Monday, December 27, 2021

Pennsylvania Banning Callery (Bradford) Pear

Harrisburg, PA – The PA Department of Agriculture added Callery pear, or Pyrus calleryana, commonly called Bradford Pear to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The popular, non-native, flowering fruit tree naturalizes, spreading from planted landscapes, crowding out other plants and disrupting native ecosystems. The ban on sale and cultivation will take effect February 9, 2022 with enforcement phased in over two years.

"Callery pear is another non-native plant that was brought to this country for its beauty and rapid growth, without regard for its long-term potential to harm our environment and food supply," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "Banning the sale of an invasive plant is an important tool to stop its spread and is a step we take only after careful consideration of the damage it causes and its potential for continued harm to our ecosystem and economy."

Enforcement of the ban will be phased in over two years to allow time for nurseries and landscaping businesses to eliminate it from their stock and replace the trees with alternatives that pose less threat to the environment and agriculture. The department has established an exemption procedure for breeders who own the rights to varieties that have been researched and proven sterile, and will consider exempting these varieties from the ban.

Callery pear was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s by researchers looking for a fire blight-resistant species that could be bred with European pear to increase fruit production. It has garnered attention in recent years as a prolific invader that can easily spread into woodlands, pastures, fields and natural areas.

Property owners should control the tree's spread on their land and consider native alternatives when planting new trees. Find native alternatives and information on how to control the plant on the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website,

The timeline for the two-year rollout of the ban is as follows:

Winter 2021 - Callery pear added to Pennsylvania's Controlled plant and Noxious Weed list as a Class B weed. Class B weeds are those that are so prolific they cannot realistically be eradicated. These plants are targeted for control measures.

February 2022 – Nursery and landscape businesses will receive notice from the department, advising them to immediately begin adjusting propagation, ordering and planting of Callery Pear to decrease inventory.

February 2023 – The department will issue letters of warning to any plant merchant still selling Callery Pear, providing a date in February 2024 after which remaining inventory will be subject to a destruction order.

February 2024 – The department will issue Stop Sale and destruction orders to plant merchants selling or distributing Callery Pear.

Merchants with questions should contact

Find more information about Callery pear and other noxious, controlled and poisonous plants in Pennsylvania  visit For comprehensive information about controlling numerous invasive plants in Pennsylvania, visit:

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

New Video on Invasive Species by NY DEC

 New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) brings you, “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species”. It tells the story of invasive species in NYS and how the DEC and their partners are tackling them. 

One of the biggest ways you can help stop invasive species is by educating friends, family, and neighbors about the small choices they can make that have a big impact, such as: Using local firewood, cleaning, draining, and drying your watercraft and gear, removing mud and debris off your equipment, boots, gear, and pets. 

Uninvited was filmed in 2018. Invasive species move fast; Since the time of filming there have been some updates to the information provided in the film.

Check it out at:

Monday, October 11, 2021

Barberry Added to List of Plants Illegal to Sell in Pennsylvania

Beginning October 6, 2021, Japanese barberry and two other invasive plant species were added to the list of plants that are illegal to propagate or sell in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee placed a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 7 officially adding the following species to the Noxious Weed List as Class B noxious weeds:

             Berberis thunbergia, Japanese barberry

             Microstegium vimineum, Japanese stiltgrass

             Alliaria petiolate, garlic mustard

This becomes effective 60 days after notice.

Most notable is the addition of Japanese barberry, a popular nursery and landscaping plant. Until the Department of Agriculture develops a process to apply for permission to sell sterile varieties, both sterile and nonsterile varieties are banned.

The first two years of enforcement will be incremental, to allow for outreach to plant merchants, landscape professionals, and other states to enable the industry to work towards compliance. 

Noxious weeds are determined to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, and agricultural land or other property and cannot be sold, transported, planted, or otherwise propagated in Pennsylvania. Class B noxious weeds are widely established and cannot feasibly be eradicated. You can learn more about the Pennsylvania’s Noxious weed law by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Audubon’s Healthy Forests Guide is Now Available!

