Tuesday, December 23, 2008

City Considers Going Green to Make Green

The following article appeared in the December 22 electronic newsletter from the Society of American Foresters. It originally appeared on the Central New York web site. It appears as though carbon trading may have the potential to green up our cities.

December 19 – According to CNYlink.com (Central New York), the city of Syracuse is considering proposed legislation that would authorize it to enter into an agreement with Forecon, Inc., a forestry and natural resources company, to study the possibility of trading credits in exchange for lowering carbon emissions. A proposal currently before the city council recommends the city look into the possibility of trading carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange. According to the website, at the heart of the proposal for removing carbon is a 216-acre, city-owned parcel of land made up of second-growth forest.

To read the full article go to:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Forest's Future: Regeneration Is the Next Woods!

Written by: Jim Finley, Penn State Professor of Forest Resources, December 11, 2008

Winter is great season to be afield. We'll all admit, sometimes it is difficult to give up the comfort inside for the chilly winds of winter. When you do, however, there are often some real benefits gleaned during a winter woods walk. You can learn much about a wood's condition and future by observing it when the foliage is missing. An important observation focus this time of the year is the next woods.

Looking to the future of the next woods may take a bit of effort. But when the non-woody plants are browned by the cold, it is often easier to look for the next crop of trees. When the leaves have fallen from the woody shrubs and understory trees, it is, again, sometimes easier to look for the next forest without vegetative interference.

Why should you care about the next crop of trees growing in your woods? Most of the things Pennsylvanians value about woods depend on the aesthetics, recreation, habitat, and income related to healthy, productive trees and woods. As our current forest matures and we harvest from it, it is critical we learn how to find the next forest.

To read the full story go to: http://paforeststewards.cas.psu.edu/News.html

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where Have All the Acorns Gone?

This was posted in the December 8th E-Forester, the Society of American Foresters electronic newsletter. Very interesting reading, especially since Pennsylvania experienced a similar lack of acorn crop. Appears as though it was region wide.

November 30 – Long before people paved over the area, oak and hickory forests—and occasionally acorns—covered much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This year, however, the acorns are hard to come by.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

NACD Handout: Who will own your family woodlands?

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Forest Service created a four page handout for landowners and those who serve them to be aware of the basic steps to take now to secure family woodlands for generations to come. This handout is a great resource to help families begin talking about estate and succession planning. The timing of this handout is meant to spark conversation over the holidays when families are together.

To read the the full publication go to:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are My Woods Healthy?

Forest Stewardship News release posted on September 23, 2008. Written by: Craig, Janet, and Tara Olver the 2008 Pennsylvania Tree Farmers of the Year. Their Tree Farm "Tall Timbers" is located in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

"The health of your woods is determined by several factors," explains Tree Farmer Craig Olver. Trees are really good about expanding their crowns to fill available space. Barring major human or ecological impact, most forested sites are chockfull of trees and plants filling up growing space and taking advantage of available sunlight and nutrients. But there are a few factors to look for in your forestland when considering its health and vitality.
First you need to consider soils. Good soil can grow big healthy trees. If your woods have more trees than the soil can support, this will result in poor or slow tree growth. Applying fertilizer can offset some soil nutrition problems; however, the cost can be high and the return in the distant future. The most economical method to encourage tree growth is timber stand improvement harvest. As your trees get bigger, they need more room for root and tree branch expansion. "Soils across the state can grow some of the best trees in the world," touts Olver. But the trees must have space below ground for their roots to grow and reach available nutrients and water -- this may mean removing some of the trees and reallocating their space to others.
To read the full story go to:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hunters - Have You Ever Shared Your Harvest?

The Pennsylvania deer-rifle season is right around the corner. This year, as we head to the woods to fill our deer tags, let’s not forget about the local soup kitchens and food pantries that are in need of donations. These facilities feed hundreds of hungry folks each month and would greatly appreciate a donation of venison.

It is very easy to participate. Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) has coordinated venison donations to hungry people in PA since 1991. HSH has established a local network of coordinators and deer processors who can make it easy for you to donate all or part of your deer this year. If you harvest a deer, simply take it to a participating processor. In Centre County this includes; Adler's Market, 1185 Philipsburg-Bigler Highway Philipsburg, 814-342-1993 and Gummo's Butcher Shop, 86 Red Pine Street Port Matilda, 814-574-6187. For additional processors across the state go to the HSH web site at http://www.sharedeer.org/. These professional processors will handle your donation and arrange for transportation to the local food bank. You don’t have to donate your whole deer, you can donate just 5, 10 or even 20 pounds…whatever you like.

If you don’t get a deer this year, you can still participate. HSH absorbs a large cost by paying for the processing of donated deer each year. Even if you don’t donate any venison, your tax-deductible monetary donations are greatly appreciated. It takes a lot to organize the donation of over 200,000 meals per year. See the HSH website at http://www.sharedeer.org/ for more information on how you can help.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Emeral Ash Borer Update

For those of you interested in finding out more about the Emerald Ash Borer I have provided some interesting information and web sites below. This insect has tremendous potential to impact the nurseries, urban landscapes, and forests of Pennsylvania.

What You Need to Know:
- It attacks only ash trees (Fraxinus spp.).
- Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long.
- Adults leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in spring.
- Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of
- Firewood cannot be moved in many areas of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania,
West Virginia and Maryland because of the EAB quarantine.
- It probably came from Asia in wood packing material.

A number of links are provided below. The first link is to a report provided by Dovetail Partners Inc. It is entitled Firewood Movement and the Emerald Ash Borer. The report is a very good summary of the nature of the problem and justification for various control options. Included in the report are general recommendations for the wood using industry.

For up to date information on the emerald ash borer go to the location website provided below.

To view an interesting and quite entertaining series of EAB videos go to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Don't Move Firewood website.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Wind Turbine Site May Hold Key For Bat Deaths

Thursday, October 16, 2008
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A way to reduce the high number of deaths of migratory bats at wind turbine sites may lie in a groundbreaking study at Iberdrola Renewables' Casselman Wind Power Project in Somerset County. During the study, conducted at the 23-turbine project from late July to early October, selected wind turbines were stopped during low wind conditions to determine whether shutting down the big blades during low power production periods would reduce bat deaths while having a minimal impact on power generation.

"As responsible stewards of natural resources, we recognize there is an impact on bats that requires scientific study," said Andy Linehan, wind permitting director for Iberdrola, the world wind-power leader. "The new information generated by the Casselman project will be useful in improving many techniques for reducing wildlife risk at those wind power sites where there are significant impacts to bats." Iberdrola will dedicate the 34.5-megawatt Casselman turbine project today. The turbines have been operating since February. Gov. Ed Rendell, a vocal supporter of wind power, is scheduled to attend the noon ceremony at the project near Garrett.

Wind energy holds promise as a clean, renewable energy source. But there have been high numbers of bats killed at many wind-energy facilities and it remains unclear why some bat species seem susceptible to such collisions, especially in the eastern United States, and especially during low wind conditions. "We need to develop renewable energy resources, and we would like to develop those responsibly," said Ed Arnett, a principal wildlife investigator for Bat Conservation International, a conservation group that is part of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative. Other members of BWEC are the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The cooperative's work since 2004 focuses on identifying and reducing the effects of wind energy on bats.

