehensive Plan is an important guiding document for Huntingdon County as it contains, "A Vision for the 21st Century." The Elements of the Vision include, "protection of farmland, forest land, natural resources, and the environment," while emphasizing new development "in and around existing boroughs and villages." It further emphasizes developing "greenways along rivers and ridges."
This vision is further detailed in this excerpt, " The vast majority of land in the County will remain in productive private rural land uses such as agriculture, forestry, and recreation. A system of “Greenways” will be established along mountain ridges, streams, and rivers to protect water quality, to provide habitat for wildlife, to enhance recreational opportunities, and to protect scenic beauty. "
One policy supported in this Vision does include, "the development of a year-round, full-service resort at Raystown Lake." However, we ask that such development should not be along mountain ridges such as Terrace Mountain, or impact rare habitats like shale barrens. Such a resort at Raystown Lake should be on Army Corps property where development already occurs, not in an exceptional Biological Diversity Area like Hawn's Bridge Peninsula.
In conclusion, Juniata Valley Audubon Society supports the protection of the eastern shore of Raystown Lake, specifically the endangered shale barrens which include the one located on Hawn's Bridge Peninsula. We request that Hawn's Bridge Peninsula be reclassified as an Environmentally Sensitive Area and that Terrace Mountain remain as a Low Density Recreation Area in the new Master Plan.
The ecological evidence provided in the Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Inventory demands that the Hawn’s Bridge peninsula be designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area in the Master Plan Revision.
The Hawn's Bridge peninsula is part of the Raystown Dam Natural Heritage Area (Biological Diversity Area) identified in the Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Inventory. The Inventory characterizes such areas as "containing plants or animals of special concern at state or federal levels, exemplary natural communities, or exceptional native diversity." The Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Inventory was administered by the Huntingdon County Planning Commission and identifies and maps Huntingdon County’s most significant natural places. The study investigated plant and animal species and natural communities that are unique or uncommon in the county. It also explored areas important for general wildlife habitat and scientific study. The inventory is a tool for informed and responsible decision-making.
The area in which a marina and other facilities are proposed includes red cedar-mixed hardwood rich shale woodland, and Virginia pine - mixed hardwood shale woodland communities. These rare habitats support two plant species endemic to shale barrens: the shale barrens evening primrose (Oenothera argillocola) (PA Threatened) and Kate's mountain clover (Trifolium virginicum) (PA Endangered). Several invertebrate species associated with shale barrens and the surrounding xeric forest also are found there. These include the southern pine looper moth (Caripeta aretaria), the promiscuous angle (Semiothisa promisuata), and a noctuid moth (Properigea sp.)
According to the Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Inventory, "The shale barren communities and associated plant species depend upon the harsh conditions found on these steep, dry slopes where competition from other species is low. Disturbances that can lead to the introduction of exotic and aggressive species are one of the largest threats." The establishment of a marina and associated amenities on the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula would certainly cause the types of disturbances which the Inventory warns against.
In addition, the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula is clearly visible from the Hawn's Overlook and from the Allegrippis Trails. From an aesthetic viewpoint, converting the forested peninsula to an entertainment-oriented facility with a marina would create an eyesore.
Furthermore, Terrace Mountain, adjacent to the Hawn’s Bridge peninsula, should be designated as Low Density Recreation because it contains a Bat Conservation Area, the Terrace Mountain Trail, and steep topography that is unsuitable for development. Visitors to Raystown Lake value the wild nature of the eastern side of the lake. Development should be confined to the western side of the lake, which already has infrastructure to support it.
Therefore, for ecological and aesthetic reasons, I strongly support the designation of the Hawn's Bridge peninsula as an Environmentally Sensitive Area and the designation of Terrace Mountain as a Low Density Recreation area.
JVAS members have been hard at work helping to improve and revitalize this statewide Audubon program. We know that some chapter members are already part of this initiative, and we hope many more will join. In the past, there was very little communication between the program members and their respective chapters, but that has changed. Although the Habitat Recognition sign is similar, there is a new application for those who haven’t participated in the past.
You can also request a paper application from Laura Jackson and send your payment via check. Just email jacksonlaura73 at gmail.com
There will also be periodic updates from Audubon and from JVAS about this recognition program.
We’d also like to encourage schools, businesses, and organizations to join. Please share a copy of the application with any schools or other organizations that might have a pollinator garden or natural habitat on their property.
The $25 fee is mainly to cover the cost of the yard sign and to support bird-friendly habitat projects.
Here’s what the 9.5 in. by 14 in. sign looks like: