The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 11, 2012

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Bucknell hosts flood seminar

Daily Item

---- — "No individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood."

"Wasn't that a mighty storm?" is the theme of a two-day seminar Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University.

The Friday evening sessions will include several speakers who will talk in "geographic order," beginning with a local perspective on last year's flooding from Tropical Storm Lee.

Bucknell President John Bravman will be followed by Skip Wieder, who will provide a valley-wide perspective of the flood. Wieder will be followed by Paul Swartz, who will give a river basin viewpoint, and wrapping up the session will be the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay, Matthew Ehrhart.

Throughout the evening participants will be able to visit with student researchers who will display posters that describe the research projects they are conducting related to the Susquehanna Watershed.

Throughout the day on Saturday the symposium speakers will discuss flooding and its impact on our area. These speakers include hydrologists, geologists, engineers and advocates from varying perspectives. The seminar wraps up with an hour-long, award-winning documentary titled "The Water's Edge."

All-in-all, this free seminar looks like an excellent opportunity for outdoorsmen and conservationists to learn more about the river and its impact and critical importance to our area.

Maybe one of these experts will be able to address the decline of the river's smallmouth bass fishery?

For more information, please check out the seminar web site:

Leaf Pepping

This week's fall foliage report from the Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses (, that was updated recently, reports the Valley is nearing its "leaf pepping" peak.

It's a fun and educational web page. For example, I learned our state has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation. In fact, we may be tops in the entire world.

It turns out that only three regions in the world have the type of forests we have in Pennsylvania. The other two areas are the British Isles and northeastern China, stretching to northern Japan.

Most of Earth's forests are either tropical or dominated by conifers. Because of Pennsylvania's location (between 40 and 42 degrees above the Equator), its varied topography from sea level on the coastal plain to over 3,000 feet in the southwestern part of the state, we are home to 134 species of trees and more species of shrubs and vines.

Pennsylvania is the meeting ground -- the keystone, if you will -- of northern trees that flourish only on mountain tops farther south and southern species that are at the northern limits of their range. Glaciers from our planet's last ice age reached their southernmost limits.