Monday, September 26, 2011

Are white-tailed deer headed for a population crash?

A recent article in the national magazine Outdoor Life entitled  The Deer Depression by Andrew McKean claimed that white-tailed deer populations may be headed for a crash and along with it the number of hunters would greatly decrease.  I would agree that deer populations are facing some serious challenges but I don't feel as though the population is headed for a permanent population crash.

A few noted organizations including the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA)and Deer and Deer Hunting have posted responses to the article.  Unfortunately, I cannot share the full Outdoor Life magazine article with you.  But, the article does point out some interesting difficulties that we are dealing with as far as deer management is concerned.  Two of the biggest threats the article points out are maturing forests and increased predator populations.  This is true across most of Pennsylvania and many other states as well.  Our forests have matured and most provide very poor habitat for carrying large numbers of deer.  We also have all time high bear and coyote populations, higher than the state has seen for over 100 years!

To read the responses click the links below.
QDMA Has the Cure for Outdoor Life's Deer Depression
Deer and Deer hunting: We Are Not Headed for a Deer Depression

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Penn State School of Forest Resources Celebrates Forests

The Penn State School of Forest Resources will host families, friends and Nittany Lion fans at Pennsylvania Forest Fest, a celebration of 2011 as the International Year of Forests.  Festivities will be free and open to the public.  The event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Arboretum at Penn State, on the corner of Bigler Road and Park Avenue at the University Park campus.

Forest Fest will feature forestry demonstrations, exhibits, educational activities for children and adults, food and live entertainment. Scheduled activities include bird-watching walk, identifying the American chestnut tree and its wood, arborist tree-climbing demonstrations, mushroom-hunting walk, logging history in Pennsylvania, tree-identification walk, Penn State Woodsman Team demonstration, and the chemistry of leaf pigmentation.

In addition, musical performances will be offered on the hour, beginning with Hannah Bingman at 10 a.m. Performances by Grain, Pure Cane Sugar, Colebrook Road and Van Wagner will follow.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness to how forests enrich our environment. The aim is for citizens worldwide to experience the forest and to understand how our vitality is linked to our ecosystem.

The School of Forest Resources in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences provides professional education and research dedicated to the management of forest resources and their use by society.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Penn State Extension Offers Invasive Weeds and Pests Workshop

Ailanthus altissima
Invasive weeds and pests are a major threat to our natural and cultivated landscapes, spreading quickly and displacing or killing native plants. Invasive species (plants, insects, and animals) are costing the United States more than $138 billion each year, due to their economic impact on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, waterways, wildlife, and ornamental landscapes. Ecologists now rank invasion by exotic plants, animals and pathogens second only to habitat loss as a major threat to local biodiversity.

On Thursday, October 6th, 2011 a workshop titled “Managing Invasive Weeds and Pests in the Landscape” will be held at the Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre from 8:30am – 3:45pm. Experts from Penn State University and the Department of Agriculture will discuss landscape weed identification and management; exotic invasive plant identification and control, safe use of herbicides and pesticides, and control strategies for emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that is in Pennsylvania. Participants will learn how to control invasive plants  and insects.

PDA Pesticide Applicator Credits will be assigned in Core, Category 5, 6, 7, 10 and 23.

Fore more information and registration details click here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PA Forests Web Seminar Center - September Presentation

Penn State Extension's PA Forests Web Seminar Center will be starting up again this September with their first webinar on Teusday, September 13th.  Below is a brief description and instructions on how you can join the webinar which will be provided live at noon and again at 7:00 PM.

The Landowners Guide to Tree Planting Success
This presentation will guide you through the steps to take to make the most of your tree planting project.  The presentation will cover the steps to take to get the right trees in the right place and increase their growth and survival.  The trees you plant today can change the long-term attractiveness, wildlife value, and even the financial equity of your land.  With some pre-planning and thought your trees will serve the purpose you had intended and provide all the environmental benefits trees can.

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.  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.

To register and take part in the live seminars or to view the upcoming seminars schedule, visit the Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar CenterWe look forward to having you join these discussions and learning experiences. "See" you there on September 13.