The upper “j” (Bellwood upstream to Altoona) has a number of locations where the riverbank is badly eroded. This stretch of river is officially considered to be “Impaired” by DEP due to sedimentation and also from phosphorous pollution from two waste treatment facilties. The phosphorous problem is being addressed by AWA and by Antis Township, operator of the “Logan” plant. However, streambank erosion can only be addressed by identifying and repairing eroded banks, starting with the worst cases, one of which is located near Pinecroft, just upstream from the mouth of Sandy Run. Stream bank repair is labor intensive and expensive. On October 30th, 13 volunteers from LJRA and 3 from JKTU, joined forces to repair 100 feet of eroded bank some 7 ft high. They created outstanding trout habitat in the process. This project was funded using private donations from First Energy Foundation, Little Juniata River Association and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. The total cost was $14,500. Pictures taken yesterday (Saturday Oct. 30th) are on the LJRA Gallery under “The River”, “Stream Bank Restoration”. More pictures of the completed project will be abvailable on Manday Nov.1st. We will also post video to the LJRA Facebook page . A list of the 16 volunteers will be posted soon as well. Thanks to all!
Two years ago, the LJRA joined with other local groups to challenge the proposal to build a Walmart Super center on a Pinecroft site in the Sandy Run watershed. Our concern was based on the knowledge that Sandy Run eminates from a very large, cold, limestone spring and contributes the largest shot of cold water in the upper “j”. SR is also a class “A’ wild brown trout stream which is used as a significant spawning tributary by browns from the river and is surrounded by a DEP designated “Exceptional Value” wetlands. Our objection was voiced in public hearings and in writing, at that time and contributed to a resulting DEP response which required the Walmart site to comply with the strict rules governing run-off. This meant that the run-off water from several acres of roof and parking lot had to be treated and cooled, before release into the stream and EV wetlands. This added a significant additional cost to the choice of this site. We are not anti-development and we accept the official explanation from Walmart that they cancelled their plans due to the economic conditions, (see attached Altoona Mirror article) however we believe that there are much better sites for development in Blair County than one which would add to stormwater run-off into Sandy Run Wetlands, the only EV wetlands in our watershed.
Little Juniata River Association
Meeting Minutes January 29, 2013
The meeting was conducted at the Bull Pen restaurant in Tyrone, and was called to order at 7:10 PM by president, Bill Anderson. Present were:
Bill Anderson- President
Jim Litrun- Secretary
Charlie Hoyer- Director
John Bennis- Director
Ron Kuntz- Director
Plus 12 members and guests
I. Proposed New By-Laws
Changes to the current by law-laws for the LJRA were presented. A motion was made by Cliff Wurster and seconded by Charlie Hoyer to accept the revised By-Laws as presented. The motion was carried by unanimous consent.
II. Presentation by PFBC Officers
Waterway Conservation Officers, Craig Garman and Anthony Quarracino, discussed changes in the PFBC organization, regulations, stockings, hatchery closings and programs for 2013. Officer Garman stressed the importance of immediately reporting any observed violations of fishing and boating laws or littering of waterways by calling 911. Officer Quarracio reviewed activities, accidents and arrests on Raystown Lake in 2012. Copies of the 2013 PFBC “Pocket Guide” were handed out to all present. President, Bill Anderson, thanked the officers for their diligent service for taking the time to meet with the members of the LJRA.
III. Spring Clean Up Project
The annual spring clean up will be conducted on April 6, 2013, the first Saturday in April. Volunteers will meet at the United Methodist Church parking lot in Spruce Creek at 9 AM. Details will be forthcoming after further discussion at the LJRA meeting in February.
IV. Macro Sampling Report
Art Kempf reported on macro study conducted on the upper “j” in 2012. Art made special not of the diligent work by Jennifer Farabaugh of the Western PA Conservatory in sorting and identifying genus, family and class levels, as well as converting organism counts to six different metrics and scores. All of this work will be published on the LJRA website. John Pascavage discussed previous macro and fish kills, as well as observations of the recoveries, along the “j” in 1989 and 1997.
V. Knotweed Control
Art Grover of Fruittown Land Stewardship Services in Centre Hall, PA was present to discuss expected results from the three-year Japanese Knotweed program for which he was contracted. Applications will begin in fall of 2013 and continue into 2015 along the upper “j.” Art explained that it takes three applications to get the weed under control, but it is never completely eradicated. It is 90% killed in the first application, spotty in two years and controlled in the third year. He indicated that it would be helpful for volunteers to cut down large areas of growth during the spring and summer to make it easier to spray during the fall. However, no application of chemicals should take place other than by, or under the supervision of, Mr. Grove.
President, Bill Anderson, indicated there were two director slots and the position of secretary open. Jim Litrun nominated Joe Reese and Carl Reed for directors. This was seconded by Cliff Wurster and carried unanimously. Jim Litrun nominated Charlie Hoyer for secretary. This was seconded by Cliff Wurster and carried by unanimous vote. The elections for officers and directors will be held at the February 12th meeting. In accordance with our new bylaws, all directors and officers will be reconfirmed by a vote of directors present at our February meeting.
A motion was made by Art Kempf and seconded by John Bennis for the LJRA to undertake a bank erosion project in conjunction with the PFBC at what will be called “Site 6” in 2013. The motion was carried by unanimous consent. Cliff Wurster has volunteered to complete the necessary work to obtain permits. Carl Reed has agreed to serve as co-chair along with Bill Anderson. The project is currently scheduled for August 8 through 11. Funds remaining from the 2012 NFWF and BCCD grants as well as general funds from LJRA, will be used.
VIII. Public Easement Program
The LJRA has available an additional $200,000 in 2013 to pursue further public fishing easement property. To date, over 4 miles of easements have been obtained. This money can be used to obtain permanent public access for properties along the “j” and its tributaries. Anyone aware of interested owners is encouraged to contact Bill Anderson. Bill informed the group that Jackie Kramer in no longer with the program and Scott Hollinger will be our contact in the future.
A motion was made by Jim Litrun and seconded by Art Kempf to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 PM. The next meeting will be held at 7:00 PM on February 12, 2013 at the Snyder Library in Tyrone.
James N. Litrun – Secretary