Allegheny House Dems celebrate $218K to protect native species

DCNR grant money to study new species, support biodiversity

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15 – Over $218,000 has been awarded to protect native biodiversity in Allegheny County and western PA through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wild Resource Conservation Program, members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced today.

"The flora and fauna of Pennsylvania must continue to flourish in this age of climate change and ecological degradation,” state Rep. Lindsay Powell said. “These dollars are an important part of looking out for the best interests of native plants and animals."

Six projects received funding to support native species in Allegheny County:

  • $46,550 to the Western PA Conservancy to evaluate Green Salamander habitat use in forests of differing conditions to help inform forest management activities by performing day and nighttime surveys at four sites.
  • $42,560 to West Liberty University to survey Blue Crawfish and Little Brown Mudbugs to confirm their distribution, threats, and generate final university conservation assessments and conservation status.
  • $40,531 to the Western PA Conservancy to determine the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation status of a newly discovered amphipod species.
  • $39,900 to the Western PA Conservancy to establish two monitoring avian productivity and survivorship stations at Bear Run and Toms Run nature reserves.
  • $30,241 to the Western PA Conservancy to assess and update the taxonomy of Pennsylvania’s Panic-grass (Dichanthelium) specimens: ensure consistency with other states and recent treatments, verify specimens, and identify species in need of conservation.
  • $18,240 to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh to support Project Owlnet in Sewickley Heights Borough Park. Project Owlnet is a coordinated, cooperative targeted banding program for actively migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls, Long-eared Owls and Barn Owls.

More information on the $444,000 in DCNR grants awarded across the state in this round of funding is available here.

In addition to Powell, the Allegheny County Delegation comprises state Reps. Aerion A. Abney, Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Dan Frankel, Matthew Gergely, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Brandon Markosek, La’Tasha D. Mayes, Joe McAndrew, Dan Miller, Nick Pisciottano, Abigail Salisbury, Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat.