1451 Peters Mountain Road Dauphin PA 17018 phone: 717-921-8100


Dauphin County Conservation District

Mission Statement

The Dauphin County Conservation District's mission is to ensure the responsible use of
Dauphin County's natural resources; protect and restore the natural environment; promote
public health and safety; and enhance the quality of life for all county residents.

News and Updates

    Free Rain Barrel at Workshops                                                       

  • Dauphin County Conservation District in partnership with Swatara Township and Derry Township Municipal Authority is hosting two rain barrel workshops open to all who are interested in installing a rain barrel. There is no cost to attend and each participant will receive a FREE RAIN BARREL (Limit one rain barrel per household). To register, download Rain Barrel Workshop registration form and follow instructions provided.  Registration deadline is May 27 for Swatara location and June 10 for Hershey location.  Contact Gil Hirschel with questions about the workshops at 717-921-8100 or ghirschel@dauphinc.org.   
  • Ch102 Permitting Workshop

  • Attendees of the workshop held on April 5 by the Conservation District's E&S staff can click on the following link to download the Ch102 Permitting Workshop presentation.
  • Small Projects Guide

  • The Dauphin County Conservation District has developed an Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Plan Small Projects Guide. This guide is useful for developing an Erosion Control Plan for small projects under 1 acre in area of Earth Disturbance. Click Here for more information or contact the Conservation District at 717-921-8100
  • MS4

  • 9-1-2015 - Dauphin County MS4 2015/2016 Implementation Plan and 2014 Annual Report

NRCS Accepting Applications for Conservation Programs

HARRISBURG, PA, September 14, 2015– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

NRCS NRCS will be able to provide funding assistance directly to Pennsylvania farmers and landowners in Fiscal Year 2016 to help them implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program, the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program, and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center for sign-up information.

“USDA conservation programs offer farmers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands,” State Conservationist Denise Coleman said. “This conservation investment helps improve environmental health and the economy of Pennsylvania’s rural communities.”

EQIP, RCPP and AMA provide financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as nutrient management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems and much more. RCPP focuses on public-private partnerships in designated geographic areas to enable private companies, local communities and other non-government partners a way to invest in conservation efforts to help keep our private land resilient and water clean.

For FY 2016, funding for contracts through RCPP will be available for the following projects:

  • Delaware River Watershed Working Lands Conservation and Protection Partnership (Parts of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery Counties within designated watershed clusters)
  • Comprehensive Watershed Conservation in Dairy and Livestock Landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay (Bradford, Juniata and Lancaster Counties)
  • Mason-Dixon Working Lands Partnership (Franklin County and the Pretty Boy watershed in York County)
  • Cerulean Warbler Appalachian Forestland Enhancement (Multiple Counties)

The deadline to submit applications to be considered in the 2016 first ranking period for funding consideration in Pennsylvania for EQIP, AMA and RCPP is Friday, October 16, 2015. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in the second ranking in December, if funds remain. .

Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including: 

  • On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps producers conserve energy on their operations.
  • Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.
  • Organic Initiative: helps producers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification. 

To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. To take advantage of NRCS technical assistance and expertise or federally funded conservation on your farm or land, please contact your local USDA NRCS Field Office found at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov, or visit our website at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov for applications and program information.


In November 2013, the Department of Environmental Protection approved an amendment to the Dauphin County Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan.  This county wide plan was originally approved by DEP in 2010.  Most municipalities in Dauphin County subsequently adopted Stormwater management ordinances base on the model ordinance provided in the 2010 plan.  Included in the model was a section that provided criteria for exempting regulated projects from some of the requirements of the ordinance.

In response to concerns that were recently raised regarding the exemption criteria, the Conservation District developed an amended exemption section.  The amendment provides greater flexibility and regulatory relief for regulated projects under certain circumstances.

The amendment provides three exemption alternatives to municipal governments as follows.  The three options were developed to allow municipalities to choose to revise their ordinance or keep their ordinance the same while still remaining consistent with the DEP approved plan and amendment.

1.  The first option is to retain the existing ordinance exemption criteria.  This option was provided to allow municipalities that are satisfied with their current ordinance to retain the existing language with no formal action required.

2.  The second option allows municipalities to adopt exemption criteria that consider not only new impervious cover, but also the separation distance from the new impervious cover to features potentially impacted adversely by increased stormwater runoff.  Some of the features considered are property lines and surface waters such as streams and wetlands.  If a municipality choses this option, the municipality will need to formally adopt a revision to their existing stormwater management ordinance.

3.  The third options would allow a municipality to implement the separation distances as the first consideration in granting an exemption and also allow the municipality to fall back on the original exemption criteria where appropriate to provide regulatory relief. If a municipality choses this option, the municipality will need to formally adopt a revision to their existing stormwater management ordinance.

For more information contact the Dauphin County Conservation district at 717-921-8100

To view the existing and amended ordinance language, use the links below:




The Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) assists local landowners in managing their forest for future generations. Call Rob Weaver at 717-921-2380 to see how NRCS can assist with technical and financial assistance.

Read how one landowner has been working to implement his Forest Stewardship plan in cooperation with NRCS and the local Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Forester to manage and grow his forested lands. Managing a Forest for Future Generations.


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