Conservation News: April 2018

by Dave Keane

Below are several opportunities to let your voices be heard & dates to put in your calendars for 2018:

2018 Frank Burt Smoot Commemorative Stream Cleanup Project


Please note that this event has been cancelled because there is still too much snow in the area.

The Maryland Chapter of Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (BOJC) and the Thurmont Green Team are joining forces with other conservation minded organizations to promote the Frank Burt Smoot Commemorative Stream Cleanup Project.

When: Saturday, April 28th, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Where: Cunningham Falls State Park – Thurmont, Maryland
Stream: Hunting Creek – Between the parking lot located across the road from the “Catoctin Mountain Park Headquarters”, and the “Visitor Center”.
Meeting Point: The Joe Brook Monument, on Hunting Creek, located across the road from the “Visitor Center” & Park Enterance.

The details:
Assuming that the smaller capacity parking areas might be full, there will be a shuttle bus running from the Park’s large capacity parking lot near Hunting Creek Lake to the event. The “honor system” parking fee for that lot will be waived for all event participants. Rt. 77 (Foxville Road) inside the park is a typical mountain road with narrow shoulders and many curves. Be safety conscious and wear bright colored clothing for the event.

The BOJC will have trash bags available, and a limited supply of gloves, to distribute at the meeting point.

If you are able to attend, consider recruiting a youth, or two, to participate as well! As Frank would probably remind us, “They are the future stewards of our environment” and “Example alone is the one certain teacher”. Hope to see you there! For more information contact: Steve Weinstein at (410) 978-1455 or

PVFF “Home Waters” Clean Up

When: Saturday, April 14th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where: Catoctin Creek Nature Center – “Our Home Waters”
Stream: Catoctin Creek
Meeting Point: We will be meeting in the parking lot at the Nature Center and then head out to clean up the banks of Catoctin Creek.

Every Spring, tens of thousands of volunteers come together to pick up trash from local streams, creeks, rivers, parks, and neighborhoods as part of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s “Project Clean Stream” – the largest cleanup event in the Chesapeake Bay region! Cleanups take place across the entire Chesapeake watershed, in all 6 Bay states and Washington DC.

Wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather and that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring your own gloves, sunscreen, and waders for anything in the creek. There will be a limited number of gloves there if someone forgets them. When you’re done cleaning up the stream, stay and fish our Home Waters!

For more information contact: Dave Keane at (240) 367-4905 or email him at

Natural Resources Careers Camp Accepting Applicants
Students entering grades 9 through 12

As a follow-up and reminder from the last couple of newsletters, High School students interested in forestry, fisheries, wildlife, or park management are invited to join teens from across the Mid Atlantic at the week-long Natural Resources Careers Camp (NRCC), held from July 22nd to 28th at the Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County, MD. Students will explore related college studies and professions through hands-on activities with experts from a variety of conservation fields.

“This program is perfect for young adults who are planning a career in conservation, and those who may be interested in forestry or natural resources and want to see if this line of work is a right fit,” said Donna Davis, project forester for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service.

Students work in groups of six or eight led by wildlife biologists, foresters and other natural resources professionals throughout the week.

Another exciting part of the program is College Night, where representatives from West Virginia University, Penn State, University of Maryland, Frostburg University, Allegany College of Maryland and Garrett College speak about their programs. Professors and department heads will share information and material with interested students.

The NRCC is sponsored by MD’s Forest Conservancy District Boards, Allegany College of Maryland, the MD – DNR, Forest Service and the MD Forestry Foundation. The camp has been held annually for over 45 years.

Students who will be entering grades 9 through 12 next year and are interested in natural resources careers are eligible to apply. Applications are available online.

Local Forest Conservancy District Boards interview, recommend and offer scholarships for students to attend the camp. Space is limited so interested participants are encouraged to apply online today!

Dan Neuland visited the camp back in 2015 and wrote a very nice article about the camp that you can read here.

For more information contact:
Dave Keane at (240) 367-4905 or email him at

2018 Boy Scout Spring Camporee

Nearly 700 Frederick County Boy Scouts of America (BSA), will be attending the Spring Camporee from April 19th to 21st, 2018. This is the Field Sports camporee which is hosted every 5 years, or so by BSA Troop 270 in Thurmont, MD. Saturday, April 21st is the big day!

The event will feature shooting, archery, primitive cooking and tools, falconry, and fishing among other activities. This year, the BOJC has volunteered to take the lead, but we still need PVFF volunteers.

There will be two fishing venues. Fly tying demonstrations by BOJC and PVFF volunteers in a 10ft by 10ft walled tent. The second venue is a casting contest using spinning rods/reels, at which scouts will cast to buckets or hula-hoops for points. This event will be held rain or shine, so as the Scouts say, “Be Prepared”.

Volunteers will be needed from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM on Saturday, April 21st, at each of the fishing venues. Lots of volunteers are needed to help process 700 scouts.
If they have time, some of the scouts will want to return to the tent to tie a fly.

If you would like to help, Billy Noland is the PVFF’s point of contact and can be reached at (301) 514-7007 or mail him at:

We will have Volunteer Sign-up Sheets at PVFF meetings for these events.

The Antietam Fish Company and the History of Fish Conservation in America

On Saturday, April 28th, there will be a presentation on the history of the Antietam Fish Company. Sounds like a great talk. There is no cost to attend. Below are the details.

Speaker: Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Historian
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM
Cost: Free
Location: Trilogy Building, Second Floor Conference Room, 1165 Imperial Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Program Description: In 1824 citizens of Washington County, MD formed the Antietam Fish Company, a very early example of fish conservation. They passed state laws to prohibit fishing practices, except with the angling rod, and also stocked the Antietam Creek with fish. This was part of a national effort to create fish hatcheries and restore our nation’s game fish. An optional tour of subscriber Peter Saylor’s renovated 200 year old home and site of early fish-rearing is available after the lecture.
Sponsors: Potomac Valley Fly Fishers,
Washington County Historical Trust

Backyard Buffers

The MD – DNR, Forest Service and the Potomac Watershed Partnership present the “Backyard Buffers” program, designed to assist homeowners who have a waterway on or adjacent to their property to create a streamside buffer of native trees and shrubs.  Forested buffers cool water, filter pollutants, increase stream habitat and stabilize stream banks. Protect our waterways for future generations by planting some trees and shrubs this spring. More information is available here.