PA Conservation Powerpoint

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A Guide to Completing the PA FFA Conservation Record Book Pennsylvania Supervised Agricultural Experience Conservation Pages


What is a conservation project SAE? In a conservation project SAE the student studies wildlife and the environment and conducts activities to improve the environment and provide habitat for wildlife. Conservation projects usually include multiple activities throughout the year.


Location is the exact site where the SAE project will take place. Give your street address and other details that would help some one locate this site or sites. See example. Explanation is the specific SAE activities you will conduct as part of your conservation project. See example. For other ideas see the “Conservation Ideas List” in the record book section of the PA FFA website. Complete this page at the beginning of the project year. I will build and erect 20 Peterson blue bird boxes by the end of January. The boxes will be located along the south and west property lines. I will monitor these boxes from March 1 to September 1. 1082 East Main Street, Blue Ball, PA. The property is located directly across the street from the Sunoco gas station. The information on this page must be agreed to by everyone involved in the project. Page 1 and 2 must be completed in ink.


terxt The Enterprise Name and Number should be the same on each page and should agree with the Common Pages. Properly planning your project will help you budget time and money to ensure success. Wildlife Habitat Improvement 3


Set goals for yourself to complete each activity. Be realistic. For example, do not plan to plant seedlings in January. Now it’s time to put what you plan to do in writing. Be specific. List each individual activity you plan to do and the date you expect to have it done. Monitor bluebird boxes twice each week, beginning April 1 Sept. 1 Fill bird feeders every other day beginning October 15 Plan, get approval for and plant a butterfly garden at Honey Brook Elem. Do border cutting on the local Game Lands, with the Land Crew Work with PGC to plant evergreens on local game lands Monitor pH and direction of all precipitation Plant evergreen trees on our property to provide cover for wildlife Plant food species for wildlife on our property – fruit trees & shrubs Plant food plots of corn and soybeans for wildlife on our property April 20 June 15 March 30 May 1 Dec. 31 May 1 July 15 August 1


Estimate what supplies you are going to need, when you are going to need these supplies (based on your proposed labor input goals). List each item, then how many of each item you will need. Next determine the cost of each item. You may need some help in determining the cost of these items. Next you need to have an idea of how much these activities are going to cost. Finally determine your total estimated cost. Be aware that the total estimated cost may be a major factor in the success or failure of the project. Sunflower seed 1-1 to 4-20 pH water test kit Fertilizer for food plots Corn seed for food plots Apple tree seedlings for food White pine trees - containerized 1-15 3-15 3-15 4-20 5-28 10 bags 1 kit 2 bags 1 bag 5 trees 10 trees $ 12.00 $ 25.00 $ 5.00 $ 45.00 $ 15.00 $ 17.00 $120.00 $ 25.00 $ 10.00 $ 45.00 $ 75.00 $ 170.00 $ 445.00


Justin Fox John Fox Joe Educator Steve Wheeler, WCO Xx/xx/xxxx Xx/xx/xxxx Xx/xx/xxxx Xx/xx/xxxx Secure signatures, showing that each person involved in this project is aware of your plans before you begin the project.


Complete this page at the beginning of the project year. Completing this page will be a big help as you plan your project. While this example is acceptable, the more detail you are able to put onto your map the more helpful it will be. As you draw this plan, get help from others involved in the project.


Here is another example of a map style for your conservation record book. Again, it can be as plain or as detailed as you would like.


