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: 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:

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, 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:

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: