What is a Stakeholder?

How do we speak out on behalf of a diverse stakeholder movement like the Spring Creek Watershed Community? The Spring Creek Watershed Community is made up of stakeholders. So what is a stakeholder? According to Webster`s New Collegiate, a stakeholder is a person entrusted with the stakes of bettors. So what is at stake? In this quickly changing and growing community we are betting on the whole being greater than the sum of its parts or in the case of the Community, that we can collectively, as organizations, representatives of organizations, and individuals, do a better job of planning for this community`s future and resources. Since the Spring Creek Watershed Community is made up of a wide range of stakeholders, each representing different organizations, interests, and areas of interests, it is imperative that we recognize that none of us, individually, represents the entire group in our actions or words. While we all may believe that we have similar goals, there may in fact be differences in opinion on how to proceed on any given issue.

We are involved in a democratic, yet somewhat uncharted, process in this stakeholder organization. It is a process that can work; yet we need to be ever vigilant not to assume that we, in our own opinions, represent the opinion of the whole. When we go to speak with others relative to the work of the Watershed Community, we must speak on behalf of ourselves, or on behalf of the organizations we represent. Only when a clearly identified consensus of the entire Community has occurred can any of us speak on behalf of the Watershed Community. 1

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Why become involved?

The Spring Creek Watershed Community is an important place that shares many common interests. Thinking in terms of one watershed community, that is tied together by the lifeline of the Spring Creek and its tributaries may be new to a lot of people and may take some getting used to. But as citizens of this area, identifying with the Spring reek Watershed Community is an important step we must all make together if we are to effect meaningful change for the better in the quality of our water resources, environment and life.

Prior to the establishment of the Spring Creek Watershed Community, people who live within our 175-mile watershed are much more familiar and comfortable dealing with their own individual neighborhoods and, on a larger scale, their own township or borough. Within this watershed community there are literally dozens of neighborhoods, 14 separate municipalities that make decisions on behalf of the residents of these neighborhoods, and other organizations and authorities whose members work to influence these decisions on a regular basis.

Because of the laws governing planning in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we have to deal with the fragmented nature of our government system. While this level of decision-making is fine for certain site-specific issues, other broad planning issues such as managing growth and development, improving transportation corridors, managing transportation demand, identifying water resources and wastewater disposal options, and preserving and connecting key open space areas make more sense when discussed at a watershed scale. These issues transcend the boundaries of the individual townships and boroughs. Although the important planning decisions must, by Pennsylvania law, be made at the local, municipal level, citizens can collectively take a step back and look at the larger picture in order to develop a community vision. As a place based on a geographic definition – the watershed boundary – the Spring Creek Watershed Community is the logical scale at which to define the vision fo rthis growing and changing area of Central Pennsylvania. Success breeds success. Building on our small steps forwards, we must keep meeting together and we must recruit more concerned citizens to find ways to implement the recommendations. Surely in our watershed community, we have plenty of expertise and creative ideas to share. To be effective, residents of the community must make their voices heard in the process of planning our future.2

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How to become involved

The skills that each of our stakeholders possesses fuel projects, organizations, and governing bodies within the watershed:
If you have knowledge you can share – offer to write an article for the Springs & Sinks Newsletter
If you have photography skills – offer to take pictures at events like Cleanup Day
If you have computer skills – offer to enter data into the Water Resources Monitoring Database
If you have an opinion – simply attend meetings, offer your thoughts
If you have an appreciation, but no time to volunteer – offer a financial donation
Learn about local organizations; attend meetings and public forums, and read newsletters and newspapers.
Share your ideas and skills, we welcome them!

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Governement Stakeholders

A Wise Citizen Knows His or Her Own Planners , Local planning commissions playa key role in our lives, advising municipal governments where to run highways and create residential, business, and recreational areas. Few of us know just who these key members of the local power structure are; yet they are vital to the protection of our watershed in the face of ongoing development and land-use decisions. Please urge your local members to stay on top of developments in the Spring Creek watershed as they review and work on community planning projects. 3

Attendance at Government Meetings Can Help Protect the Watershed
If you are interested in having an influence on the kind of community we will be living in this coming century, the time to get involved is now - with local government, where planning and decision-making really takes place. The four boroughs and ten townships that encompass this l75-square mile watershed each has an independent council of elected officials-not bound by decisions of any of its neighboring municipalities and subject only to overall State authority in how land is used within their defined boundaries. Numerous actions taken independently by these local governments over the course of a year can have a large collective impact on Spring Creek and its tributaries and on this rapidly developing metropolitan area. For a complete listing of municipal meeting places and times, CLICK HERE. 4