Previous BWEC research suggests that bat fatalities occur primarily on low wind nights when turbines are operating at low power but in some cases the turbine blades are rotating at or near maximum speed. Scientists think that shutting down those facilities during those low-wind periods could significantly reduce bat fatalities with only a modest reduction of power production. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is concerned that several species of bats, including potentially endangered bats, are killed each year by wind turbines," said Alex Hoar, the service's northeast coordinator for review of wind power projects. "The Service is pleased to be helping fund this precedent-setting study to test if slightly changing the way a wind turbine operates can substantially reduce or even avoid killing bats." The results of the Casselman study will be made public after they are reviewed by BWEC's scientific advisory committee.

Pennsylvania is the leading producer of wind energy east of the Mississippi River, generating more than 153 megawatts, enough to power 70,000 homes. The Rendell administration has been a major supporter of wind energy and has set a goal to boost wind power production to more than 3,000 megawatts, a twentyfold increase, over the next 15 years. But such a massive expansion of wind energy along Pennsylvania's windiest Appalachian ridges -- which also happen to be bat and bird migratory routes -- has the potential to kill thousands of bats and birds. In 2004, hundreds of migratory birds and up to 4,000 bats were killed by the whirling blades of 44 turbines in the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center on Backbone Mountain in West Virginia. And just down the road from Garrett in Meyersdale, Somerset County, hundreds of bats were killed at a 20-turbine wind power operation.

Don Hopey can be reached at dhopey@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1983.
First published on October 16, 2008 at 12:00 am

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pennsylvania Wind Energy Symposium 2008

Penn State Outreach will be providing at Wind Energy Symposium on November 17 and 18, 2008 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, Penn State University Park, State College, Pennsylvania.

Please join us in exploring the workforce and economic development opportunities as well as the financial, technical, and siting challenges involved in harnessing wind energy at the Pennsylvania Wind Energy Symposium. A detailed agenda is available online at: http://www.outreach.psu.edu/programs/wind-energy/agenda.html?CID=2
Confirmed speakers include:
Sandy Butterfield, Wind Program Chief Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy
Philippe Giguere, Wind Application Engineering, GE Energy
Joe Green, Senior Developer, Iberdrola Renewables
Liz Salerno, Policy Analyst, American Wind Energy Association
Sandi Vito, Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
Dennis Yablonsky, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Who should attend?
Elected or municipal officials
Economic development professionals
Business owners
Members of community groups

For more information or to register for the symposium, visit:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Local Pennsylvania Forestry Industry Career Video

Below is a link to an excellent 9 minute forestry career video now available on You Tube. The video was produced by Career Gates PA and is entitled Lumber. It highlights careers in the forest industry with live interviews of actual employers from our very own local PA industries. Careers highlighted include sawmill workers/managers, trucking companies, loggers, and foresters. If you have an interest in a career in the forest industry be sure to check it out. This is also an excellent video to share with high school Vo-tech classes.

The local Pennsylvania industries highlighted in the video include; Lewis Lumber, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Shoemaker Trucking and Processing, and Pine Creek Lumber.

To watch the video click the link below.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Forest Tax and Finance Workshops - Fall 2008

Understanding forest taxes and financial planning can save forest landowners money. There are numerous tax and financial incentives and tools that are often unknown not only to landowners but their advisers such as accountants, attorneys and forestry consultants. Penn State’s School of Forest Resources will be hosting a series of one-day workshops on forest finance and taxes across the state this fall.

Workshops will be held in Westmorland County, Centre County, Cumberland County and Clarion County. The objectives of the workshops are to provide clients with knowledge of key up-to-date aspects of forest taxes and finance that will affect their businesses. Each workshop is devoted specifically to tax or finance issues. The tax workshops are geared toward accountants and financial advisers, while the finance workshops are more tailored for foresters and forest landowners. However, anyone involved in owning, managing or advising on timberland management would find either or both these workshops useful.

The workshops will be led by Dr. Michael Jacobson, an associate professor and extension specialist in the School of Forest Resources. He has over 12 years of experience formally educating the forestry community on these issues. He will be assisted by Lloyd Casey who has decades of experience teaching forest taxes.

For more information, specific dates of each workshop and registration contact Mike Powell at the Penn State School of Forest Resources: Phone: 814-863-1113 or E-mail: mjp175@psu.edu

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Marcellus Shale Gas Leasing Videos Now on You Tube

I was just notified by Pat Baxter from WPSU-TV. They have just completed posting a number of educational videos concerning gas leasing in the Marcellus Shale on You Tube. They include live interviews with Penn State professionals and company representatives as well as live video of an actual drilling site.

Fracing a Natural Gas Well
This is short three minute video produced by Penn State Cooperative Extension Educator Dave Messersmith. The video shows an actual well drilling site in Lycoming County. The site is owned and operated by Chief Oil an Gas. The video was produced in February 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QefLQKLb5co

Gas Exploration in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is in the midst of a natural gas rush with gas companies buying up mineral rights from landowners all over the state. Patty Satalia talks with Penn State professor Terry Engelder about what exactly the gas companies are drilling for and Penn State Cooperative Extension agent Tom Murphy about what landowners should think about if approached by a company looking to buy their mineral rights. To view the full 21 minute video go to:

Pennsylvania Gas Rush
Learn how new drilling technology and rising fuel prices are driving the natural gas rush in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale—a 6,000 foot deep rock formation which has the potential to fuel the entire country for two full years.This live, one-hour, call-in program originally aired on Thursday, May 22, offered viewers objective and reliable advice about:
* Natural gas exploration and drilling on leased land
* Lease negotiations and addenda
* Financial, environmental, and infrastructure impacts

For additional information go to: http://naturalgas.psu.edu/

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Penn State Publication on Farmland Wildlife

I received this from Dr. Margaret Brittingham today. Margaret is a Professor of Wildlife Resources at Penn State University through the School of Forest Resources.

I am pleased to announce the availability of a new publication titled Farmlands and Wildlife of Pennsylvania and the Northeast: Developing a Wildlife Management Plan for Your Property. This 72-page, full-color publication emphasizes the importance of agriculture in maintaining habitat for farmland and grassland wildlife. It is also meant as a guide for landowners to provide for farmland wildlife, implement habitat management methods, and control wildlife damage. Sources of financial assistance for habitat projects, and additional educational resources are also provide for in the publication. The publication sells for $9.00 and is available for viewing and purchase at http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/PubTitle.asp?varTitle=Farmlands+and+Wildlife&Submit=Go

I hope you will find this to be a useful resource.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Announcing the Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar Center

With the cost of travel and the value of time what it is, many folks would rather just stay home than go to meetings and workshops to learn new information. Now, thanks to Penn State, they can sit it in the comfort of their own home or office and attend high quality educational programs for free!

Penn State Natural Resources Extension is rolling out a new monthly on-line seminar series for forest landowners and natural resources professionals alike. The Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar Center will offer one-hour online, live presentations by experts in a variety of fields related to the stewardship and issues of Pennsylvania's forest resources. The online seminars offer a chance for landowners, extension educators, and natural resources professionals to learn and gain resources to enhance their own practices.

