News for Immediate Release

May 5, 2011

Next South Mountain Lecture to Focus on Treasured Landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Harrisburg – The importance of protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be the focus of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on May 12, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said today.

Jonathan Doherty, of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office, will offer a free lecture, “Conserving Treasured Landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” beginning at 7 p.m. at the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg.

Doherty will discuss efforts to protect the treasured working and natural landscapes in the watershed, including expanding public access to the bay and its rivers as well as creating a public/private partnership to leverage land-conservation funding.

“Pennsylvania doesn't border the Chesapeake Bay, but more than half of the state lies within its watershed,” said Allen Dieterich-Ward, an assistant professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership committee on the speaker series. “All of waterways in the South Mountain region eventually reach the ocean through the Chesapeake Bay, so it’s not only important to care about our open space protection and water recharge areas for ourselves, but also for our downstream neighbors.”

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is a large ecosystem that encompasses approximately 64,000 square miles in six states -- Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and New York. The Susquehanna River basin is the largest tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

After the lecture, Doherty will be joined by Brenda Barrett, director of DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, to discuss new ways to appreciate the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Pennsylvania and answer audience questions.

This is the second year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape. Rothrock, a Pennsylvania native, was a pioneer in forest management in the United States and is often referred to as the state’s “Father of Forestry.”

This lecture is sponsored by Adams County Environmental Services, the Land Conservancy of Adams County, DCNR, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the South Mountain Partnership. The partnership is a group of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.

The South Mountain Partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative—an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and provide funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.

The series will continue next month with “South Mountain History Ramble,” to be held June 11 at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County as part of its National Get Outdoors Day event.

For more information, visit or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101.