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Spotlight- CBF's David Wise, Watershed Restoration Manager, Believes Fish Grow On Trees

“Fish grow on trees,” says David Wise, Pennsylvania Watershed Restoration Manager for Chesapeake Bay Foundation. This month’s “Buffer Zone” leader, Dave, has been a leader in promoting forested buffer restoration through the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

            Dave is responsible for their buffer work with the CREP program in Pennsylvania. He has worked with PA CREP partners to address bottlenecks in CREP forested buffer implementation including outreach, technical assistance, improving post-planting care and training for conservation professionals. 
            He has facilitated CBF’s heavy investment in outreach, notably including repeated mailings of postcards with basic CREP buffer information to over 100,000 streamside property owners. Dave supervises six CBF field staffers who provide technical assistance focused solely on CREP forested buffers. 
            With Dave’s leadership, the PA CREP was among the first nationally to offer cost-share for up to four years of post-planting herbicide applications to aid tree survival. He as led the collaboration between CBF and the Stroud Water Research Center to host more than 15 trainings for conservation professionals on stream and buffer ecology. 
            Dave advocates for raising the bar on access to conservation funding. With public funds being scarce, he sees a clear opportunity for grant makers and agencies to provide funding to those applicants willing to achieve more public good for the public dollar. In Dave’s view, this includes leveraging forested buffers which PA CREP can install at a net profit to landowners. 
            CBF’s recent federal stimulus award exemplifies the potential: CBF provided funding for 44 farms to install 192 agricultural BMPs on the condition that the farms have existing or restore 35’ minimum width forested buffers via CREP. Dave sees these incentives affecting behaviors. 
            Working on CBF’s Plain Farmer initiative, Dave led three of the first four farms participating to install forested buffers 50’ or wider in the heart of Lancaster County where conventional wisdom says 35’ wide buffers are a non-starter. These Amish farmers are doing this to earn CBF cost share on other agricultural BMPs. 
            Dave’s work has led to the successful implementation of forested buffers by landowners who have in the past been very difficult to reach. As a community of people trying to bring forested buffers to all our streams, to Dave, we say Thank You!

(Reprinted from the Forest Buffers for the Chesapeake Bay newsletter.  Send email to Rachel Streusand at: to get on the email list.)


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