Conservation efforts have raised concerns among elected officials.
During Monday's meeting of Youngsville Borough Council, members decided to table a motion to support the Brokenstraw Watershed conservation plan. They wanted to wait until more members of council were present.
Kylie Maland, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy watershed manager for the Upper Allegheny and Lake Erie, said creating the plan was a four-year process. It involved reaching out to communities to hear their concerns regarding land, water and resources.
The document contains conservation goals, Maland said, and includes key interviews. Council member John Barhydt noted a number of agencies were involved in the plan and in some cases there could be overlapping jurisdiction.
According to Maland, the plan is not regulatory. However, she said, individual municipalities could enact ordinances to incorporate suggestions from the plan.
One suggestion is to strengthen zoning, Barhydt said, but the borough is trying to attract businesses. If zoning rules are cumbersome, he said it becomes difficult to attract them.
Another concern Barhydt mentioned was how the plan calls for dealing with threatened or endangered species. It suggests using acquisitions, easements and education.
"Those are tools that could be used," Maland said. "We can't go on anyone's land."
However, Maland said, a state agency could use conservation easements. It could also acquire property and turn it into gamelands, state forest or state park.
Her group also is working with local landowners to prevent erosion into streams. Council Vice President Doug Peterson said that has been an issue in the area.
On his property, Peterson said, he's lost 30 feet to 40 feet. Other neighbors have had similar problems, he said, but it has been difficult to get agencies to help solve the issue.
At Youngsville Cemetery, Peterson said, there has also been encroachment along the banks. Both the Brokenstraw Creek and Matthews Run pose similar erosion problems.
In other business, Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg announced the BrewFest scheduled for Aug. 4 has been changed to Sept. 8. She said it would have overlapped with the Kinzua Country Tango and been held the weekend before the Warren County Fair.