Audubon Mid-Atlantic's newest resource for Pennsylvania is here, along with two updated companion publications. Designed for industry professionals, including consulting and public-lands foresters, Healthy Forests: A Bird-based Silvicultural Guide for Forestry Professionals, is chock full of silviculture guidance, management scenarios, and ideas for successful bird-friendly forestry.  

The guide weaves together effective, traditional forest management techniques with bird-friendly practices that support multiple objectives, including wildlife habitat enhancement/creation, timber production, forest regeneration, and recreation. Understanding that every forest property, client, and situation is unique, the guide includes sections like 'Selling Silviculture' with tips for engaging landowners. The ‘Silvicultural Options and Scenarios’ section describes effective management solutions for common forest conditions and issues found across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Available alongside the Healthy Forests Guide are two companion pieces: the Forest Birds Pocket Guide and the Healthy Forests Quick Start Guide.   

The Forest Birds Pocket Guide includes detailed descriptions of the habitat and forest conditions needed by 18 priority bird species in Pennsylvania. It’s an easy-to-use companion to the Healthy Forests Guide with supplemental material to help inform management decisions for priority birds.  

The Healthy Forests Quick Start Guide is the perfect tool for those of you who are already familiar with incorporating bird-friendly practices into forest management prescriptions. It’s concise, relevant, and easy to use, with everything you need on just a single page.     

Audubon’s Healthy Forests Guide benefitted from critical funding and partnerships with Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hamer Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, The Nature Conservancy, Penn State Extension, American Forest Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, and the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture. Each was instrumental in helping to develop this guide so that it would be useful and relevant to foresters across the commonwealth.  

Learn more and download the guides here.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Bees Are Essential

The USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership have teamed up to produce an excellent 40-page full color publication entitled Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees. It is authored by Beatriz Moisset, Ph.D. and Stephen Buchmann, Ph.D. with Illustrations by Steve Buchanan. This publication shares a close up look at this treasure of native bees. They provide an invaluable ecosystem service, pollination, to 80 percent of flowering plants. Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in this country.

Native bees are a hidden treasure, they can be found anywhere in North America, where flowers bloom. Native pollinators have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s altered landscapes, native pollinators continue to do the yeomen’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants. The world as we know it would not exist if there were no bees to pollinate the earth’s 250,000 flowering plants.

Some native bees and other pollinators are experiencing population declines and range reductions. Many of the same factors affecting honey bee health are also affecting native bee species health as well. A number of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private individuals are creating pollinator gardens throughout the country that will benefit native bees and other pollinators. Helping native bees is essential to our continued survival, health, and well-being. These animals benefit us all because of the invaluable ecosystem services they provide to the environment and to our farms, forests, and gardens.

Get involved, observe bees with close focusing binoculars; plant a small pollinator garden; or help a neighbor, student, or family member drill small holes in scrap lumber to create a bee house. Do your share to make sure this precious legacy continues. Click here to read the full publication. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Timber sales publication will serve as a guide for landowners

Timber harvesting is an important management tool. When conducted with care and planning, it allows owners to manage forests to meet multiple objectives. Landowners choose to conduct timber sales for a variety of reasons. The decision to harvest may be recommended in a management plan or it may be unexpected.

Regardless of the reason, a successful timber harvest that meets landowner goals begins with a forest resource professional developing a plan. Timber harvesting is a time when landowners can improve their woods for what they value, such as enhancing wildlife habitat, or cause real damage from which the woods might not recover for generations.

A new publication from Penn State Extension titled, “Timber Sales: A Guide to Selling Timber,” is available to help landowners understand how timber sales are conducted. This 12-page publication outlines a seven-step process. “It will assist forest landowners in understanding how a timber sale is conducted and how to retain the services of a forestry professional,” said Dave Jackson, forestry educator and publication co-author. “It is not a definitive how-to guide as much of the process will depend on each specific situation.”

