LACKAWAXEN, PA and BETHEL, NY — On Saturday, December 1, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy (Conservancy) hosted a successful Volunteer Training Day to launch the first winter eagle monitoring season with the Eagle Institute as part of the Conservancy. The Conservancy also officially opened the Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Eagle Institute winter field office in Lackawaxen.
In February 2012, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, the region’s foremost organization for land protection, and the Eagle Institute, the region’s premier organization for the protection of and public education about eagles, merged in a “perfect partnership.” Saturday’s volunteer training was the first to be held with the Eagle Institute as part of the Conservancy.
New and existing Eagle Institute volunteers attended the training session at the Lackawaxen Inn to learn about the Conservancy and the winter Eagle Watch program.
The Upper Delaware River region is one of the largest wintering habitats for eagles in the Northeast, because of abundant clean water and large, undisturbed stands of trees. Twenty years ago there was just one eagle’s nest in PA and one in New York—now, there are approximately 200 nests in each state. This is a direct result of the work of the Eagle Institute and the community and organizations like the Conservancy that work for the protection of eagles and the healthy lands and clean waters of the Upper Delaware River region.
Following the training, volunteers were invited to the Winter Field Office in Lackawaxen to officially open the doors for the season. The office space is provided by the National Park Service. All Conservancy Eagle Institute volunteers are signed up in the NPS Volunteers in Parks program. Because the bulk of the NPS visitor program traditionally occurs during the summer months, this partnership provides the NPS with volunteer support during the winter season, when more than 6,000 visitors come to the region to view eagles.
The field office serves as a center of information for visitors looking to learn more about viewing and protecting eagles. Visitors can pick up information about the bald eagle in the Upper Delaware River region, get maps and directions to eagle viewing locations along the Upper Delaware and Lackawaxen, and watch an informative video.
The Lackawaxen office is staffed on weekends throughout January and February and open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours are limited in December, so December visitors should call before planning to drop by.
The Conservancy offers quality eagle education programs in Sullivan County, NY and Northeast Pennsylvania, and in its first season in partnership with the Eagle Institute, the Conservancy will include a series of guided eagle-viewing bus trips planned throughout January and February. Reservations are currently being accepted for the 2013 winter trips.
Call 570/226-3164, 845/583-1010, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Send an email to email@example.com  with any questions about the Winter Field Office or the Eagle Institute in general, or call the field office directly at 570/685-5960. Visit www.DelawareHighlands.org .