Dave Mankamyer Receives PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Mayfly Award
By Len Lichvar, Somerset Conservation District
At the recent Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference in State College, Dave Mankamyer, of Friedens, Somerset County, was recognized with the Conference’s Mayfly Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the event organizers.
The annual conference is sponsored by the Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and the Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.
Mankamyer was recognized for his decades-long leadership and involvement in abandoned mine drainage (AMD) remediation and other water quality improvement efforts in Somerset County and throughout the region and the state.
Under his long-time chairmanship of the Somerset Conservation District, the District, in cooperation with the Cambria County Conservation District brought the need for AMD pollution abatement to the forefront of citizens and elected officials in the 1980’s.
The initiative gained the attention of then U. S. Congressman John Murtha that began the process of creating public-private partnerships to remediate AMD in the Cambria-Somerset region.
Those efforts have led to the restoration of over 20 miles of fisheries and aquatic life, clean water for homeowners, business, industry and a surging eco-tourism industry in the region.
Mankamyer was also instrumental in the Casselman River cleanup and restoration after the AMD pollution incident in 1993 that devastated the aquatic life in the waterway.
In the mid-1990’s he devised the concept of creating a local nonprofit land trust, which became the Somerset County Conservancy, in order to secure access to AMD discharges in order that treatment systems could be constructed on them.
The creation of WPCAMR and EPCAMR themselves grew out of an initiative that Mankamyer fostered and pursued at the state level.
Through his role as a Somerset County Commissioner and Stonycreek-Conemaugh River Improvement Board member, Mankamyer helped foster the public acquisition of the Manufacturers Water Company properties that included the Quemahoning Reservoir that has become an essential and sustainable economic and recreational asset to the region.
Mankamyer continues to be active in natural resource conservation as board member of the Somerset Conservation District, Somerset County Conservancy, Somerset Lake Action Committee and the Casselman River Watershed Association.
Click Here to see past winners of the Mayfly Award.
(Photo: Dave Mankamyer (center), Len Lichvar (left) and Matt Knepper, President of the PA Farmland Association when Mankamyer received the 2016 Local Hero Award.)
Len Lichvar is District Manager for the Somerset Conservation District.
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[Posted: August 1, 2018]
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