Magnifying the Legal Notice
In the form of delicately printed legal notices, you recently were invited to attend this this year`s scheduled meetings of local and regional government boards, councils, commissions, authorities, and advisory committees. The Centre County Planning Commission, the Centre County Airport Authority, the Centre County Solid Waste Authority, and the Penn State Board of Trustees also extended finely printed invitations to their meetings.
If you misplaced your invitation, you can call the appropriate office or agency for meeting places, dates, and times. And if it is not possible for you to attend these meetings personally, you will find the Legal Notice Column the next best way to keep informed. In tiny print, they will give you:

I) announcements of public hearings,
2) solicitations for professional consultation,
3) invitations for public comment,
4) invitations for final comment,
5) announcements for a vote to adopt,
6) announcements for enactment, and
7) announcements for considering variances and challenges. 5

Government Resources:
Spring Creek Watershed Planning and Implemetation
Spring Creek Watershed Commission
Spring Creek Watershed Coordinating Committee
ClearWater Conservancy Board of Directors
Organizational Diagram Below

Townships, Boroughs, Planning Commissioners, Councils, and Authorities: Centreconnect.org.
Publication: Citizen`s Guide to Pennsylvania Local Government. Bureau of Local Government Services, Pa. Department of Community Affairs.

Centre County
Centre County Commisssioners: www.CentreConnect.org

State Government: http://www.state.pa.us/
State General Assembly: www.legis.state.pa.us

U.S. House www.house.gov
U.S. Senator www.senate.gov

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Projects within the watershed

To link to conservation-based projects within the watershed CLICK HERE

Organizations within the watershed

Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association http://bellefonte.org/BHCA/
Center for Sustainability
Centre Region Bike Coalition
ClearWater Conservancy http://www.clearwaterconservancy.org
Department of Environmental Protection
Millbrook Marsh Nature Center http://www.centreconnect.org/crpr/
Native Plant Society
PA Dept of Treansportation
PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
PA Museum and Historic Commission
Pennsyvlania Department of Environmental Resources
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center http://www.outreach.psu.edu/ShaversCreek/
State College Bird Club
Susquehanna River Basin Authority
The Pennsyvlania State Unviersity http://www.psu.edu
Trout Unlimited (Spring Creek Chapter) http://www.springcreektu.org/
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
United States Environmenatl Protection Agency
US Dept of Transportation
US. Fish and Wildlife Service

Your Daily Actions Affect the Watershed

Take Note
Spend time outside, use our streams for fishing and boating – take note of how these things are more enjoyable when you can trust in the high quality of the water. Appreciate the park away from traffic, the clean air in your backyard, the farmer`s markets, and the colorful terrain of our valleys.

Conserve Resources
15 things you can do: http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/earthday/earthday.html
The Average American Uses 27,000 Gallons of Water Each Year: Become aware of your use habits www.awwa.org/bluethumb99/prmon.htm
Ten Water Conservation Tips to Help You Save Money and Protect the Environment www.awwa.org/bluethumb99/prtue2.htm
Education Water Conservation Tips by Dr. Bill Bushing www.catalinas.net/seer/educ/misc/watrcons.htm#general
Drop by Drop: Use Water Wisely: DEP Fact Sheet www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/watermgt/WSM/Facts/FS2631.htm

Protect Resources
To report illegal dumping: Center County Solid Waste Authority: 814-238-7005
To Report Water Pollution: Pa Fish & Boat Commission: 800-854-7365 or 814-359-5250
Department of Environmental Protection 800-541-2050
To Report Toxic chemical and oil spills: 800-424-8802
For information about recycling 814-238-6649 or 800-605-6649
To report a forest fire: 814-234-0234

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Spring Creek Watershed Planning and Implementation Organization
Coordinating Committee
Relationship between ClearWater and SCWC

1. Directly From “Stakeholders should Speak for Themselves” Springs & Sinks, Volume 1, Number 3, April 1997 page 3
2. Directly From Watson, Jennifer “The Spring Creek Watershed Community: An Optimist’s View” Voices of Central Pennsylania October 1996
3. Directly From “A Wise Citizen Knows” S&S Volume 1, number 2, February 97, page 5
4. Directly From “Attendance at Governement Meetings” S&S Volume 1, Number 9, Novermber/December 1997 page 5
5. Directly From Loughran, Jim, “Magnifying the Legal Notice” S&S Volume 1, number 2, February 1997 page 4

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