Monitoring project expands

The Elk County Conservation District will be teaming up with the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited to expand the monitoring area for the Elk County Monitoring Project as long as a stipulation proposed by chairman Russ Braun is fulfilled."I would like something from that organization [Iron Furnace Chapter] asking us to do this and a letter of committment from them stating that they will do what they say they are going to do," Braun said. "Trust is a good thing but with $150,000, trust can only go so far."The Elk County Monitoring Project is a program initiated by watershed specialist Kim Bonfardine designed to monitor the streams in Elk County in the wake of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom."Seth [Weible, intern] and I met with Bruce Dickson with the Iron Furnace Chapter to collaborate on the many different aspects of the projects, but mainly on choosing site locations for the meters," Bonfardine said. "As it turned out the Iron Furnace Chapter was a little bit leery of trying to manage $150,000 and getting audited and such, so we went into partnership with them."We have a grant from them that we can administer and take funds out of that for administrative assistance on this. In other words, we could potentially make a little bit of money by holding this grant for them."The $150,000 was made available from Colcom Foundation grant.