Some survey work was done last week at State Game Lands 134 (along Plunketts Creek in Lycoming County) to get information on the elevation at the site with the berm removed. As you may recall NPC partnered with the PA Game Commission, the 333rd US Army Reserve Engineering Unit, and numerous other groups to reconnect Plunketts Creek to its floodplain by removing an earthern berm along the Creek.
Mark and Trent with BluAcres found the control point from the survey work during the design phase and set up the equipment.
Trent found the previous survey points and collected data at those points.
Trent even humored me and held up the staff so the tip was “sitting” on what would have been the top of the berm.
They’ll download the data. There will be some computer magic and then there will be a pretty new map. This work is to help the agencies who issued permits that the work resulted in the correct grade – the stream is reconnected to its floodplain.
Approximately 35 members of the
Army Reserve’s 333rd Engineering Company based in Reading, PA arrived
in Proctor on Sunday, August 1, 2021. The unit trains to build roads,
airstrips, and bases, but will spend their summer training removing an earthen
berm along Plunketts Creek.
The project began nearly 3 years
ago when the Pennsylvania Game Commission was evaluating management needs on
State Game Lands 134. PGC personnel recognized that the berm was no longer
needed since propagation activities had ended. They saw the opportunity to reconnect
the Creek to its floodplain and recreate the habitat that once would have been all
along the stream.
Around the same time the
Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy had received funds for a project to help
improve or maintain water quality in Lycoming County. The site along Plunketts
Creek seemed idea. The stream is already designated a High Quality-Cold Water
Fishery with a naturally reproducing trout population (the best of the best),
but there was concern the water quality could be changing due to the stream
becoming wider and more sediment entering the system from sliding hillsides and
As the Pennsylvania Game Commission
and Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy were looking at options for the site
at State Game Lands 134, they learned about the military’s Innovative Readiness
Training program. The program allows communities to submit potential projects that
could be used as a training exercise.
Over the next couple of weeks the
333rd will be working with Pennsylvania Game Commission employees
from the Food and Cover program to remove the berm and improve Camp Mountain
Road. The Unit is getting experience in a real world situation, the
Pennsylvania Game Commission is getting help to improve the State Game Lands
along Plunketts Creek and improve access to State Game Lands above the Creek, the
residents nearby and downstream should receive less damage during high water
events, and Plunketts Creek will be able to better access its floodplain.
August 1, 2, and 3 were spent
getting equipment on site, jockeying equipment on the site, installing the silt
sock for erosion and sedimentation control and building a wash rack to be able
to rinse mud and dirt off the trucks and equipment before it leaves the site.
August 4 the work will begin to remove the earthen berm, and it’s scheduled to
wrap up on August 20.