Timber harvesting is not a process to be entered into lightly. Harvests involve complex decisions across many issues, including ecology, forest operations, business, law, taxes, marketing and negotiation. Harvests have both short- and long-term consequences for the landowner and the forest. This publication is a first step in helping landowners understand some of these consequences and how they can ensure a successful outcome.

Selling timber is complicated and requires substantial investments in time and a thorough understanding of the industry. Timber sales have the potential to impact site productivity, wildlife habitat, water quality, aesthetics, income, taxes, estate planning — the list goes on. Those lacking the proper level of experience should use this publication as a reference to understand how foresters can help and what they strive to accomplish on the landowner’s behalf.

A satisfactory harvest experience is no accident; it is the result of thoughtful planning and hard work. Planning is critical to ensuring a positive outcome, one that meets landowner objectives and sustainability guidelines. To ensure a successful timber sale, landowners must have a clear understanding of the process, this new Extension publication can help.

The publication, “Timber Sales: A Guide to Selling Timber,” is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To view the full publication, visit or call 877-345-0691.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Learning Among Forest Landowners and Professionals

Join us for this interactive webinar, presented in partnership with Penn State Extension, PA DCNR William Penn State Forest District, and the Brandywine Conservancy. It will explore some of the common perceptions (both true and false) held by Pennsylvania's private forest (woodland) landowners. Statements commonly made by landowners about their woods, wildlife, forest pests, timber management, and the intersection between forest management and conservation easement protections will be used to facilitate sharing and learning. Using a collaborative learning approach, the presenters will ask participants what they think about several statements presented to them. Participants will be encouraged to write in their responses and share personal thoughts and experiences during the webinar. The presenters will then respond and share their own comments and knowledge. Questions and further discussion will be encouraged after each statement is covered.  

Sanford Smith and David Jackson of Penn State Extension will lead the discussion with input from Steve Wacker, PA DCNR William Penn State Forest District Manager, and Stephanie Armpriester and Kristen Frentzel of the Brandywine Conservancy.

The webinar will be presented on Thursday, May 13th from 7:00 - 8:30 PM (EDT) online via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.  You can register here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

New Landowner Guidance for Bat Conservation

Photo: US National Park Service

Almost all North American bats rely on forests for survival. Individual forest landowners can play a large role in supporting these important animals, and a new publication authored by the White-nose Syndrome Response Team offers guidance on how.

Forest Management and Bats describes how active forest management can improve forest health and productivity while maintaining and enhancing bat habitat. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Control Invasive Shrubs in Spring

Shrub honeysuckle leafing out early
Basal bark herbicide applications are targeted treatments you can make year-round yet are particularly effective and simple to apply in spring. Most common invasive shrub species are easily controlled with these applications. They include Japanese barberry, shrub honeysuckles, autumn olive, multiflora rose, privet, and many others. These species are common invaders of woodlands and natural areas across the mid-Atlantic region.

Most invasive shrubs tend to leaf out early in the spring, well before our native tree and shrub species do and before most perennial plants have emerged from the ground. By leafing our early, they can be easily spotted by scanning across the woodland understory or an early successional meadow. This characteristic makes them easy to find and identify as invasive thus allowing you to identify where these invaders are located.

Basal bark herbicide applications permit you to be very specific and targeted in your control efforts. This application allows you to place the herbicide directly onto the stems of the invasive shrubs when native trees and shrubs are still dormant. In addition, because most perennial plants have not emerged yet, applications to lower stems can be made very easily and efficiently. Making applications this time of year greatly minimizes the possibility of damaging desirable native plant species.

Basal bark herbicide applications are made using a low-pressure backpack sprayer to wet the lower 12–15 inches of the stem using a solid cone or flat fan nozzle. To be effective, it is important to wet the entire stem, root collar area, and any exposed roots. Basal bark herbicides use an oil carrier (commercially available basal oil, diesel fuel, no. 1 or no. 2 fuel oil, or kerosene) to penetrate the bark. Commercially available basal oils come in either mineral or vegetable-based formulations.

