2013 Winter Issue - Just Published February 2013
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NEXT SRTA MEETING - Susquehanna Room - Ranch House Restaurant
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The agenda will include review of seasonal island maintenance, equipment storage and 2013 GRA Great River Adventure arrangements.
All current, past and prospective members and interested individuals from the community are welcome to attend. Attendees may arrive early and purchase dinner to be served in the meeting room 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Great home-made desserts are available! The Ranch House Restaurant is located in Amity Hall on the west side of US 11/15, 1 mile north of the interchange with US 22/322 (MAP)
Susquehanna Gateway Flatwater Challenge
Join Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area for the first annual
Susquehanna Gateway Flatwater Challenge, an amateur canoe and kayak race
open to all skill levels ages 12 and up.
Saturday, July 20 Indian Steps Museum Pavilion - 205 Indian Steps Road, Airville, PA 17302
Go to http://www.susquehannaheritage.org for more information
Although SRTA island campsites will continue to be maintained as “primitive” settings, we are using donations to make some “improvements” so the sites can continue to be used by our water-born visitors. The visitors have to be able to find them to use them – not always easy at water level in an archipelago of islands. To that end, larger landing area signs and a few directional arrows have been added recently. PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) logos have been added to the signs to assure that the sites are public property, available for responsible use by all visitors. Small, silver PA Bureau of Forestry (BoF) medallions are posted on some area trees to support the public ownership.
Landing spots, portage trails and campsites are being marked with signs to counter the ever-growing vegetation (i.e. knotweed, poison ivy, etc.) that constantly obliterates evidence of human visitation. That is the largest job of our crew of island steward volunteers. Our visitors have been of great help in keeping the campsites user-friendly for subsequent visitors, by subscribing to the Leave No Trace principles. Thanks visitors!
Our current goal is to decrease the challenge of island landing areas. Except to local otters, there is nothing like the challenge of climbing a steep, wet, mud bank from boat to campsite, especially while carrying gear. A nearby, shallower ascent may work on a few islands. Other landings will call for on-site assistance, such as the steps, a belaying rope, or a non-slip recycled tire type of mat like those used for door mats – whatever will withstand the forces of water and ice. See you on the river!
Wildlife Leadership Academy
For three years, SRTA has sponsored a scholarship to the annual five-day Wildlife Leadership Academy field school, administered by the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education (PICE). The program is a cooperative education initiative, equipping future leaders with a better understanding of wildlife and conservation.
The mission is “to empower high school youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to become ambassadors for conservation in order to ensure a sustained wildlife legacy for future generations.” It is “not to recruit or train future wildlife or conservation professionals, but to equip future leaders from all walks of life with a better understanding of wildlife.”
The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a year-round program that engages youth in conservation throughout their high school years and beyond, beginning with the summer field schools. It begins with an intensive week in the field, engaging in hands-on learning about wildlife biology, habitat, and ecosystem management in PA. Students learn through field studies and classroom activities. Labs are taught by leading wildlife biologists and professionals in the state.
The program develops critical thinking, the ability to work in teams, and public speaking - important life skills. The activities emphasize team building skills and critical thinking. Students learn from media professionals how to tell their own stories through print media, educational programs, and television and radio interviews. After the school, students commit to engaging in at least three public outreach and/or conservation service projects.
To date, participants have conducted 159 conservation education and service projects, engaged in 730 contact hours with the public and have reached an audience of over 6,000 people across 24 counties in the state. SRTA has sponsored a student scholarship because of the belief that this program directly supports our purpose as stated in the bylaws: “promote sustainable use of the river and work toward the continued stewardship of the river and surrounding watershed in partnership with private individuals, environmental and recreational organizations, and government agencies at local, county, state, and federal levels”.