Complete this page at the beginning of the project year and add species as you see them throughout the year. Record species only once, except for migratory species which you can record spring and fall. Make a list of animals you see. Remember that animals includes mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, etc. 1-1 Song sparrows 2 pairs of cardinals Gold finch Gray squirrels Stripped skunk Canada geese at the pond Great blue heron 1-1 1-1 1-3 1-18 3-28 4-20 27 4 15 5 1 200+ 1 Seen at the sunflower feeders Seen at the sunflower feeders At the thistle feeders Raiding the feeders Seen digging for grubs in the garden The first flights of migratory geese At the pond eating fish


Observe the site of your project and make a list of the species (plants) available which can be used for food or shelter (cover) by animals living on your site. White pine trees – 20 near the pond 2 old apple trees 3 acres of mixed grass and clover 6 butterfly bushes 2 fence rows of mixed shrubs 3 crabapple trees – fall fruiting 40 feet of wild raspberries 25+ arrow wood plants 3 acres of oak – hickory forest, mostly white oak 8+ shagbark hickory 5 dogwood trees 2 pyracantha vines 2 rows of parsley for butterfly larva Plantings of Milkweed for Monarch butterflies


It’s important to know the kind of soil you have on the project site. You may need to make improvements to the soil in order to support the kinds of plants you plan to plant. Hagerstown silty clay loam, 8 to 15 percent slope To complete this section you will need to use your county soil survey. If your agriculture department does not have a CD or hard copy of the county soil survey you may access soil surveys on line at This is a deep, well drained soil formed from weathered limestone. Soil depth is greater than 40 inches with few stones of any size. The only thing that this soil needs to improve it for plants is more organic matter. This can be accomplished by adding manure and mulch under landscape plantings.


Wildlife you are managing for: Give some thought to the kinds of wildlife you want to encourage on your site. On our suburban property we will manage to attract mixed species. We would like to have as many songbirds as possible, especially robins, cardinals, doves, gold finch, blue jays, woodpeckers, towhees, etc. Using the grass fields we would like to have more quail and pheasants as well as meadowlark and bobolink. We have a passion for bluebirds as well. The pond gives us an opportunity to attract migrating ducks and geese as well as the occasional heron and red-winged blackbirds. Our butterfly gardens attract a wide variety of butterflies. Cottontail rabbits, muskrats and other mammals are also desired. NOTICE COMPLETE SENTENCES AND PROPER GRAMMAR.


Once you know what wildlife you want to encourage on your site, do some research to find out what you need to do to attract these wildlife species. List what you can do in the space below. To attract many of the songbirds, we provide feeders during the winter months and will continue to plant food species such as apples and crabapples as well as arrow wood and various viburnums. We mow alternate strips in the grass and clover to provide summer cover and food for the quail, pheasants, meadowlark and bobolink. We will also plant more evergreens for winter cover for our birds. NOTICE COMPLETE SENTENCES AND PROPER GRAMMAR.


At the beginning of the project year, make a list of items you own which will be used to carry out this project. Do not list personal items on this page. List items in the ‘BEGINNING OF YEAR’ column on this page. Carry information from this page to page S-2 – lines 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8. At the end of the project year, list those items you obtained during the year. Quantities and dollar values will probably NOT agree. Again carry this information to page S-2. $ 12.00 Thistle feeders Sunflower feeders Digital Camera Peterson Guide Sunflower seed Thistle seed shovels $ 21.00 $ 14.00 $ 22.00 $ 10.00 $ 24.00 $ 42.00 $ 357.00 $ 7.00 $ 22.00 $ 30.00 2 feeders 2 feeders 1 camera 1 book ¾ bag ½ bag 2 shovels $ 11.00 $ 20.00 $ 357.00 $ 19.00 $ 16.00 $ 22.00 $ 10.00 $ 22.00 $ 40.00 $ 357.00 $ 19.00 $ 12.00 $ 11.00 $ 20.00 mower Chain saw $ 350.00 $ 433.95 $ 350.00 $ 433.95 $ 19.97 $ 19.97 2 feeders 2 feeders 1 camera 1 bag 3 shovels 1 book ½ bag 1 mower 1 saw $ 357.00


Now list the items that other people own that you will be using for your project. It’s important to know the value of these items also. These items will NOT be recorded on page S-2. 1 saw Table saw 12 acres of land 1 tractor Chain saw chaps Chain saw shirt Commercial mower 12 acres 1 trctr 1 set $ 1000 $ 5000 $ 1275 $ 85 $ 1000 $ 60,000 $ 1275 $ 85 1 saw 12 acres 1 trctr 1 set 1 shirt 1 mower $ 1000 $ 5500 $ 1250 $ 85 $ 65 $ 2500 $ 1000 $ 66,000 $ 1250 $ 85 $ 65 $ 2500 Remember that the values will most likely change at the end of the year.