To read the full story go to: http://vip.cas.psu.edu/News.html

To go to the Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar Center where you can register and view upcoming seminars go to: http://rnrext.cas.psu.edu/PAForestWeb/

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Woodlander News Letter Now Available

The fall edition of The Woodlander is now available. This newsletter is put together by a group of Penn State Extension educators from the Northwestern part of the state. In this issue you will find news articles on Natural Gas Exploration in Pennsylvania and The American Chestnut, as well as a calendar of upcoming events. To view the full newsletter simply go to the natural resources section of the Penn State Cooperative Extension-Centre County web site. The link is provided below.

If you would like to be added to The Woodlander e-mail distribution list-serve simply send a blank e-mail to: join-woodlander@lists.cas.psu.edu

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cutting Trees Helps Keep Planet Green

Foresters: Cutting Trees Helps Keep Planet Green

September 2 – The Associated Press recently reported on the efforts of some foresters who contend that cutting trees is a "green" activity. According to one of the foresters quoted in the article, timber harvesting helps regenerate forests by encouraging the growth of young trees on the landscape that keep growing and continue sequestering carbon.

Edited from the Society of American Foresters E-Forester, September 8, 2008.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Guide To Wood Energy

Harnessing the Power of Local Wood Energy

While energy costs continue to rise with no end currently in sight, one Vermont community is developing a community wood energy plan that saves money, reduces its dependence on foreign oil, combats climate change, improves forest health, and supports local industries and workers. Harnessing the Power of Local Wood Energy is a community resource guide that uses the Mt. Abe pilot project in Bristol, Vermont, as a case study to provide a community wood energy framework that other communities can use to develop a standard for assuring that the wood is sourced and utilized in a "Sustainable, Efficient, Local, and Fair (SELF)" manner.
To download a copy of the full publication entitled "Harnessing the Power of Local Wood Energy" by caitlin Cusack go to:http://www.forestguild.org/publications/research/2008/Local_Wood_Energy.pdf
The Forest Guild, headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a national organization of more than 600 foresters, allied professionals, and supporters who manage forestlands in the United States and Canada and advocate for ecologically sound forest practices. The mission of the Forest Guild is to practice and promote ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry­"excellent forestry"­ as a means of sustaining the integrity of forest ecosystems and the human communities dependent upon them. The Forest Guild's Northeast Region includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. http://www.forestguild.org/

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NYS DEC Launches New Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Information Site

Features Details About Drilling, Leasing; Links to Database

As landowners and municipal officials continue to seek information about possible horizontal drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has launched a new Web page designed to provide details about drilling processes, leasing, federal and state laws, links to relevant sites, and the upcoming review of potential environmental impacts. The new page can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46288.html#Information.

“As drilling companies seek to secure leases around the Southern Tier and Catskill Foothills, New Yorkers are raising questions about this potential new activity. And they need accurate information,” said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. “This new Web page – which will be regularly updated – will provide a fact-based resource about Marcellus Shale exploration and the environmental review.”

The Web page will include facts about drilling, Marcellus Shale maps and links to other pages, such as the DEC’s searchable database for existing oil and gas wells, the Landowner’s Guide to Oil and Gas Leasing, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Delaware River Basin Commission (the two entities that regulate water withdrawals in the regions likely to be tapped).

“Oil and gas drilling in New York has been around since the 19th century and is an important industry, with hundreds of drilling permits issued every year,” Grannis said. “Given the Department’s experience, and our rigorous regulatory program, we are well-equipped to address the many issues presented by the proposed horizontal drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Conveying complete and accurate information to the public is critical to ensuring that all questions are answered and all issues considered, and this web page will be a centralized source of that information.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

White-tailed Deer Lesson Plans and Activities Now Available

A series of five lesson plans teaching youth about white-tailed deer and their impacts on the forest ecosystem are now available on-line through Penn State Cooperative Extension. Dave Jackson, Forestry Extension Educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension, Centre County, prepared the lesson plans. Dave feels it is imperative that our youth and educators have a better understanding of the issues surrounding our state mammals' abundance. He notes, "By studying deer and their interactions with their habitat, students and teachers will gain a better appreciation for the animal as well as the importance of population control."

The lessons can be found on Penn State's Sustainable Forestry Teacher Resource Center located on the web at: http://sftrc.cas.psu.edu/. Once at this site simply click on Deer Lesson Plans along the left hand column. Here you will find a series of five plans designed for youth grades 6-12; each one complete with descriptions, objectives, reference materials, and state standards addressed. The inquiry-based, hands-on lessons allow students to explore white-tailed deer biology and forest ecology. Jackson indicates, "The lessons focus on the impacts of deer on the forest ecosystem. Each lesson builds upon the previous, beginning with an overview of deer biology and adaptations and culminating in a final assignment assessing habitat and population."
To read the full story go to: http://paforeststewards.cas.psu.edu/News.html

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

American Tree Farm System Receives PEFC Endorsement

Family forest owners in the U.S., who own nearly two-thirds of the country’s forestlands, today cheered the international approval of the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC). PEFC is an international, independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. ATFS is the oldest and largest forest conservation, certification, and advocacy program in the United States. The 67 year-old program is sponsored by the American Forest Foundation.

Article edited from the American Tree Farm System web site http://www.treefarmsystem.org/, August 7, 2008.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ruffed Grouse Program Being Offered

The Woodland Owners Association of Centre County will be hosting a program on ruffed grouse and woodcock biology and management. The program is entitled Ecology and Managment of Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock in Pennsylvania. Mark Banker, a senior biologist with the Ruffed Grouse Society, will be presenting the program at the Foxdale Village Meeting Room in State College, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 16th from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

Mark began with the Ruffed Grouse Society in 1998 in Michigan and has been the Regional/Senior Biologist covering the southern Appalachians since 2000. Prior to that Mark was a biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Patuxent, MD.

Ruffed grouse and American woodcock habitat has declined by approximately 1.6 million acres in the last 50 years in PA and is now at a 50 year low at 10% of our forest area. This has not only meant declines in grouse and woodcock populations, but also many songbirds and mammals like the snowshoe hare and Appalachian cottontail.

Mark will present practical tactics for managing forrests and fields for these species and discuss the effects of habitat declines in PA on grouse and woodcock as well as other species.
For directions to Foxdale Village go to: http://www.foxdalevillage.org/location.html

Monday, August 18, 2008

Visit Pen State's Ag Progress Days Aug 19-21

University Park, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's attention is captivated by the serious business of fluctuating fuel prices, the future of the environment and economic independence. But the Commonwealth needs a little fun, too. So this year, Penn State's Ag Progress Days, set for Aug 19-21, will offer information on the issues that matter even as it provides a wide range of fun and educational activities sure to appeal to children and families.

The theme for the 2008 edition, to be held at the University's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, is "Ag Energy: Harnessing the Potential," and the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building will feature special displays focusing on renewable energy and biofuels research. "The need for energy independence and clean, renewable and affordable fuels is only becoming more critical," said Bob Oberheim, Ag Progress Days manager. "Visitors will be able to see how Penn State research and extension are helping to shape our energy future."

For the full story go to:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

High Cost of Heating Oil Ignites Demand for Firewood

August 6 – The Associated Press (AP) has reported that the cost of seasoned firewood in Maine has jumped roughly 50 percent from a year ago. However, it still remains a bargain when compared to the cost of heating oil, which is nearly $2 per gallon more than last year. According to the AP, many customers are doubling their usual firewood orders, and some dealers have had to turn customers away.

