Economic and Community Development

Spring Creek running through downtown Bellefonte, PA

This article provides an overview of water rights for citizens, farmers, rural business owners, and elected and appointed officials. It introduces the legal background, terms, and issues about water rights. The discussion is introductory and does not provide legal advice regarding water rights conflicts, nor is it a substitute for advice from a qualified lawyer.

The exploration and development of Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania poses challenges and opportunities for both individual landowners and communities across the state. This fact sheet highlights best practices for developing an effective community task force to address these challenges and opportunities.

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This workbook is the first in a series of five designed to assist in developing an effective strategic plan to help strengthen and sustain an organization's achievements. This booklet will help explain the strategic planning process, including who should be involved and what is needed to be done to make it successful. It will also access whether an organization is prepared to undertake such an effort.

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One of five workbooks in the Choosing Our Directions series, this workbook takes the necessary first step of asking the question: "What are we doing now?" Because effective planning is ultimately geared toward developing and implementing a plan for addressing gaps between what is done now and what needs to be done in the future, only by having a realistic view of what an organization currently does--and why--can the process of putting together an effective long-term plan be begun.

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One of five workbooks in the Choosing Our Directions series, this workbook helps to better understand the larger context and environment in which a group exists and the forces that might affect its future. It also helps to put together these internal and external factors in an organized framework so that important decisions about a group's future direction, structure, and focus can be made.

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For a group to plan for the future, it is important that the group has goals that the members understand and agree upon. One of five workbooks in the Choosing Our Directions series, this workbook examines an organization's structure, activities, the external and internal forces that affect its future, and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This workbook takes the information gleaned from Workbooks 1 and 2 to help review or create a mission and vision statement, identify and prioritize group goals, and match those goals to the group's organizational structure.

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The other workbooks in the Choosing Our Direction series have addressed the questions, "What do we do now?", "What shapes our future?", and "Where are we going?" The challenge now is to "make it happen"--to ensure that information, goals, and consensus you have developed to this point are transformed into a feasible and effective action plan. This action plan will provide you with the road map you'll need to stay on course, ensure accountability, and evaluate your successes. Strategic planning without this follow-through to implementation is simply a waste of time.

Regardless of the type of financial professional you need to hire for your natural gas well, there are some steps to take that will ensure the person you hire is the right person for your need.

Good communication between farmers and neighbors can keep relations positive.

Land development throughout Pennsylvania increasingly is bringing residential development and nonfarmers into agricultural areas. Many of these new residents may have misconceptions about farms, and sometimes conflicts can arise between farm and nonfarm neighbors.

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When you live in the country, a basic understanding of agriculture is useful. Agriculture's contributions to a community include environmental, economic, and cultural benefits, but certain farm activities can inconvenience nonfarm neighbors, especially if they are unfamiliar with farm practices.

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The way land is used in your community affects your taxes and the quality of your life. Identifying the impacts of different land uses can help you recognize what types of uses should be encouraged in your municipality, and which should be treated with caution. This publication uses the experiences of selected Pennsylvania townships to illustrate the potential fiscal impacts of different land uses.

Leasing your property to an oil or gas company is an option for producing income from your property. Before signing a lease on your forestland, there are many things to consider to protect your interests.

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Nonprofit and government organizations need to communicate effectively with the public if they are to build support, attract new members, and draw participants to their programs and fundraising activities. By working with the media, including print, electronic, and social media, your organization can deliver important messages to the public. This publication in the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series describes various forms of media and explains how to effectively work with them.

This workbook, part of the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series, provides an overview of the concept of cultural diversity and how to value it. The information covered can help you increase your awareness of the various dimensions of diversity; examine your own cultural identity and how that identity affects your relationships with others; become more aware of y our own attitudes, perceptions, and feelings about various aspects of diversity; make a commitment to increase your understanding of diversity issues.

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This first workbook in the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series discusses the challenge of leadership, citizen leadership, trends in leadership, motivation, empowerment, application of leadership skills, and management versus leadership.

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This second workbook in the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series explains recognizing values; setting goals; matching values and goals with time use; self-esteem; diversity issues; building a framework for dialogue; types of values; ethical leadership; the Six Pillars of Character; characteristics of ethical leaders; applying ethical principles; and dealing with ethical dilemmas.

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This third workbook in the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series details autocratic versus democratic leadership styles; leader task/relationship behavior; identifying your leadership style; and the continously changing nature of leadership styles.

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This publication is part of the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series and discusses communication, productive presentations, effective visuals, effective listening, written communications, and communication difficulties.

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Part of the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series, this workbook focuses on effective discussions, facilitator ground rules, preparation, and the group decision-making tool kit.

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This workbook, part of the Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow series, discusses finding common ground; where conflicts occur; conflict as a difference of opinion; conflict style; and the conflict management process.