Friday, January 28, 2011

Pennsylvania's Successful Deer Management Program

Pennsylvania’s deer management program has been nationally recognized for many years, both favorably and unfavorably. Historically it was recognized as one of the poorest in the country. More recently it has been recognized as a national leader – deer herds in balance with what the habitat could support, balanced adult sex ratios, complete age structures, healthy deer, improved habitat health, and increased recreational opportunity. These successes are the result of a science-based deer management program and sweeping changes implemented nearly 10 years ago. These changes are supported by the majority of Pennsylvania sportsmen and women.

Annually the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), an organization founded to promote healthy, balanced, productive, sustainable deer herds and habitats – not to produce more deer, publishes their Whitetail Report. The report is intended to be a useful resource for communicators, media members, industry leaders, and hunters.

Here are some comparisons from the report that show how Pennsylvania’s program stacks up:
• PA is one of only six states in the U.S. to harvest more than 300,000 whitetails annually;
• In 2009 PA harvested 2.4 antlered bucks per square mile (PSM)– this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (2.0) and Midwestern (1.5 bucks PSM) states;
• In 2009 for the first time in several decades (or maybe ever) over half of PA’s antlered buck harvest was 2.5 years or older;
• In 2009 PA harvested 4.4 antlerless deer PSM – this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (3.2), Midwestern (2.1) and Southeastern (3.6 antlerless deer PSM) states;
• In 2009 PA harvested 1.9 antlerless deer per antlered buck – this is higher than the averages for the Northeastern (1.4), Midwestern (1.4) and Southeastern (1.1 antlerless deer per antlered buck) states.

These comparisons clearly show how well Pennsylvania is doing compared to other states. These are reasons to celebrate our deer management program, not change it or replace its managers. They also highlight the successes of our program; successes that clearly would not be attainable if the herd was mismanaged as some contend.

That brings me to my final point, the Pennsylvania Game Commission Board of Commissioners are to meet and set seasons and bag limits for the coming 2011-2012 deer season from Jan 30-Feb 1. The meetings are open for public comment on Sunday, January 30th beginning at 1:00 PM and again on Monday, January 31st beginning at 8:30 AM. To view the I urge all of you to attend and provide testimony. If you are unable to attend you can write your game commissioners by sending an e-mail to:

(Information provided by Kip Adams, Director of Education and Outreach, QDMA)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Announcing the 2011 Central Region Forest Landowners Conference

Penn State Extension, in partnership with Penn State School of Forest Resources, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, and the Woodland Owners Association of Centre County are pleased to announce the 2011 Central Region Forest Landowners Conference. The conference is scheduled from 9:15 AM - 3:30 PM, Saturday, February 26, 2011, at the Penn State School of Forest Resources Building, University Park, Pennsylvania.

This year’s conference provides valuable updates and information for Pennsylvania’s forest landowners. Topics include: how to restore and regenerate degraded forests, a look at the environmental impacts of Marcellus gas development, a deer management program update by the Game Commission, eastern hemlock’s future as the state tree, threatened and endangered species impacts on private forest owners, and finally forestry programs available in the USDA’s Farm Bill.

To register or for more information contact the Penn State Extension office in Centre County at 814-355-4897 or e-mail  The registration fee is $20.00 per person and includes presentations, a luncheon, and educational materials.  The deadline for registration is Monday, February 21st.  Participants must be pre-registered.  To download a copy of the conference brochure click here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

UPDATED Timber Tax Tips - what is the update?

The US Forester Service , Cooperative Forestry Section recently updated their Tax Tips for Landowners for the 2010 Tax Year based on the bill that was recently signed into law extending the Bush tax cuts for an additional two years.  Below is an explanation of the updates from Dr. Mike Jacobson, Assiciate Professor of Forest Resources at Penn State University.

"Some of you may have heard and have been wondering “what is the update?” The only change in this timber tax update from the previous version sent out last October is the depreciation allowance if you are in the business. Now, for qualified businesses you can elect to expense up to $500,000 in the first year, given certain limitations. It was up to $250,000 before the Congress acted in December. As you know the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years which left most income tax consequences the same as what they were in previous years. If the tax cuts hadn't got extended capital gain and ordinary income rates would have changed. The big change was the estate tax rules which now excludes up to $5 million per spouse at a 35% rate. In 2010 you know there was no estate tax.  Remember, one change that did take effect in 2010 is that all timber sales, regardless of type of sale, now require a 1099 form. So if you sold timber in 2010 make sure that the buyer gives you a 1099." (Dr.Michael Jacobson, 1-6-11)

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Pennsylvania Forest Health Report

Each year the Pennsylvania DCNR, Bureau of Forestry, Division of Forest Pest Management compiles a complete report of the forest health threats and issues the state is facing.  It is excellent information, complete with location maps and photographs.  Below is the program summary.

"The Division of Forest Pest Management protects forest resources in Pennsylvania from harmful insects and diseases through active monitoring, management, cooperation, and public outreach efforts. During 2010, we continued to monitor important forest insects and diseases in the state through ground and aerial surveys. These surveys included emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, Asian longhorned beetle, exotic barks beetles, sudden oak death, and butternut canker disease."

"Preventative measures to protect against emerald ash borer, and biological suppression of hemlock woolly adelgid were conducted throughout the year. The Division participated in several cooperative pest management activities through training and assistance within the Bureau, the Department, and other agencies and institutions at the local, state, and federal levels. In addition, we have continue to promote public outreach on forest health issues across the state through demonstration, training seminars, trade shows, and diagnostic services. This report is intended to outline some of the major achievements of the Division throughout the year."

For the complete report click here.