To read the full story visit:

Edited from the SAF E-Forester, August 11, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red Oak Market on the Decline

Had an article sent to me today from NPR concerning the decling red oak market in West Virginina. The same applies to red oak timber in Pennsylvania. The market for red oak in Pennsylvania has declined 32% from the first quarter of 2007 (Jan-March) to the first quarter of 2008 (Jan-March). Prices fell from $390 per thousand board feet to $264 per thousand board feet.

To view the Pennsylvania Timber Market Report published quarterly by Penn State School of Forest Resources go to:

Black Times for W.Va. Red Oak Loggers (NPR, August 12, 2008)
If you own timberland in West Virginia, you've most likely got an investment in red oak and the value of your tree portfolio is falling fast. There's been a slide in prices, and now, locals say, they're "dropping off a cliff." A red oak tree — the predominant species — is worth 40 percent less than it was three years ago.

It's a fashion issue. Oak was popular in the 1980s for cabinets, flooring, furniture. Cat Caperton of Gat Creek Furniture in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., says, "Oak had the connotation of strength, longevity, country values. Nowadays, it doesn't come across as sturdy; it comes across as busy."

To read the full story go to:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PA DCNR Releases Guidelines for Harvesting Biomass

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has released guidelines for harvesting forest biomass as an alternative energy source.

The guidelines were prepared with comments from various stakeholder groups after DCNR's two-year study of forest biomass energy and related issues.

Among the conclusions in the report:
- Current estimates of available low-grade wood that is most likely to be sought for energy use are overly optimistic.
- Use of forest biomass for energy must first consider the many ecological, social, and practical concerns associated with its harvest.
- Harvesting forest biomass for energy production will compete with the commonwealth's forest products industry.
- The costs of harvesting forest biomass for energy production are not well understood by emerging industries.

For more information, visit:

For the complete biomass report click here: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/PA_Biomass_guidance_final.pdf

(Edited from the E-Forester, Society of American Foresters, July 28, 2008)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gas Drilling Raises Questions About Water Safety

Had this article sent to me and I thought I would share it with my readers. It was first printed in the July 22 front page of the Albany Times Union. This is an investigatory article on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in New York State. The article looks at some of the water quality issues surrounding the deep drilling technique and whether the NYS regulatory authorities have prepared for the actual techniques that the investigation found would be used. Many of these wells have already been drilled in Pennsylvania.
To read the full story go to:

Pennsylvania Team Finishes Third in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational

Pennsylvania finished third among the 14 state teams that participated in the 29th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 20, through Thursday, July 24. Teams from Alabama and Illinois finished first and second, respectively.

At the Invitational 4-H members compete for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included a forestry written exam, tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, the forestry bowl, and forest evaluation.

The event was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The Farm Credit System and the Cooperative Extension Service sponsored the invitational.

Representing Pennsylvania were Sean McGraughran of Blairsville, Sean Undercofler of Creekside, and Rebecca and Daniel Picone of Felton. The team was co-coached by Debbie Beisel of Clymer and Sheri Picone of Felton.

Steve Franklin of Alabama received the high-point individual award. Second place individual award was given to Jennifer Colbert of Illinois and third place individual award went to Robert Franklin of Alabama.

The Joe Yeager leadership award was given to Traci Byers of Texas. This award is presented to the individual who demonstrated excellent communication, management, decision-making, and interpersonal skills at the Invitational.

4-H is a youth education program operated by Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than five-and-a-half million young people participate in 4-H, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

This event is sponsored by the Farm Credit System (FCS), a government-sponsored enterprise created by Congress in 1916 to provide American agriculture with a dependable source of credit. The FCS is a nationwide network of cooperatively organized banks and associations that are owned and controlled by their borrowers. It serves all 50 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The FCS provides credit and other services to agricultural producers and farmer-owned agricultural and aquatic cooperatives.For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational go to: http://www.aces.edu/n4hfi/

Friday, July 18, 2008

2009 Gypsy Moth Program Application Opens

The County officially announced Tuesday, July 15, 2008 that it has begun taking requests from County residents who want to have their properties sprayed for gypsy moths in 2009. As in 2008, Centre County will be participating in the state program, administering it at the County level. The anticipated homeowner cost-share will be $21/acre, up from $17/acre in 2008, largely due to the increase in the cost of fuel and the Bt pesticide.

County residents may request spraying on their properties until SEPTEMBER 30, 2008. After that date, it will not be possible to sign up for the spray program. As in previous years, the state program is a forested residential program spraying a 500ft area around residences and cabins. It is NOT a program to spray landowners’ forest stands. Those landowners should contact the PA Bureau of Forestry to find out about the Forest Stewardship program or arrange such spraying privately. All privately owned, nonindustrial forest stewardship lands, except those withdrawn from timber production under the stewardship plan, are eligible for spraying, provided they meet the program standards.

The DCNR has many rules on who qualifies for the state spray program. As participants in the state program, we have to follow their rules. Two fundamental rules are that there must be not less than 20 acres of forest in the minimum-size 23 acre spray block (1,000ft x 1,000ft) and that at least 50% of the spray block area must be occupied by tree canopies. Additionally, there must be new egg masses present (at least 250/acre). These are being laid now.

Inclusion in the Spray Program
If you live in a rural area, you must request participation in the spray program in order to be considered for gypsy moth spraying. The situation is somewhat different for residents in 'urban' areas that have denser housing (such as Park Forest in Patton Township or Linnwood in Rush Township). Some urban municipalities may request the County to include their forested urban areas and will cover the homeowner costs. Others will require homeowners to pay cost-shares but in such cases, requests by around 10% of the homeowners in the area will ensure that the whole area will be evaluated for spraying. If you are a forested urban area resident and have a strong desire to be sprayed next year, then please sign up, whether or not your municipality has done that for you.

To sign up, just click on 'Request Spraying in 2009' on the front page of the Centre County Gypsy Moth web site and follow the instructions. If you have several parcels which you would like included in the spray program, you will get a chance to enter them during the sign up process.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Forest Tax Update

The USDA Forest Service is hosting a Forest Tax Update session from 10:00am-12:00 noon on August 6, Wednesday, 2008 in the Yates Building of USDAForest Service in Washington D.C. Tax researchers and specialists from the USDA Forest Service, PurdueUniversity, and the IRS will explain the latest development in timber tax law and rules. New tax legislation's from 2007 to 2008, proposed IRSregulation, tax policy, and forest transaction with example of filled-inForm T will be covered.

This 2-hour session will be provided livearound the country. You will be able to listen to it in your office if you can not attend it in person. The cost of this event is FREE.

You may register by email to: Neal Bungard, USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Specialist, at: nbungard@fs.fed.us (613-868-7719) or Linda Wang, USDA Forest Service Tax Specialist, at: lwang@fs.fed.us (404-347-2067)

Please see details in the brochure at:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tree Shelter Comparison Study

This May, TNC outreach forester Mike Eckley and Penn State Cooperative Extension forester Dave Jackson began a three-year cooperative research project on the West Branch Research and Demonstration Forest. The study will help determine what differences, if any, occur in the growth and survival of northern red oak seedlings when using traditional four-foot tree tubes versus the new Tree Sentry Tree Incubation and Protection (TIP) System shelters. Summit Environmental Group of Ohio is the manufacturer and distributor of the new and innovative TIP System tree shelter; however its design was influenced by local Centre County Tree Farmer, Jim Walizer, who is known for his passion in tinkering on his family woodlot and he serves with Dylan Jenkins on the PA Chapter board of The American Chestnut Foundation.

The Tree Sentry TIP System is essentially a 4.5 foot black mesh with an inserted 18” plastic cone that, similar to traditional tree tubes, surrounds the young seedling offering protection from wind, competing vegetation encroachment, and wildlife damage. Furthermore, the plastic cones mimic the effects of a micro-greenhouse, magnifying and retaining more radiant heat, often resulting in accelerated root development and growth.

Approximately 180 northern red oak seedlings were planted within the Cabin-East Restoration Treatment Unit which had received a prescribed fire in 2007 and mowing of competing vegetation in 2006. The unit is located southeast of the Whetham Cabin on relatively flat sub-mesic plateau ground. Roughly half (90) of the trees were assigned traditional tree tubes and rot-resistant black locust stakes and the other half were planted with the new TIP System shelter and bamboo stakes. Jackson is particularly interested in evaluating the use of bamboo stakes, which if proven a viable option, could be a significant cost-saver in tree planting and forest restoration projects involving tree tubes/shelters.

As the first growing season for this project progresses, preliminary field data show that approximately 86% of the seedlings are alive and doing well. When comparing establishment/survival rates between the two shelter types, interestingly, there was a 93% survival rate associated with the traditional tree tubes and an 80% survival rate for the TIP System shelter. Furthermore, it was noticed that black bear damage has occurred, mainly in the form of knocking over tubes along with an occasional biting of the plastic or mesh. A total of 12 tree tubes/shelters were either bent over or pulled out of the ground. Surprisingly, 10 of the 12 bear damaged tree tubes were of the TIP System shelters. Overall, the extent of the damage was minimal and easily fixed with a few minor repairs. It was documented that the bamboo stakes did not brake, however they splintered, twisted, and cracked, therefore the damaged sections were cut off and the good portion of the bamboo stems were reused for staking.

Additional field notes taken on factors that may influence the results of this research include increased vegetation encroachment of hayscented fern and blueberry which is being monitored and will be treated with a glyphosate type herbicide when appropriate. Furthermore, gypsy moth impacts are severe as the overwintering population has expanded dramatically, likely to result in severe canopy defoliation of West Branch and surrounding forestland.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Quebec

OTTAWA, June 26, 2008 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in the Montérégie region of Quebec.
EAB does not spread quickly on its own. I n fact, it is most commonly spread when people move materials which it has infested. Moving these materials even just a few kilometres away can spread the emerald ash borer to new areas.

We all have a responsibility to protect Canada’s forests and area residents can play a key part in helping to control the spread of EAB by not moving firewood, logs, branches, nursery stock, chips or other ash wood. The Government of Canada is working hard with provinces and municipalities to limit the spread of the EAB and safeguard our valuable forests.

The CFIA will be carrying out increased surveying of trees in the area to determine the extent of the infestation and affected property owners will be notified. Regulatory measures to control this pest will be taken based on information obtained through the surveys. The CFIA continues to work with its partners and stakeholders toward the goal of slowing the spread of this destructive pest.
Additional information is available on theCFIAweb site at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Workshop for Landowners Involved with Gas Leasing

Penn State Cooperative Extension announced that a workshop entitled "Understanding and Negotiating Natural Gas Leases" will be held on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at Structural Modulars, 101 Southern Avenue, Strattonville, PA (Clarion County). The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Speakers include public, regulatory, and industry experts who will discuss the Intricacies, Advantages, and Disadvantages of signing a Natural Gas Lease. The Cost of the Workshop is $15.00 per person. Attendance is limited to 100 persons due to space available.

Please call the Crawford County Extension Office to register to attend at (814) 333-460. Most prior participants of these workshops have realized financial rewards worth thousands of dollars. This course is intended to inform you of the concerns you will need to address as a landowner considering a gas lease.

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Scott Sjolander at (814) 333-7460 in advance of your participation or visit.

“This program is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Consult an attorney”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Urban Forest Resources

I am often asked questions about how to manage our urban forest. That is, your back yard shade tree. These trees have to survive in a very demanding environment very different from our natural forested environments. My first comment to most is to consult with a certified arborist through the International Society of Arborculture (ISA). These folks have to pass a rigorous exam and are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain certification.

Second I often refer folks to one of a few very good web sites. I thought I might share a few of these with my readers.

The first is a site entitled "Trees Are Good." It is sponsored by the ISA. The most important section on this site is the "Tree Care Information" link found across the top of the page. This page provides you with brief, up to date information on everything from selection to pruning and mulching. I often refer folks to these fact sheets. They are a wealth of information. http://www.treesaregood.com/

Lastly, is a site called "Pennsylvania Trees." This site provides a wealth of information for the PA tree owner. It was put together by a number of professional entities including Penn State, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the local ISA Chapter, USDA Forest Service, and others. http://www.patrees.org/

I hope you find these web sites useful in answering some of your urban forestry questions. Penn State Cooperative Extension also provides a wide array of publications on managing trees in urban settings, everything from selection and planting to pests and fertilizing. Contact your county office for a complete list.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Woody Biomass Opportunities in Eastern Hardwood Region

The report Eastern Hardwood Forest Region Woody Biomass Energy Opportunity examines the woody biomass energy opportunities in the 35 states that comprise the Eastern Hardwood Forest Region, with the dual objectives of providing an educational overview of the market that exists today, and offering a baseline reference for advanced, targeted feasibility studies with the wood fuel arena.

For more information, visit the Forest Service website. (Note: this is a large file and may take a few minutes to download).

Article edited from the may 27, 2008 edition of the E-Forrester, the Society of American Foresters Electronic Newsletter.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Forestry "Podcasts" Now Available!

Have you heard there is forestry in the air? Forest landowners, natural resources professionals, and anyone interested in learning about our forests can now download podcasts from Bob Hansen, D.F., Forest Resources and Maple Products Extension Educator in Penn State’s Northeast region.

"What is a podcast?" Simply put, a podcast is similar to a radio broadcast. It comes from the combination of the word iPod and broadcasting. However, a podcast can be played on any computer or device that supports the MP3 format, including iPods. People can subscribe to receive topic specific podcasts via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) channel. This is similar to a magazine subscription except that it is a broadcast instead of print.

Dr. Hansen’s first podcasts are available at the iTunes store. To access them you need to have the free iTunes download on your computer and then visit iTunesU at The Pennsylvania State University. On the iTunesU site scroll down to The College of Agricultural Sciences, click there and find NE Pennsylvania Forests. Podcasts currently available are "Selling Timber" and "Emerald Ash Borer." While on the site, subscribe to NE Pennsylvania Forests and listen to future podcasts as they are uploaded. Future podcasts will cover topics on the care and management of woodlands, especially relating to Pennsylvania.

