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Municipal Planning Tools
CONSERVATION GUIDEBOOK FOR COMMUNITIES ALONG THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
In June 2008, Governor Rendell signed Act 24 requiring Pennsylvania municipalities along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to take such action, consistent with applicable law, to preserve the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the trail and to conserve and maintain it as a public natural resource. The Conservation Guidebook was prepared to assist municipalities in developing conservation strategies to implement the intent of Act 24. The Guidebook summarizes the Trail’s history, the challenges facing the Trail, and the essential role of local communities and counties as partners with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and other nonprofits in maintaining the Trail’s landscape experience. Seven characteristics of communities that are most likely to be effective in addressing issues associated with the Trail are identified in the Guidebook. Those characteristics provide a checklist for municipalities to use as a starting point in making their own protection strategy for the Appalachian Trail.
GUIDE TO PROTECTING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL FOR LEHIGH VALLEY MUNICIPALITIES
There are a variety of actions that municipalities can take to encourage protection and preservation of land surrounding the Appalachian Trail. These measures are outlined in this report targeted to communities in the Lehigh Valley, but applicable to municipalities across the Ridge corridor. The report also includes detailed maps that can guide municipalities in locating and prioritizing particular sections of the Kittatinny Ridge (also known as the Blue Mountain) that are important for protection of the Appalachian Trail.
MUNICIPAL TOOLS AND MODEL ORDINANCES
Visit the CONSERVATIONTOOLS.ORG library hosted by the PA Land Trust Association to view a set of municipal resources available to communities along the Kittatinny Ridge corridor.
ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCILS
Environmental Advisory Councils (EACs) are one of the most effective ways to advance municipal conservation efforts, and you can establish one in your community! EACs are appointed by local elected officials to advise them and other municipal boards on a broad range of environmental matters. There are over 150 EACs in Pennsylvania, and 18 along the Kittatinny Ridge. For more information visit the EAC Network website.
KITTATINNY RIDGE COMMUNICATION TOWER GUIDELINES
With the increasing applications for new communication towers on and adjacent to the Kittatinny Ridge, the aesthetic impacts posed by these structures is more and more evident. Towers also pose a serious hazard to migrating birds. The Communication Tower Guidelines for municipal leaders outlines planning, construction and tower siting considerations that will help safeguard the recreational and aesthetic value of the Appalachian Trail and to reduce the adverse impacts towers may have on migrating bird populations.
Trail-based and Eco-Tourism Resources
APPALACHIAN TRAIL COMMUNITY PARTNERS
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T. Download the application HERE.
AUDUBON’S BIRD TOWN PROGRAM
Bird Town is a working partnership of Audubon PA and municipalities in Pennsylvania to promote conservation and community-based actions to create a healthy, more sustainable environment for birds and people. Audubon PA provides the tools for the municipality to engage their residents, schools and businesses in making more ecologically-friendly decisions, conserving energy and in the process, saving money. A Bird Town makes efforts to restore valuable ecosystem services to create a culture of conservation where everyone is a potential steward of nature in their backyard and beyond.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM TOOLBOX
This online toolbox from Tennessee Dept. of Tourism Development contains practical, applied tools to help guide the implementation of sustainable tourism practices and programs.
Implementation and Funding Resources
Tools for Educators and Community Outreach
PENNSYLVANIA LAND CHOICES
Pennsylvania Land Choices seeks to build connections to natural resources, communities and the planning process. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of State Parks, in partnership with other organizations and agencies such as the Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP), is working with teachers, community leaders and students throughout the Commonwealth through an award-winning program called People Land and Community Education (P.L.A.C.E.). P.L.A.C.E. uses a variety of educational resources, including the 250-page education guide called Pennsylvania Land Choices. The PA Land Choices Education Guide provides a foundation of activities and information for teachers in grades 6 through 12 (although the activities can be adapted for elementary and college-level students as well). The curriculum is also used in professional development workshops offered through state parks across Pennsylvania.
APPALACHIAN TRAIL CONSERVANCY: TRAIL TO EVERY CLASSROOM PROGRAM
The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program is a professional development program for K-12 teachers that provides educators with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Launched in 2006, in partnership with the National Park Service, the program offers educators resources needed to engage their students in their local community, while growing academically and professionally.
COMMUNITY TOOLBOX: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE RIVERS, TRAILS AND CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program is always exploring new ways to help communities work together to improve their special places. These have become the tools of the trade. Together they form the NPS ToolBox for public participation.
HIKING “SCAVENGER HUNT” CARD FOR CHILDREN
Created by the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee for their A.T. Community designation event, this hiking scavenger hunt card highlights the various wildlife children may see during their hiking experience.
RAPTOR ID BROCHURE
A new silhouette “Guide for Hawks Seen in the Northeast” has been published by the NorthEast Hawk Watch (NEHW), a regional chapter of the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA). The guide includes art and text by Paul Carrier, the artist who created the ubiquitous hawk silhouette guide of similar name over thirty years ago. The new two-page guide shows soaring silhouettes and key field marks for the adults of all of the migratory hawks regularly seen in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada as well as Gyrfalcon and Swainson’s Hawk.
Best Management Practices
PLANNING FOR FOREST BIRDS
STANDING DEAD TREES MAKE A FOREST COMPLETE
FORESTED STREAM BUFFERS
MAKE YOUR BIRD SIGHTINGS COUNT
PLANNING FOR GRASSLAND BIRDS
MANAGING DEER FOR ECOSYSTEM HEALTH
EXOTIC INVASIVE VINES
PROTECTING AGAINST HEMLOCK WOOLY ADELGID