Record everything you do that in any way relates to your conservation project. Use complete sentences and proper grammar for these entries. Be sure to circle HOURS or MINUTES and then be consistent with your entries. Do NOT use minutes for one entry and hours for the next. 1-1 It is New Year’s Day so we filled all bird feeders and gave the birds some extra special treats. We hung apples and oranges from a few Use more than one line if necessary, to give a complete description. Good diary entry. Poor diary entry. of the trees. We also rolled pine cones in peanut butter and then in nuts and cranberries and hung them from several trees. 45 min. 1-1 Fed birds 5 min. 3-28 Today the first flights of geese arrived from the south and 2 groups stopped at the pond. It was a noisy night. 0 IMPORTANT. If you are using the computer version do not enter minutes or hours in the time worked column. The computer will not add your time if you enter a unit in this column. I went for a walk in the snow and saw five deer bedded down in the pines. I also saw evening grosbeaks. I saw red fox tracks in the snow in the field , it was hunting for mice. 120 60


EXPENSES On this page, record everything you spend on this project. 1-12 1 bag of sunflower seed 1 bag $ 12.50 $ 12.50 3-12 Ordered 20 pine trees in containers 20 trees $ 15.25 $ $305.00


IDENTIFICATION OF MAMMALS Record animals you see. These animals should also be included in your diary. 1-14 porcupine Erethizon dorsatum Seen feeding on aspen at our cabin 1-27 Gray squirrels Sciurus carolinensis 8 seen at our bird feeders 4-22 Red fox Vulpes vulpes A vixen and 5 pups at wood pile 4-23 Red fox Vulpes vulpes Only 4 pups with vixen today 4-23 Gray squirrels Sciurus carolinensis Several females with young squirrels Do not record a species every time you see it, rather record weekly or when special circumstances occur. Of course you would have many more entries between January and April !!!


IDENTIFICATION OF BIRDS Record birds you see during the year. These animals should also be included in your diary. Do not record a species every time you see it, rather record weekly 1-1 1-1 Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus At Kyle’s house, working on nest Goldfinch Arduelis tristis 17 on thistle feeders at Maddy’s 1-1 European starlings Sturnus vulgaris Eating suet at our feeders 1-3 American kestrel Falco sparverius Hunting mice by the pond 3-22 Killdeer Charadrius vociferus On school roof. A sign of spring. 9-20 Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Back at school, fall is here 3-23 Bald eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus Chicks appearing over the nest rim or when special circumstances occur. Of course you would have many additional entries between March and September !!!


IDENTIFICATION OF PLANTS (TREES, SHRUBS, WILDFLOWERS, ETC) 1-1 White oak Quercus alba At Boe’s pond, 43” dbh 1-1 Red oak Quercus borealis Supports Aaron’s tree stand 1-5 Wild raisin Viburnum cassinoides Among Mitch’s native plantings Record species as you see them. 4-5 Red clover Trifolium repens Growing in the grass field near pond 7-12 Milkweed Sclepias syriaca Already has Monarch larva feeding Remember to include shrubs and wildflowers. Of course you would have many entries between January, April and July !!!