To make basal bark herbicide applications there are a few pieces of equipment you will need, including a backpack sprayer; my preference is a Birchmeier backpack. Birchmeier’s are a commercial grade backpack with viton seals that will hold up to oil-based formulations. The wand that comes with the sprayer will work but I would suggest changing the nozzle to a Y1 or Y-2 brass adjustable cone. If making basal bark applications to large acreage you may also want to consider investing in the B & G Extenda-Ban low-volume basal wand. This wand in a commercial grade wand with a shut off valve built into the tip. This prevents over-applying and dripping product from target to target. It will save you money in the long run.

Numerous products are labeled for basal bark applications. The ester formulation of triclopyr is the active ingredient of choice for woodland applications. It is found in a number of different products and in ready to use formulations. The herbicide is mixed with basal oil at a 20% rate for low-volume applications. This means each gallon solution will contain a mixture of 20% herbicide and 80% basal oil. Note, this is the low-volume application rate where you are applying a concentrated solution to the stem but NOT to the point where run-off at the groundline is noticeable.

Japanese barberry controlled with basal bark herbicide

Triclopyr ester formulations are general use herbicides, meaning in Pennsylvania they can be purchased and applied by the landowner to their own property. They contain 61.6% triclopyr-ester active ingredient unless using a ready-to-use formulation, which are only 13.6% active ingredient. Triclopyr ester is a systemic herbicide absorbed by the plant through the bark and translocated throughout the plants vascular system.

Triclopyr works by disturbing plant growth. It accumulates in plant meristems, cells where growth takes place, causing uneven cell division and growth. Triclopyr binds to soil organic matter and clay particles, which limits its movement in the soil and prevents root uptake by desirable plants. It biodegrades quickly with half the active ingredient degraded by soil microorganisms and sunlight within 30–45 days. The herbicide is classified as only slightly toxic with a CAUTION signal word on the product label.

Basal bark herbicide treatments allow for targeted invasive shrub control in spring with little danger of off-site and nontarget species damage. They are well suited for treating small-diameter stems. Basal bark herbicide applications provide year-round application flexibility but are particularly effect at controlling invasive shrubs in spring when they are just starting to leaf out. Triclopyr ester herbicides control a wide range of species including the most problematic invasive shrubs. It is a general use herbicide, meaning landowners can purchase and apply it to their own properties without certification in Pennsylvania. Be sure to read and follow the herbicide label, it is a legal document.

To read the full article and view a short video visit the Penn State Extension web site.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

American Chestnut Videos

Below you will find links to three videos on the American chestnut. The videos provide valuable updates about the restoration of the species following it's demise from the blight.  

These first two videos, from the USDA Forest Service’s Southern Research Station, are on restoration of the American chestnut in the southern Appalachians. The videos feature information on the Southern Research Station’s chestnut research, the National Forest System’s silvicultural program, The University of Tennessee’s Tree Improvement Program, and The American Chestnut Foundation’s backcross breeding program.

Video: Restoration Research ofthe American Chestnut (Part 1 Intro)

The American chestnut was once a common and abundant tree species that occupied 200 million acres in the eastern hardwood forests of North America. The species had a cultural significance and was a keystone species, providing wildlife with food and habitat sources. Two non-native pathogens led to the chestnut's extirpation in the 20th century, but efforts are underway to conserve and restore this iconic tree.

Video: Restoration Research ofthe American Chestnut (Part 2: Science in Action)

The USDA Forest Service, The University of Tennessee, and other partners showcase their research on the American chestnut (Castanea dentata), a species that was extirpated by a non-native pathogen (Cryphonectria parasitica) that causes chestnut blight disease. Over 4,000 hybrid chestnuts that were bred for blight-resistance were planted on three national forests since 2009, and research is still ongoing.

This next video is by Dr. William A. Powell.  Dr. Powell is the Director of the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His team has focused on enhancing blight tolerance by adding only a couple genes to the approximately 38,000 gene pairs in the chestnut genome using the tools of genetic engineering (GE). This is important because these GE tools retain all of the American chestnut genes required for its adaptation to its forest ecosystem.

