The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy selects policy positions with care and strategic forethought. The following guidance document provides an overview of the principles, considerations and approaches that inform WPC’s policy work: Protecting Ecological Resources Threatened by Land Development (December 2012)
We have identified the following issues as the ones that are most likely to have the greatest impact on our land and water conservation objectives.
Over the last several years Western Pennsylvania has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of exploration and extraction of natural gas. To address this increased activity, the Conservancy has responded by developing a public policy statement, taking a leadership role in disseminating information, and offering guidelines for addressing conservation concerns related to natural gas exploration and extraction.
You can download our Oil, Gas and Minerals Policy (5/2012). We also have a simple informative document for landowners facing this issue called "Conservation Guidance for Landowners on Natural Gas Development" (6/2010). Western Pennsylvania Conservancy scientists collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to model the potential impacts of Marcellus Shale natural gas and wind development in Pennsylvania. You can download the “Pennsylvania Energy Impacts Assessment” (PDF) online.
WPC supports the development of renewable energy sources, including wind, in locations that do not negatively affect the integrity of biologically significant areas of Pennsylvania. Areas identified through the county natural heritage inventories play a vital role in supporting the full array of native species and habitats in Pennsylvania, as do the commonwealth's remaining tracts of unfragmented forestland and migratory pathways. View our Wind Energy Policy Statement (9/2012).
2012 Farm Bill
Federal agriculture legislation includes sizable investments in conservation and forestry. You can read Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's farm bill policy statement here
Other Policy Positions
In addition to our own policy work, WPC frequently collaborates with partners to support broader, larger scale conservation policy and funding efforts. Below is a list of recent sign-ons and support statements which Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has endorsed.
- Farm Bill conservation funding letter to the Agriculture Committees (Feb 2012): Download
- Forest Legacy improvements letter to the Agriculture Committees (Mar 6 2012): Download
- Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition letter to Chairwoman Stabenow and Chairman Lucas (Jan 2012)
- Community Forests and Open Space Program fiscal year 2013 letter (Jan 2012): Download
- Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program letter requesting a new appropriation to continue (Nov 2011): Download
HAP Projects for Pennsylvania
- Independent Sector letter to protect the charitable deduction in deficit talks (Nov 2011): Download letter and View list
- "America’s Voice" environmental funding letter (Jul 2011): Download
- Land and Water Conservation Fund fiscal year 2012 appropriations letter (Oct 2011): Download
- Letter supporting Community Forest and Open Space appropriations: (Mar 2011)