Monday, April 30, 2018

Thinning Forests to Save the Birds

This video was just release on You Tube.  We get an early look at the NRCS Joint Chiefs projects featuring two Pennsylvania Forest Landowners.......Enjoy. 

Meet John Hoover, Mike and Laura Jackson, Pennsylvania landowners who are using targeted cuts to manage for diverse forests on their properties. Healthy forests, just like healthy human populations, are sustained by a diversity of ages. Each group has a role to play in maintaining the whole community over the long term.

But forests are becoming homogenous especially in the East, and diverse forests are on the decline. The loss of diverse forests negatively impacts on many different wildlife species, including the golden-winged warbler and cerulean warbler.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pennsylvania Bear Mange Epidemic Focus of New Study

by Jeff Mulhollem
Penn State University
April 25, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania's black bear population is experiencing a mange epidemic, and a Penn State research team will work with the state Game Commission to gain a better understanding of the disease and develop strategies to manage it.

Mange is a highly contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites that results in hair loss and sometimes emaciation and death. It has afflicted mammals around the world for centuries and likely much longer. To learn why the disease has grown so common and severe in Pennsylvania bears in recent years, a small group of biologists, immunologists and entomologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will study bear ecology, movement and immune response.

Researchers also will focus on the genetics of the sarcoptes mites and ticks the bears are carrying.

"Mange is a recurring problem in Pennsylvania but it is occurring at an accelerating and seemingly unprecedented pace in bears," said lead researcher Erika Machtinger, assistant professor of entomology and a certified wildlife biologist. "We want to work with the Game Commission to try to figure out what's going on. Different species of skin mites can be found in bears in other states but this severe outbreak of sarcoptic mange is a unique Pennsylvania situation."

Researchers will help a Game Commission crew trap, radio collar and then track 36 bears for two years, analyzing tissue and blood samples taken from the animals. Bear trapping for the study began this month and will continue through the summer. People who see bears with mange in Pennsylvania are urged to contact the appropriate Game Commission region office: Northwest, 814-432-3187; Southwest, 724-238-9523; Southcentral, 814-643-1831; Northcentral, 570-398-4744; Northeast, 570-675-1143; and Southeast, 610-926-3136.

To read the full story click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

New Publication Available on the Ecology and Management of Northern Red Oak

By Karen Bennett, Forestry Professor and Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension

Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is one of the highest-valued species for both timber production and wildlife amenities. In New England, the species is declining due to regeneration difficulties, dwindling farmland abandonment, and losses from deer browsing.

The new publication, Ecology andManagement of Northern Red Oak in New England, attempts to assemble and evaluate information on red oak ecology, management, and habitat that is especially applicable to New England. Red oak appears to occupy a different niche here than in other regions, and research from those regions may not fully apply.

The authors provide silvicultural and habitat information and recommendations for northern red oak using literature from within and outside the region, coupled with a synthesis of many observations by the authors and practicing foresters. Topics include site factors, regeneration, succession, stocking, growth, quality, step-by-step silvicultural prescriptions, damaging agents, and wildlife habitat.

It is available free of charge. You can access this publication online.

The guide was written by a multiagency, multidisciplinary team to address the specific issues land managers face. The authors welcome comments and questions: 

  • William B. Leak ( and Mariko Yamasaki (, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Durham, NH
  • Jeff Ward (,) The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Ken Desmarais (, U.S. Forest Service, White Mountain National Forest, NH formerly NH Division of Forests and Lands
  • Karen P. Bennett (, UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, NH

Monday, April 16, 2018

Penn State Extension Releases Online Forest Taxation Course

Forest Taxation: Forest Finance and Timber Tax Education for Landowners and Professionals

Private landowners, small business owners, and other professionals such as accountants, lawyers, tax preparers, financial advisers, and natural resource managers, encounter questions concerning the taxation and planning for forestry operations. The tax code is notoriously complicated and even seasoned professionals may not be familiar with how it applies to forests and woodlots, but understanding these rules can help forest landowners save money. Choices you make about how to set up your accounts or structure a timber sale can have enormous financial implications. This course will give you a framework within which to understand these concepts, and to work knowledgeably with other members of your tax team or advise forest landowner clients. In this self-guided online course, you learn to apply forest finance and timber tax concepts, including:

•Forest Management and Valuation
•Establishment of Capital Accounts, Basis, Form T, and Recordkeeping
•Deduction of Forestry Expenses
•Timber Sales and Income
•Reforestation Tax Incentives
•Conservation Easements
•Estate Planning
•Timber Ownership Categories and Rules for Reporting Expenses and Losses
•Cost Share Programs
•Casualty and Non-Casualty Loss
•Depreciation and Section 179 Deduction
•Christmas Tree Sales