While you are on your computer, visit the Bradford County Extension website at http://bradford.extension.psu.edu. On that site, navigate to the natural resources link and then the forestry resources link. There scroll down to the podcast site and click on the Northeast PA Forests link. Visit the site often to try it out.

After listening to the podcast Bob welcomes your feedback and ideas for future topics. If you have suggestions, email Bob at rsh7@psu.edu. New 'casts will be posted on a regular basis. Listening to these podcasts is a new and simple way to get a daily dose of forestry. Try it out.

Contact: Bob Hansen
Email: rsh7@psu.edu

Monday, June 2, 2008


One of the world's most mysterious insects is about to invade the skies over western Pennsylvania, but an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says it's not a cause for serious alarm.

Residents of Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Tioga, Union, and York Counties soon will see an emergence of periodical cicadas, commonly but mistakenly called 17-year locusts. "These insects are harmless to people, but they can damage shade trees, fruit trees or high-value ornamentals," says Penn State Extension entomologist Gregory Hoover.

Damage caused by periodical cicadas occurs during egg-laying. Using the blades of a saw-like device on her abdomen, a female will cut several small pockets in the bark of a twig before depositing 400 to 600 eggs. This process can cause small limbs or seedlings to wilt and may provide an opening for disease. Adults live only a few weeks, but the twig injury they cause may be apparent for several years.

When the time is right, usually in late May or early June, the nymphs exit the soil through half-inch holes and climb a foot or more up trees or other objects. Within an hour, they shed their nymphal skins and become adults.

Adult cicadas are clumsy flyers, often colliding with objects in flight. Males begin their constant singing shortly after they emerge, but the females are silent. When heard from a distance, the cicadas' chorus is a whirring monotone, sometimes described as eerie-sounding. On rare occasions when an adult eats, it sucks fluid from small twigs but does not feed on leaves. Ten days following emergence, mating takes place.

Adults live up to four weeks above ground. Six to seven weeks after the eggs are laid, the nymphs hatch and drop to the ground. There, they enter the soil, not to see the light of day for 17 years.

For a free fact sheet on periodical cicadas, visit the Web at:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

$2 Million Committed for PSU Silvicultural Research

Penn State alumnus and pioneer forester Joseph E. Ibberson has committed $2 million to endow a new faculty chair in the School of Forest Resources, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences. Ibberson, of Harrisburg, is a 1947 Penn State graduate in forestry and retired chief of the division of forest advisory services of Pennsylvania's Department of Forests and Waters. The gift will create the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Silviculture Research for Pennsylvania, which will focus on the challenges of forest management under changing conditions and the evolving needs of society. "I consider this chair an investment that will help protect and improve our state's forest resources," said Ibberson. "But I also hope to inspire others to be philanthropic in areas that are of the most interest to them."

For the full story go to: http://live.psu.edu/story/30956/nw4
You can also find out more about Mr. Ibberson by reading his biography: A Forester's Legacy, The Life of Joseph E. Ibberson; Forester, Tree Farmer, Philanthropist. You can find the book for sale on Amazon.com.
Mr. Ibberson has also donated a 350 acre parcel of ground in Dauphin County the DCNR Bureau of State Parks as a "Conservation Area." To find out more about the Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area go to: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/josepheibberson.aspx

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tree Farm Forestry Field Day

The Pennsylvania Tree Farm Program is sponsoring the second annual celebration of the State Tree Farmer of the Year (STFOTY), the Olver family, will be held Saturday, May 31st at Tall Timbers Tree Farm from 10 AM to 3 PM. Craig, Janet, and Tara Olver were named STFOTY in September 2007. They are also one of three finalists in the 2008 Northeast Regional Tree Farmer of the Year competition. Tall Timbers Tree Farm is 566 acres of beautifully maintained working forest located northeast of Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

The Olvers, in conjunction with the Wayne-Lackawanna Forest Landowners Association, are hosting the event which will include a tour of some of the property, a horse logging demonstration, exhibition of the logging equipment used on the farm, and a tree felling and crown thinning demonstration. There is a $12 charge for adults, $20 per couple, $6 for children age 6-17, and younger children are free. Lunch will be a pig roast. Pre-registration is required! Contact Jean Smith at 570-224-4848 or email thefarm@ezaccess.net. Directions will be provided to registrants.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Food vs. Fuel

I received this article in my e-mail today. Thought I would share it with my readers. it is written by Murray Campbell, CEO of First United Ethanol Incorporated. It trys to clear up may of the misconceptions concerning the use of corn for ethanol production and the current high food costs. Enjoy.

Indiana Ag Director: Food vs. Fuel Hype Requires Rational Intervention

Pick up any publication today and you will see alarming claims about corn-ethanol driving the world into famine. Two years ago, the same publications were heralding ethanol as the savior of America's energy crisis. The truth is somewhere in between, and it is time for a calm, rational analysis of ethanol's contributions and limitations. The best way to begin a rational discussion is to address some of the biggest myths about ethanol.

Myth #1 -- Ethanol is a perfect fuel and is the "silver bullet" the U.S. needs.
• Ethanol is one part of our overall energy strategy to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Ethanol is on track to displace approximately 10 percent of U.S. fuel usage.
That's a big deal. At current crude prices, that means more than $35 billion staying in the United States instead of going to OPEC.
• But, there is no "silver bullet" for our nation's energy crisis.
Ethanol does have some real issues, like transportation of the finished product and the impact on other corn-based industries. But the biggest challenge is addressing these issues with innovative ideas. Too many in the industry want to rationalize the issues away, looking instead through rose-colored glasses.

Myth #2 - Ethanol is driving a world famine and record food prices.

• Ethanol is not driving a world famine. The world supply of corn is still greater than demand.
That means we aren't running out of corn. In fact, the United States ended the last crop year with almost 9 percent reserve in corn, which is only slightly lower than average. The corn-consuming industry had become accustomed to much higher reserves of 15-20 percent, which drove corn prices below production costs and the accusation that the U.S. was "flooding" the world market with cheap grain.
• Undoubtedly, ethanol has contributed to tightened corn supplies and higher corn prices.
But increases in corn price are only partly explained by ethanol and only account for a small increase in retail food prices. An objective analysis determined that ethanol merely contributed to a 0.25 percent increase in U.S. food prices. The bigger culprits in higher food and corn prices are increased demand for food from growing countries like China, the impact of higher fuel prices on food transportation and a weakened dollar.

Myth #3 -Ethanol is destroying the rainforest.

• A group of university researchers have concluded that as the world needs more corn, it can only produce it by using more land, and that land will come only by tearing down the rain forest.
This argument fails to recognize the impact of innovation on farming. For example, in the 1930s the United States had more land in corn production than today, but now we produce 6 times more corn on about 10 percent less land. Use of improved fertilizers and other genetic innovations has driven this change and will continue to do so. We don't need hundreds or millions more acres of land to produce more corn. If anything, the current market pressure is accelerating the rate of innovation with some predicting a doubling of corn yields in the next 10 years.

Myth #4 - Ethanol is guzzling water.

• It takes 3 gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol. It takes 66 gallons of water to refine one gallon of oil. Therefore, to produce a gallon of gas requires 22 times the amount of water that is needed to produce a gallon of ethanol.
• A university researcher is now trying to make the argument that it actually takes 1,700 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol. However, he arrives at that number by allocating for point source water, or rainfall. His number incorporates the amount of rain that falls on a field of corn. Regardless of how the field is used, the rain will still fall. Through technology and innovation more than 95 percent of all corn is grown with no water other than rainfall.