The most promising gene tested to date comes from bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and encodes an oxalate detoxifying enzyme, called oxalate oxidase (OxO). This gene is a common defense gene found in many plants and it can confer enhanced blight tolerance in American chestnut. The original blight tolerant trees have been outcrossed to susceptible American chestnut trees through three generations to date, increasing genetic diversity and local adaptation. Environmental impact experiments have been completed and these trees are currently under federal review before being released to the public and to restoration programs. This video describes the program and its current progress toward restoring this keystone species.

Video: The Chestnut Tree: Bringing Back an American Icon

Billions of American Chestnut trees used to grow in America—and then a fungal blight spread throughout its native range. By the 21st century, this population had all but disappeared. Using revolutionary technology, the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project aims to resuscitate the Castanea dentata. In this Stories of Impact video, William A. Powell (SUNY ESF) and Rex Mann (The American Chestnut Foundation) discuss the American chestnut and their goal of restoring the iconic tree to its former glory. Supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, this first-of-its-kind project is engineering a blight-resistant chestnut and reintroducing it to its native habitat.

Monday, March 22, 2021

How to Talk About Hunting Webinar Series

How to Talk About Hunting Webinar Series to Provide Research-Based Communications Instruction 

Responsive Management, in partnership with the Hunters’ Leadership Forum of the NRA and the support of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, will conduct a free webinar series covering material from the new book, How to Talk About Hunting: Research-Based Communications Strategies.

Humans have hunted for almost 2 million years, and more than 11 million Americans continue to hunt today. In addition to providing numerous cultural and ecological benefits, hunters contribute the bulk of state-based funding for wildlife conservation in the United States. Additionally, every fish and wildlife agency across the United States is legislatively mandated to manage and provide opportunities for hunting. Despite these facts, legal, regulated hunting remains vulnerable to the volatile nature of public opinion. The future of hunting and an integral portion of conservation funding in America depend on cultural support. This means that wildlife professionals must use language that resonates with non-hunters and those unfamiliar with hunting.

The How to Talk About Hunting webinar series includes four separate sessions devoted to individual areas of focus from the book. Webinar presenters include Mark Damian Duda, founder and executive director of Responsive Management and senior author of How to Talk About Hunting: Research-Based Communications Strategies; Sam Nelson, founding partner of A-Game Speech and Debate Consulting and a senior lecturer at Cornell University; and Armands Revelins, researcher and consultant with A-Game Speech and Debate Consulting and Assistant Director of Speech & Debate Programs and Director of Policy Debate at Cornell University.

The webinar series includes the following sessions:

Webinar 1: Why Communicating About Hunting Is Important (Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT). The first webinar will explain why communicating about hunting is important and focus on the implications of effective communications about hunting (agency mandates, conservation funding, etc.). This webinar will also provide an overview of the fundamentals of effective communications. The webinar will be presented by Mark Damian Duda and Sam Nelson.

Webinar 2: Attitudes Toward Hunting, Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, and Dominionism (Friday, April 16, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT). The second webinar will focus on content and major takeaways from Chapters 4 (“Attitudes Toward Hunting”) and 5 (“Attitudes Toward Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, and Dominionism”). This webinar will provide participants with a thorough overview of the latest research that underpins the communications guidelines. The webinar will be presented by Mark Damian Duda.

Webinar 3: Communications Strategies (Thursday, April 22, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT). The third webinar will provide extensive instruction on formal and informal communications strategies, including persuasive tactics and effective messaging. Content in this webinar will draw on Chapters 9 (“Debating About Hunting”) and 10 (“Developing Formal Communications Programs in Support of Hunting”) of the book. The webinar will be presented by Sam Nelson and Armands Revelins of A-Game Speech & Debate.

Webinar 4: Talking About Hunting: Don’ts and Dos (Friday, April 23, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT). The final webinar will present the most important “don’ts” and “dos” for communicating about hunting, drawing primarily on the final chapter of the book. This webinar will focus on the core guidelines and best practices for effective communications about hunting. The webinar will be presented by Mark Damian Duda and Sam Nelson.