IDENTIFICATION OF REPTILES, AMPHIBIANS, FISH AND INSECTS Record all species as seen. Remember to include aquatic species of insects. 1-2 Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis In spring house at grandparent’s 1-10 Golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas Purchased for ice fishing bait 2-2 Stonefly larva Plecoptera In Hay Creek while doing biotic index 2-2 Dragonfly larva Odonata In Hay Creek while doing biotic index 2-18 Black rat snake Elaphe obsoleta In the aquaculture room at school 2-18 E. Milk snake Lampropeltis triangulum In the aquaculture room at school 2-18 Garter snake Thamnopnis sirtalis In the aquaculture room at school 2-20 Spotted Salamander Ambystoma maculatum At the school pond - mating


IDENTIFICATION OF WILDLIFE SIGN Record all evidence of wildlife seen throughout the year. Sign includes tracks, scat, road kill, feathers, deer rubs, tooth marks,etc. 1-8 Eastern coyote Canis latrans Dead on Route 80 1-19 Cardinal feathers Cardinalis cardinalis Killed by cat at feeders 2-3 Otter slide Lutra canadensis Along Juniata River


Record skills you have learned throughout the year. These skills will summarize what you have accomplished during the year. Example of skill: I learned to ID 15 song birds. Record your skills throughout the year. Do NOT wait until the end of the year to do this


1-29 I learned to ID 15 songbirds X X Rank your skill level using the evaluation at the top of the page. Ask your teacher to evaluate your skill level. Remember that your teacher’s evaluation may not agree with your evaluation.


Ask someone who is familiar with your project to write a paragraph explaining what you have accomplished and learned. More than 1 person may do an evaluation of your project. Don’t forget to have your WCO evaluate your project and affix his / her seal. Justin has done an outstanding job improving the habitat for wildlife at home. He has planted trees and shrubs for wildlife food and a group of pines for cover. Mrs. Fox Justin has helped check the bird nest boxes at Struble Lake, helped with border cutting on gamelands 55 and helped to plant trees at the Barnston Dry Dam. When ever we needed help, we knew we could count on Justin. Bill Smith, PGC Land Management Foreman Justin has done an outstanding job working with our land management crew and improving wildlife habitat at his home. He has made a difference for wildlife and the environment. His Christmas tree recycling project not only kept 415 trees out of landfills, but also helped to prevent erosion and provided cover through the brush piles he built. Sharon Martin, PGC WCO Sharon Martin


It’s important to keep a photographic record of your conservation project. Insert pictures here that document your conservation projects. Insert a picture no larger than 4 inches by 6 inches. Make sure the picture is well focused. Enter the date the picture was taken and the location. 1/6/XX Struble Lake Justin Fox Here I am working with the Game Commission land management crew to check and clean bird nest boxes at Struble Lake. This allowed me to explore this career as I worked with the crew. In this example, the trip to Struble Lake should also be documented in the student’s diary entries Finally describe the photo in fifty words or less.


The scorecard will help you understand what we are looking for when conservation records are judged at the state FFA record book competition.


In addition to entering your conservation records in the state competition, you may be eligible for awards from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. PGC awards are based upon permanent habitat improvements. For example planting trees which will provide food and or cover for wildlife. Please remember that you might receive a gold medal in the FFA competition for your record keeping ability, but not receive a Game Commission award. You might also receive a Game Commission award, but not receive a gold medal based on the FFA scorecard. Game Commission awards are presented in each of the 6 Game Commission regions as well as on the state level. You may receive only 1 Game Commission award per year. These awards include a framed certificate and a monetary award. You must receive a medal in the FFA scoring for your records to be submitted to the Game Commission for their evaluation.


We look forward to seeing your conservation record book in the state FFA record book competition in February. With your interest in this area you may also want to explore the Wildlife, Aquatic Resources, Forestry and Environmental and Natural Resources Career Development Events. You will also want to consider applying for an FFA proficiency award. Your records will be most likely to fit into the Wildlife Production and Management or Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management proficiency area. When applying for your Keystone FFA degree, enter your conservation records on page 6. You will need at least 300 hours outside of class time to qualify for the Keystone degree. A Conservation SAE will allow you to apply for the Agriscience Star category when you apply for your Keystone degree.


This concludes the presentation on the Conservation record book. You may want to go back and review this presentation at the end of the project year for help in closing out your record book.

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