Seleen Shives, director of the Fulton County Conservation District, appeared before the commissioners Tuesday afternoon for updates on the organization’s activities during the months of June and July. Under the category of agricultural accomplishments, Shives pointed out the district partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to carry out a Grazing Field Day at the Bethel Township dairy operation of Lance and Carri Younker.
In addition, office personnel also responded to a manure complaint at an Ayr Township agricultural operation. According to Shives, the farm’s manure pit had overflowed several years ago, causing a significant fish kill and word had been received the earthen pit was in operation again. An inspection of the site revealed the pit was indeed being utilized to store manure. The Department of Environmental Protection has since been contacted to determine how to proceed in the matter.
On the side of environmental education, a program was conducted by the district for approximately 70 Girl Scouts attending a summer day camp at Cowans Gap State Park. The Scouts were treated to a program entailing fishing regulations, fish identification as well as a lesson on tackle, lures and bait.
Shives went on to issues tackled through the erosion and sediment control program such as nine status checks on ongoing projects and earth-moving sites throughout the county. Among those locations checked were the Tom Hixon site in Union Township; Chesnut’s Turn and the Tannery Road timber harvest in Dublin Township; the Ben Lewis site in Bethel Township; the Ed Karnacki site and Crystal View Acres in Brush Creek Township; the Route 30 project in Ayr and Todd townships; and the Fulton County Food Basket located in Ayr Township.
Through recycling overseen by Greg Reineke, the district is hoping to establish a year-round program for electronics recycling, said Shives. The company that has worked hand-in-hand with the district in the past has agreed to provide a collection trailer free of charge, however the district will need to find a location to place it.
Also in recycling news, Shives stated the district recently worked with a local landowner to remove and recycle an estimated 80 tires from a property in Licking Creek Township.
Shives touched on future plans, including a large advertising campaign that could include mailers and announcements in the local paper. Funding for the campaign will be covered through grant money in an effort to help educate local farmers on environmental regulations in the Chesapeake Bay area. As part of their campaign, the district staff will be required to visit all farms in county by 2015. One hundred farms must be visited by next June.
Shives emphasized the visits are only for information purposes and staff will not be performing inspections or documenting issues. “We’re looking forward to sitting down and meeting with people we don’t typically see,” she concluded.