Click HERE to register for the webinars.

By taking a proactive approach to communications, hunters, conservationists, and members of the wildlife profession will become more effective proponents of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. In doing so, they will help to build the public support for hunting that remains essential in today’s society.

For questions or additional information about the webinar series, please contact us at

Webinar participants will receive a free copy of How to Talk About Hunting thanks to the generous support of Hunters’ Leadership Forum donors. If you do not already have a copy, please email Peter Churchbourne at

Thursday, March 18, 2021

USDA Seeks Input on Climate Smart Ag and Forestry

The USDA is currently seeking public comment on President Biden’s Executive Order on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” As you all know, Pennsylvania is a forest and forest products industry leader, so we should ensure that our voices are reflected in the comments.

“USDA wants to understand how to best use their programs, funding and financing capacities, and other authorities, and how to encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices that decrease wildfire risk fueled by climate change and result in additional, measurable, and verifiable carbon reductions and sequestration and that source sustainable bioproducts and fuels. This public input will be considered as USDA prepares recommendations to expand climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices and systems. The feedback requested through this Executive Order is far-reaching; it encompasses the best use of USDA programs, funding and financing capabilities, authorities, and encouragement of voluntary conservation adoption.”

There are four main categories on input, each with specific questions that the USDA wants public comment on:

1.            Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry

2.            Biofuels, Wood and Other Bioproducts, and Renewable Energy

3.            Addressing Catastrophic Wildfire

4.            Environmental Justice and Disadvantaged Communities

The public comment period is open through April 30. Comments can be submitted online via under Docket No. USDA-2021-0003. Additional information is available on the USDA website. Please feel free to share this email with stakeholder, members, and others who would like to provide comment.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

DEP Provides Guidance on Erosion & Sedimentation Plan Reviews

Many timber harvesters in Pennsylvania are running into issues with municipal ordinances that require written Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plans (E&S Plans) be submitted to and approved by the local County Conservation District prior to the granting of a timber harvesting permit, even when there is no state regulatory requirement to do so. Most, if not all, County Conservation Districts charge a review fee for these approvals, and those fees unnecessarily add several hundred or even thousands of dollars to the cost of a timber harvesting operation.

Through Act 38 of 2005, also known as “ACRE” (Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment) the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has specifically addressed this issue with a number of municipalities across the state. While each ordinance issue reviewed through ACRE is unique and fact specific, and the determinations of one review do not necessarily have predictive value as to how the OAG would handle future cases, the OAG has stated that “The [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP] erosion and sediment control regulations do not require submission of an E&S plan to the Conservation District and the Conservation District has not role in DEP’s approving of such plans.” The OAG further stated “The Township may, at its own expense, submit an applicant’s E&S Plan to the Conservation District for review to check compliance with the regulations.

Because the Conservation Districts’ authority is delegated to them by DEP, the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association wrote a letter to the Department in July of 2020 about this issue and requested that the Conservation Districts be provided with guidance on E&S plan reviews. In their December 2nd response, DEP provided the following guidance to the Conservation Districts, which might also be helpful to timber harvesters and administrators.

· Districts are not prohibited from reviewing E&S Plans under the ACRE law. If a landowner/operator or municipality requests a District to review an E&S Plan, the District may do so.


· Even where an E&S Plan is not required to be reviewed prior to earth disturbance, if an E&S Plan is required to be developed and implemented, it must be available on site during all stages of the earth disturbance activity (25 Pa. Code § 102.4(b)(8)). DEP or the District can request to review the E&S Plan at any time during an inspection or upon complaint (25 Pa. Code § 102.4(b)(9)). If a landowner/operator refuses to provide their E&S Plan upon request in one of these situations, the refusal may constitute a violation of Chapter 102 and should be addressed through appropriate enforcement means.


