Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Call For Volunteers

Musser Gap Deer Density Survey

Musser Gap was conserved in 2007 to protect important water resources and wildlife habitat that was threatened by a residential development. The property was purchased by ClearWater Conservancy in partnership with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), State College Borough Water Authority, the six Centre Region municipalities, and Altrusa International of Centre County. It is now owned by DCNR Bureau of Forestry and is part of Rothrock State Forest.
The Musser Gap Stewardship Committee was established in 2008 to create a Conservation Stewardship and Recreation Plan to guide the conservation and enhancement of the natural resources of Musser Gap while creating a recreational gateway between the community and Rothrock State Forest.

Volunteers are wanted to help conduct a deer density and browse impact survey in Musser Gap and surrounding properties on Friday, March 27th starting at 8:00 a.m. in the Ferguson Township Building. April 1 will be the snow date. Anyone interested in assisting with the data collection is encouraged to volunteer. Participants will learn how to calculate the deer density in a given forest setting; how to evaluate the condition of deer habitat and the level of deer browsing impact on tree seedlings; and how the condition of the habitat relates to deer numbers and habitat carrying capacity.

Dave Jackson, Forest Resource Educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension, will teach volunteers the survey protocol the morning of the survey. We will then travel to Musser Gap where groups of volunteers, led by experienced personnel, will assist in conducting the surveys on pre-established transect lines. Volunteers need to be prepared to hike in the woods for more than a mile over rough terrain. Following the field data collection, we will reconvene as a group to compile the results and discuss what we found. Data collected by the survey will be used to help guide habitat management in Musser Gap and will be shared with neighboring landowners.
The survey is being coordinated by Penn State Cooperative Extension, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, and ClearWater Conservancy.

Pre-registration is required by March 20, 2009. To volunteer please call ClearWater Conservancy at 237-0400 or email at Katie@clearwaterconservancy.org.

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