Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Harvard University Report: Forest Cover Declining

The following news release appeared in the May 21, 2010 Society of American Forester's E-Forester News.  The article highlights a report authored by 20 scholars in forest science and was produced by the Harvard Forest of Harvard University.  The report highlights a common trend across most states; the permanent loss of forest land.  Even though this report focuses on the New England states, the same can be said for Pennsylvania and many other states as well.  Read on......

New England losing forest cover -- scholars call for accelerated conservation

New report seeks to retain 70 percent of the region in forest

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- New England forests are at a turning point. A new study released today by the Harvard Forest reports that, following almost 200 years of natural reforestation, forest cover is declining in all six New England states. The authors of the Wildlands and Woodlands report call for conserving 70 percent of New England as forestland, a target that they say is critical to protecting vital natural benefits that would be costly, and in some cases impossible, to replace.

"We've been given a second chance to determine the future of the region's forests. This report calls attention to the pressing need to couple New England's existing conservation capacity and shared land ethic with a vision for the next century in which forests remain an integral part of our livelihoods," said David Foster, lead author of the report and director of the Harvard Forest. Foster points to clean water, climate protection, and renewable wood supply as examples of the forest's many benefits to society.

The report, "Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape," was produced by the Harvard Forest of Harvard University, and authored by 20 scholars in forest science, policy, and finance from across New England. It examines forest trends and promotes strategies for permanently retaining 70 percent of the New England landscape in forest over the next 50 years.  The vision would triple the amount of conserved land in New England while still leaving ample room for future development.

To read the full story click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Emerald Ash Borer in Bedford County PA

Below is the announcement made Tuesday, May 18, 2010 by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Secretary, Russell Redding.  If you see this insect in your area call the EAB hotline: 1-866-253-7189 
Emerald Ash Borer Found in Bedford County; Quarantine Expanded

Campers Again Urged Not to Haul Firewood from Place to Place

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found near Graceville, Bedford, County, bringing to 12 the number of Pennsylvania counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today.

In response to this latest discovery, Redding said a state-imposed quarantine is being expanded to include Bedford County. He reminded residents and visitors to use only locally harvested firewood, burn all of the firewood on-site, and not move it to new locations.

"Our survey crews are acting swiftly to assess the extent of infestation in Bedford County and surrounding areas," said Redding. "As we enter the summer traveling and camping season, the department urges all Pennsylvanians to heed the imposed hardwood firewood quarantine – not just in the specified areas, but throughout the state to prevent any further spread of the beetle."

To read the full story click here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Announcing Sustainable Forestry I Courses

Penn State Cooperative Extension, in partnership with Penn State School of Forest Resources, and the local woodland owner associations are proud to provide you with an opportunity to learn about sustainable forestry through our Introduction to Forest Management course. This is a two part course that is being offered in two locations. To complete the entire course attendance at two evening sessions is necessary.

The first offering will be at Laurel Haven Conservation and Education Center in Julian (Centre County), PA on the evenings of June 2 and 9 from 6-8:30 PM. The second offering will be at Mount Pisgah State Park, Nature Center in Troy (Bradford County), PA on June 16 and 23 from 6 PM-8:30 PM. This course is designed for private forest landowners, professional timber harvesters, and sportsmen and women who are interested in learning more about sustainable forest management. This is an opportunity to talk to natural resource management professionals who have experience in managing forest resources.

Pennsylvania has nearly 17 million acres of forests covering 60% of the state’s land area. The largest share of Pennsylvania’s forest is privately owned, accounting for more than 70% of the forested acres (12.5 million acres). Estimates put the number of private forest owners at more than 750,000. Families own forests for diverse reasons including values such as aesthetics, wildlife, privacy, and family legacy.

The course will cover such topics as forest history, ecology, management techniques, and best management practices. It includes both indoor lecture and outdoor discussions. This course will strengthen your knowledge of sustainable forest management. Without sustainable management forests will not provide future generations with the same quality resources we have today. A follow-up course entitled SF-II, Advanced Forest Management will be offered in the near future.

To register or for more information on the Julian program contact the Penn State Cooperative Extension office in Centre County at 814-355-4897 or e-mail For the Troy program contact the Penn State Cooperative Extension office in Bradford County at 570-265-2896 or e-mail The registration fee is $20.00 per person and includes refreshments and educational materials. The deadline for registration is Friday, May 28th. Participants must be pre-registered. To download a printable copy of the brochure click here.
(Diagram based upon information from Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program, Reforestation: Growing Tomorrow's Forests Today®, © 1998, 2000, American Forest & Paper Association, Inc.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Web Seminar - Migration Madness: Identification of PA Migrant Songbirds

The PA Forests Web Seminar Center is pleased to announce the May on-line program. Margaret Brittingham, Professor of Wildlife Resources, Penn State School of Forest Resources, will be presenting Migration Madness: Identification of Pennsylvania Migrant Songbirds on Tuesday, May 11th at noon and again at 7 p.m. Each seminar lasts approximately one hour.

Every spring Pennsylvania forests come alive with the sounds and sights of migrant birds returning to breed in Pennsylvania. Our forests are summer homes to a variety of birds including warblers, vireos, tanagers and thrushes. This webinar will cover the basics of bird identification and will provide information on the life history, ecology, and identification of many of the migrant songbirds that commonly breed in Pennsylvania forests. This webinar qualifies for 1.0 Society of American Foresters CFE, Category 2 credit.

Live seminars are scheduled for the second Tuesday of every month at noon and 7 p.m. Each session is recorded and loaded onto the Web Seminar Center along with a copy of the presentation and any handout materials. So, if you are unable to participate in the "live" session, a recording of it will be available for you to view at your convenience. Of course, none of the interactive elements will be available when watching the recording.

To participate in the live seminars you must register and have a "Friend of Penn State" user ID. The "Register Now" page on the website will walk you through this process. If you are a member of the Penn State community, you already have your User ID, but we would ask you to register on the website so you can receive up to date notices of upcoming programs.

Participation in the web seminar does not require any special software. To view live and previously recorded seminars all you need is a high-speed Internet connection and sound.

Looking Ahead:
June 8, 2010: Spreading Forest Stewardship to Youth, Sanford "Sandy" Smith, Natural Resources and Youth Education Specialist, Penn State School of Forest Resources, Noon and 7 p.m.