· According to the Attorney General, municipalities may not require a landowner/operator to submit an E&S Plan to DEP or a District if Chapter 102 does not require such a review. Although DEP does not enforce the ACRE law, DEP respects the opinion of the Attorney General. If a District is aware of a municipal ordinance that requires a landowner to submit an E&S Plan for review outside of Chapter 102 requirements, the District can suggest that the municipality review their ordinance and the opinions of the Attorney General’s office on this issue. The District cannot provide legal advice, however the Attorney General’s website provides publicly-available resources on the ACRE law that may be of assistance to the municipality (see, for example,


· Districts and municipalities may enter into MOUs that include the review of timber harvesting E&S Plans, however, in accordance with the opinion of the Attorney General, any such MOU should not require that landowners/operators submit E&S Plans to the District if not otherwise required to do so under Chapter 102. An MOU that allows the municipality to submit E&S Plans for review at the municipality’s sole expense is acceptable. Districts should review any existing MOUs with municipalities to ensure that the MOU is not in conflict with the opinions of the Attorney General regarding the ACRE law.

Both letters are available on the Pennsylvania SFI website

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Spotted Lanternfly 2021 Quarantine Increases

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has just added 8 counties to the spotted lanternfly quarantine, creating a total of 34 counties under a state-imposed quarantine. These include: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, York, Wayne, and Westmoreland.

A county is placed under quarantine when

evidence of a reproducing population of spotted lanternflies, such as an egg mass, is found by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The newly added 8 counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation, which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county. This action is taken as a precaution and reflects the importance of awareness for early detection and stopping this pest in these new areas.

The spotted lanternfly quarantine regulates the movement of plants, plant-based materials, and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area to keep this pest from spreading. Businesses/ organizations that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a spotted lanternfly permit. A permit shows other businesses and states that a company has done its due diligence to avoid transporting the pest to new areas. This applies to the entire county quarantined, not just the affected municipalities. Businesses should plan to become permitted as soon as possible and may send any questions regarding the permit to . Additionally, businesses may check whether they need a permit by using this resource.

Because the populations in the new areas are much smaller compared to the original population in southeastern Pennsylvania, it is critical that we do our part to prevent further spread of this insect to new areas. If you see it, destroy it, take a photo if possible and make note of when, where and how many were seen. Then, report it by calling the spotted lanternfly hotline at 1-888-422-3359 or report it online here. Be sure that you do not move any life stage of spotted lanternfly, including the egg masses.

Newly found spotted lanternfly populations will be intensively managed by the Pennsylvania and U.S. Departments of Agriculture with the goal of local eradication. To that end, regulatory representatives may need access to properties near the infestation area to conduct treatments or monitoring. We encourage cooperation with these treatments. These officials will always provide proper documentation and identification. They will not ask for any form of payment.

The success of stopping the spotted lanternfly depends on help from the public to look for and report signs of the pest. It is easier to stop a few than it is a few hundred. To learn more about the spotted lanternfly including pictures, visit the Penn State Extension website.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Trees and Climate

It is easy to understand the importance of planting trees when talking about climate change, but cutting them down is not often, if ever, mentioned.  Having just finished posting a six-part series on trees, wood products, and carbon I thought you all might be interested in the below article as well. 

As we just witnessed the terrible destruction out west due to the terrible wildfire season they experienced we have seen first-hand the importance of managing our forests.  We also know that wood is a very environmentally friendly product.  Not only is it renewable and biodegradable but it is also has a very low carbon footprint when used and is carbon neutral as new trees sequester carbon on harvested sites.  So how do we get to where the general public understands how important it is not only to grow new trees but also to use and manage the existing trees.

Let me know what you think about Jonah Bader's opinion piece.

Plant trees, sure. But to savethe climate, we should also cut them down

Opinion by Jonah Bader

Updated 8:34 PM ET, Wed February 10, 2021

"Jonah Bader is an associate producer for "Fareed Zakaria GPS." The views expressed in this commentary are his own. Read more opinion at CNN."