Corn-ethanol is making a meaningful contribution to our country's efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil; without it our imports of refined gasoline would more than double. Ethanol is not without issues, including the assumption it's a "silver bullet." And ethanol's success has driven cynics and naysayers to surface. But the most important thing for Hoosiers to remember is this. Corn-ethanol, as with all alternative energy, has been a major contributor to new economic vitality bringing more than $2 billion in new investment, hundreds of new jobs and millions in new farm income. Through innovation we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and see continued economic growth from agriculture - and that is a fact.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pennsylvania Gas Rush Program

Call-in Broadcast: 7pm Thursday, May 22, 2008 airing on WPSU-TV and PCN

Program Summary: With residents across the state asking questions about the Marcellus Shale formation, natural gas exploration, mineral rights leasing and a number of other associated issues, WPSU-TV is responding with a one-hour live call-in program. On Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 7pm WPSU-TV and PCN will present “Pennsylvania’s Gas Rush.” This live state-wide call-in broadcast and web cast (http://wpsu.org/gasrush/) will offer objective and reliable advice for Pennsylvanians about the drilling and exploration development on leased land, the process of negotiating with gas companies, signing leases and creating addendums as well as information about financial, environmental and infrastructure impacts.

Hosted by Patty Satalia, the one-hour program will explore the natural gas issues with an expert panel including Tom Murphy, a Penn State cooperative extension educator well versed in many areas in regards to the natural gas exploration process; Lester Greevy, a lawyer from Williamsport specializing in mineral right leases and addendums; Ron Gilius, a representative from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection focusing on environmental concerns in the state; and a gas industry representative TBC. Additionally, a phone bank of trustworthy experts (extension educators, another DEP representative and Ross Pifer from Dickinson School of Law) will also be on hand during the program to take calls from viewers and answer questions and direct them to resources in their area.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Workshop for Landowners Involved with Gas Leasing

Penn State Cooperative Extension announced that a workshop entitled "Understanding and Negotiating Natural Gas Leases" will be held on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology at 540 North Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap, PA. The workshop will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at approximately 9:30 p.m. Speakers include Penn State Educators Involved with the Marcellus Shale development, a landowner's advocate and an experienced attorney who will discuss the intricacies, advantages, and disadvantages of signing a natural gas lease.

The Cost of the Workshop is $15.00. Please call the Centre County Extension Office to register to attend at (814) 355-4897. Most prior participants of these workshops have realized financial rewards worth thousands of dollars. This course is intended to inform you of the concerns you will need to address as a landowner considering a gas lease.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bioenergy Opportunities from Pennsylvania Forests

Pennsylvania’s forests cover 60 percent of its land area and forestry is one of the Commonwealth’s most important economic sectors contributing over $5 billion to the economy annually. Most of the revenue from Pennsylvania’s forests comes from its high-quality hardwoods. However, there is potential for bioenergy production from small-diameter trees that are often left in the forest. Furthermore, underutilization and overcrowding of small-diameter trees hinders regeneration and future forest values. The Pennsylvania Hardwoods Small Diameter Task Force established by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources estimates that approximately 469 million tons of "low-use" wood across 16 million acres of forestland in the Commonwealth might be available for harvest as a bioenergy feedstock. In addition to this already standing volume of unused wood, there are thousands of acres of abandoned mine lands and old agricultural fields that could be planted in fast growing bioenergy species such as hydrid polar and American chestnut.

The looming energy crisis and the US effort to become more self-sufficient in energy use provide unique economic and environmental opportunities for Pennsylvania’s forest community. The forest products industry will benefit by diversifying markets for forest products. Experts agree that pulpwood and chip markets that have historically supplied wood to paper mills and engineered wood operations such as particleboard and medium density fiberboard plants are likely to continue to decline in Pennsylvania.

To read the full story go to:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Chronic Wasting Disease Video Available

A 35 minute, high quality video entitled "Shedding Light on CWD" is now available for free viewing at the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance web site (link provided below). The video, produced in cooperation with American Outdoor Productions, covers the science behind CWD and its effects on deer and elk populations. Advice is provided for hunters on proper field- dressing and boning procedures, advice for complying with state carcass-transportation laws, and much more. DVD's of the video are also still available for sale at the CWD Alliance Web site.
(Source: Quality Deer Management Association; Quality Whitetails, April 2008)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Article on Ecological Effects of Invasive Plants

Doug Tallamy's book entitled "Bringing Nature Home" stresses how important native plants are to insects and birds. A recent article appeared in the Home and Garden section of the New York Times entitled To Feed the Birds, First feed the Bugs. It is an excellent article about the ecological effects of invasive plants. This article really points out the need to landscape with native plants.

Monday, March 24, 2008


HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reported that hunters harvested an estimated 323,070 deer in the state's 2007-08 seasons. That's down 11 percent from the previous seasons' harvest.

Hunters took 109,200 antlered deer in the 2007-08 seasons, down 19 percent from the previous license year's harvest of 135,290. Also, hunters harvested 213,870 antlerless deer in 2007-08, a five percent drop from the 226,270 antlerless deer taken in 2006-07.

"What stands out most when looking over the harvest data is the difference in the opening day deer kill of the two-week firearms season," said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer Section Supervisor. "Report cards sent in by hunters show the antlered deer harvest on the opening day, Nov. 26, dropped more than 50 percent from 2006. Daily harvests for the rest of the two-week season, Nov. 27-Dec.
8, were similar to 2006.

"The firearms season's opening day antlerless deer harvest also dropped nearly 50 percent from 2006. However, the antlerless harvest throughout the remainder of the two-week season increased and, in due course, erased some of the opening day's harvest shortfall."

Friday, March 21, 2008


The Pennsylvania Game Commission is announcing a pair of wildlife education workshops for educators and scout and youth group leaders in April. The two programs, both of which are Act 48 approved for educators, are Pennsylvania Biodiversity and WILD About Elk.

Theresa Alberici, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Education specialist, facilitates and administers Project WILD, which is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students from kindergarten through 12th grades. These workshops, which are part of the series of Advanced WILD and PA Songbird workshops provided by the Game Commission, will be held at the Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon County.

Following is a summary of the programs, both of which are free of charge.

Pennsylvania Biodiversity: On April 1, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Carbon County Conservation District will host a workshop featuring the brand new "Pennsylvania Biodiversity" supplement to "Windows on the WILD." This program will help educators prepare students to explore the diverse ecosystems of Pennsylvania and discover the importance of biodiverstiy in the everyday world. For registration, please contact Jeannie Carl, at the CCEEC, 151 E. White Bear Drive, Summit Hill, PA 18250, by phone (570-645-8597) or fax (570-645-8499).

WILD about Elk: On April 10, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Lehigh Zoo will sponsor "WILD about Elk," a very popular Project WILD workshop, that takes a close look at Pennsylvania's largest member of the cervid family. Once extirpated from the Commonwealth, a thriving elk herd of roughly 700 animals roams a portion of northcentral Pennsylvania. As part of this workshop, participants will view elk at this zoo. To register, contact Janet Berry Enos, Lehigh Valley Zoo, P.O. Box 519, 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville, PA 18078, 610-799-4171 (ext. 238), or email her at jberry-enos@lvzoo.org.

Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: In 2007, more than 1,500 educators participated in basic WILD workshops, as well as Advanced WILD workshops, hosted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deer Habitat Management

By Kip Adams, Quality Deer Management Association, Director of Education and Outreach, Northern Region

Quality Deer Management (QDM) continues to increase in popularity across North America . As hunters develop a more complete understanding of QDM, the importance of habitat quality takes a larger role. Of QDM’s four building blocks, herd management is often the first that hunters gravitate to, but habitat management quickly grabs the attention of many QDM practitioners and is often one of the most satisfying aspects of a deer management program. When asked for QDMA’s perspective on habitat management, it is difficult to give an all-inclusive answer, but it is possible to provide a general overview of critical deer habitat components.

Quality habitat is important for bucks and does in all age classes. Does need nutritious forage to raise healthy fawns, bucks need it for large bodies and antlers, and both sexes require adequate cover to escape predation. Given the average deer eats 2,000 pounds of vegetation annually, it’s easy to see a tremendous amount of forage is necessary to support even a low-density deer herd. Larger herds and herds managed to maximize body and antler growth and reproductive capacity require even more high-quality foods.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Penn State Cooperative Extensions invites all to a full-day seminar focusing on managing rights of way and industrial landscape vegetation. Experts including Joe Lentz with Arborchem and Dr. Jon Johnson with the Pennsylvania State University will present latest research and control measures for the growing invasive plants challenge we face with global travel.

The Rights of Way Seminar takes place on Thursday April 3 at Mercer County Cooperative Extension, 463 North Perry Highway (US Rt. 19) Mercer PA 16137. Cost to attend the conference is $30 including lunch, with pre-registration required by March 28. On-site check-in begins at 9:00 a.m., with the seminar running until 4:00 p.m. If you would like more information about the course or to sign up, please contact Scott Sjolander at 814-333-7460. Continuing Education Units are approved for ISA Certified Arborists, and PA Pesticide Applicators Credits in Categories 5, 10, 14, 18, and 23 are applied for.

The Pennsylvania State University encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Scott Sjolander at 814-333-7460, or email sas305@psu.edu in advance of your participation or visit.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Gypsy Moth Public Meetings

March 10, 11 & 12, 2008

All the indications are that it will be another bad year for gypsy moths in Centre County. The PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry will be conducting an aerial spray program in Centre County in May.

Centre County’s Gypsy Moth Coordinator, Karl Mierzejewski, will be holding Town Hall Meetings at three different locations in Centre County to inform county residents about gypsy moths, the spray program and measures available to the homeowner.

This is your chance to find out more about gypsy moths! Topics will include:
The 2008 state spray program – am I included?
The gypsy moth – how did it get so bad?
New developments in effective gypsy moth control.
How to make sure that the county informs you about future programs.
Is the material that the state will spray really safe? Yes it is!
What you can do as a homeowner to limit damage to your trees.
What we can expect for 2009.
How to arrange private aerial or ground spraying.

County Gypsy Moth Coordinator
PA Bureau of Forestry Area Forest Pest Manager
Eradicoat Gypsy Moth Control System Representative

Monday, March 10 – 7pm to 9pm
Philipsburg-Osceola Senior High School Auditorium, 502 Philips St., Philipsburg

Tuesday, March 11 – 7pm to 9pm
State College High School, South Building Auditorium 650 Westerly Parkway, State College

Wednesday, March 12 – 7pm to 9pm
Bald Eagle Area High School Cafeteria, 751 S Eagle Valley Rd, Wingate

For details go to:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pennsylvania Forest Landowner Conference March 8

Penn State Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with Penn State School of Forest Resources, the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the Woodland Owners of Centre County, the North Central Forest Landowners Association, and the Clearfield/Jefferson Counties Forest Stewardship Committee are providing an educational conference specifically for forest landowners and managers to learn and discuss forest and wildlife management on private forest lands. The conference is scheduled from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm., Saturday, March 8, 2008, at the Penn State School of Forest Resources Building, University Park, PA.

Conference participants will learn about: abandoned mine reforestation, forest insects and diseases, invasive plant species, fisher reintroductions, woodlot management, forest finance, timber marketing, wood energy, forest conservation, and more.

To register or for more information contact Dave Jackson at the Centre County Cooperative Extension office at 814-355-4897 or Tim Pierson at the McKean County Cooperative Extension Office at 814-887-5613. The registration fee is $30.00 which covers speakers, breaks, a luncheon, and educational materials. The deadline for registration is Friday, February 29. Participants must be pre-registered.
For detailed conference brochure go to:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Joint Meeting - PA Division SAF and PA Chapter TWS

To: PA Division Society of American Foresters Members

The Pennsylvania Division of the Society of American Foresters and The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Wildlife Society will be meeting together March 21 and 22, 2008 at the Ramada Inn in State College, PA. The meeting will consist of a TWS & SAF Workshop on Friday, March 21; followed by the Conference on Saturday, March 22, which includes plenary presentations, technical sessions, and a banquet on Saturday evening. This meeting promises to be a great opportunity for learning and interaction between Pennsylvania's forestry and wildlife professionals.

The Topic of the Workshop is: "The Future of Penn's Woods: Assessing Forest Habitats: Sampling Forest Habitats, Objectives, Methods and Outcomes"
The Theme of the Conference is: "The Future of Penn's Woods: Integrating Wildlife Management and Silviculture"

Information about the Workshop and Conference agendas, registration, and lodging at the Ramada is available from the conference website.

The website provides links to details of the Agenda for the Workshop on Friday, March 21; and the Plenary Program, Technical Presentations, and the Banquet speaker, Dr. David Maehr, at the Conference on Saturday, March 22. The website also provides links to registration forms, and Hotel Information for the Ramada Inn and Conference Center.

Please note that registration for the Friday Workshop and Saturday Conference are separate items on the registration form. Workshop registration includes indoor presentations and lunch at the Ramada, followed by a field tour on Friday, 3/21. Conference registration includes the Plenary Program and Techical Presentations on Saturday, 3/22. Saturday lunch and banquet meals may be purchased on the registration form.

SAF CFE credits are being arranged for the Workshop and Conference.

If you have questions about the joint meeting, you may feel free to contact me by e-mail, or by telephone: Office (814) 432-3187.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Forest Finance Issues Web Log Site

Dr. Michael Jacobson, Associate Professor/Extension Forester, Pennsylvania State University, School of Forest Resources, has just started a new blog entitled Forest Finance Issues in Pennsylvania and Beyond. He will be updating the site regularly with information he writes or comes across. There are already a couple of items posted that Dr. Jacobson has written. Take a moment to check out the site and feel free to share your thoughts with him. The purpose of the site is to get us as a forestry community discussing topics of mutual interest about the future of our forests in Pennsylvania. The blog site is not only as a repository of information but will also allow Dr. jacobson to get feedback about the kind of work he is doing for colleagues and clientele.
You can find the blog at: http://www.personal.psu.edu/mgj2/blogs/forest_finance_issues_in_pennsylvania_and_beyond/