Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019 Forest Landowners Conference

Working Woods for Today and Tomorrow

Owners of large and small woodlots can learn how to better manage and enjoy their property at the 4th biennial Forest Landowners Conference to be held March 22-23 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, PA. Sponsored by the Center for Private Forests at Penn State and its partners, this two-day event brings together the best tools, instructors, resources, and connections to equip Pennsylvania’s forest landowners with the ability to make informed decisions that ensure the present and future well-being of their woods. A carefully crafted lineup of presentations, keynote speakers, tours, workshops, and exhibitors will inspire, educate, and build the growing community of forest landowners committed to caring for their woods.

One of the main features of the conference is the nine learning sessions with 11 presentation offerings at each session. The breadth and diversity of presentation offerings provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about topics relevant to their needs and interests. Topics range from forest health, wildlife, water, financial, legacy planning, and small acreage opportunities to drones, charcoal, prescribed fire, pollinators, and wildlife diseases. For conference details and to register visit ecosystems.psu.edu/forest-conference or call 1-877-778-2937.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Will Sunday Hunting in Pennsylvania become a Reality?

Sunday hunting bans are one of the last remaining examples of the puritanical blue laws that were initially designed to encourage church attendance. Today, most of the blue laws have been repealed. Pennsylvania is currently one of 3 states that either severely restricts or completely bans Sunday hunting. The other two states are ME and MA. Currently in Pennsylvania only fox, coyotes, and crows can be hunted on Sundays.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the State Senate Game and Fisheries Committee approved Senate Bill 147, legislation which would give the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners the authority to regulate hunting on Sundays.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission supports this legislation that would give the agency the authority to determine for which species Sunday hunting should be lawful. The legislation approved must pass the full Senate, the House of Representatives, and be signed by the Governor before it could become law.

The current prohibition on Sunday hunting is in state law, and the Game Commission does not have the authority to change it without legislative action. Please contact your local state representative and/or state senator on this topic.

The General Assembly of Pennsylvania
Senate Bill No. 147
Session of 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Cervids and Chronic Wasting Disease

I wanted to pass along and interesting article that sheds light on where we are with chronic wasting disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease: What You Need To Know
By Lisa Ballard
February 5, 2019
The Nature Conservancy, Cool Green Science

A year ago, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) showed up in several mule deer and white-tailed deer by Montana’s borders with Wyoming and Canada. Anxiety across the state was palpable. One of those locations was a mere 10 miles from my house; I admit I was seriously worried.

CWD is highly contagious among cervids: deer, elk, moose, reindeer, caribou. There’s no known cure, and it’s always fatal. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns us to avoid exposure to it, as no one knows whether humans can contract it or not. Unfortunately, once CWD comes to an area, it’s impossible to get rid of it.

Montana is one of 26 states to report CWD. The disease was first detected in Colorado in the 1960s. At first it spread via captive cervids, but then it infected wild populations as well. The presence of CWD has spawned a lot of interest among conservationists and hunters, and it’s also generated plenty of misinformation and conspiracy theories. Here’s a primer on the disease and what it means for you.

To read the rest of the article click here.