Conservation Districts honor Senator Scarnati

MT. JEWETT -- The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) has presented State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway) with the 2011 Legislator Recognition Award.According to the PACD, the award is going to Scarnati for his “environmental foresight and advocacy.”Kerry Fetter of Smethport, chairman of the McKean County Conservation District, presented the award to Scarnati last week at the Kinzua Bridge State Park near Mt. Jewett. Scarnati came to the park to participate in the ceremony to mark the opening of the new Skywalk pedestrian walkway.“Senator Scarnati has not only been an advocate for the conservation districts and the vital work they do every day, but has also served as a partner with the conservation districts to ensure that Pennsylvania’s natural resources are protected in every corner of the Commonwealth,” MaryAnn Warren, president of the PACD, said in a statement. “The senator’s dedication and commitment to the environment have not gone unnoticed.“By making the protection of our environment a top priority, Senator Scarnati has empowered our communities to invest, preserve and safeguard our natural resources for future generations.”According to the PACD, “Scarnati has taken on many important issues related to the protection of our environment and natural resources as well as a champion for the conservation districts.”“The senator’s bold proposal earlier this year spring of a local impact fee on Marcellus Shale will ensure that Pennsylvania’s environment is protected both now and in the future by providing a dedicated funding stream to local governments as well as the conservation districts,” the PACD said. “As the development of natural gas continues, our districts and communities must have the resources and tools needed locally to protect our waterways and land.”In a statement, PACD Executive Director Robert B. Maiden said Scarnati “understands how important our natural resources are for not just our recreational enjoyment, but for the economic well-being and quality of our communities.”Maiden said the PACD looks forward to “working closely with Scarnati as we continue to make great strides in our mission to protect Pennsylvania’s environment and natural resources.”