(CNN) Democrats have set their sights on passing major climate legislation, but with a razor-thin majority in Congress, they need to look for common ground with Republicans. One of the most promising ideas is to plant a vast number of trees -- and also to cut them down.

President Joe Biden has announced an ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. That would mean switching to renewable energy, expanding public transit, retrofitting buildings, and a host of other policies to slash greenhouse gas emissions. But even in the best-case scenario, it won't be possible to eliminate all emissions. The idea of "net-zero emissions" is that any remaining emissions can be fully offset by so-called "negative emissions" -- methods of sucking carbon out of the atmosphere.

Planting trees is the most straightforward way to do that. Trees absorb CO2 for photosynthesis and store it as cellulose and lignin, the main components of wood.

Planting trees may also be the most popular climate policy. Even former President Donald Trump loved the idea. He championed an international initiative to plant 1 trillion trees, which would be enough to soak up at least a decade of global emissions. When Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman, a professional forester, introduced the "Trillion Trees Act" last year, he was joined by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors that included House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

According to the World Resources Institute, the US alone could add 60 billion new trees to deforested lands, agricultural or urban areas, and sparse eastern forests that aren't prone to wildfires. Forests in the western US, on the other hand, are prone to wildfires, and that calls for putting down the shovel and reaching for the axe.

Wildfires turn trees from asset to liability. Last year's record blazes in California belched twice as much CO2 as the entire state's power plants. It's one of the terrible feedback loops of climate change, where wildfires beget more wildfires.

To break the cycle, it's often necessary to sacrifice individual trees for the good of the whole forest. If large trees are packed densely together, flames can spread easily between them, so "selective thinning" can reduce the risk of large fires. The same goes for small trees, which can act as "ladder fuel" by transmitting fires from the forest floor up to the treetops. Dead trees that are still standing, dried out like matchsticks, pose another fire hazard that can be neutralized with chainsaws.

Selective thinning can also help stop the spread of diseases and insects that, like fires, destroy millions of acres of US woodlands each year. Think of it as social distancing for trees.

There’s more…….to read the rest of the article click here.

Penn State Extension Hosting Deer Impact Summit

February 18, 2021 

Penn State Extension to host deer impact assessment, mitigation webinar series

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new three-session webinar series offered by Penn State Extension provides a roundup of current information and strategies to help natural resource managers understand, assess, and manage deer impact in forested systems.

The “Deer Impact Assessment and Mitigation Summit,” slated for March 25, March 30, and April 1, successively builds content to help attendees frame and understand the issue of deer impact, accurately assess that impact, and use assessment information to strategize management actions on the landscape. Each session runs from noon-2 p.m., incorporating three or four different presentations and at least a 30-minute facilitated question-and-answer period with all speakers.

Sessions will be led by experts from Penn State Extension and feature speakers from the USDA Forest Service, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Penn State, Cornell University, Harvard University, and the National Deer Association.

This program has been approved for professional development credits by three organizations:  the Society of American Foresters (six Category 1 credits, Certified Forester Program); The Wildlife Society (six Category 1 credits, Certified Wildlife Biologist Program); and the PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative (2 years of continuing education units).

Recordings of each session will be shared with all attendees, but professional development credits are available for live attendance only. To register and for full program information, visit

The program outline is as follows:

--March 25: “Understanding Deer, Deer Impact Issues, and Deer Management.” Experts will discuss the context for current conditions regarding deer and deer impact in the region; how we got to where we are today; how deer impact and interact with the landscape; and current trends, issues, and management approaches.

--March 30: “Assessing and Measuring Deer Impact in the Landscape.” Experts will discuss practical strategies and indicators for evaluating, measuring, and classifying levels of deer impact to inform management planning; and how managers may select appropriate evaluation strategies, differentiate levels of impact in standardized ways, and incorporate long-term impact assessment in management planning.

--April 1: “Mitigating Deer Impact in Natural Resource Management Approaches.” Experts will discuss considerations for planning practical deer impact mitigation strategies once existing or potential impact is determined to be significant through assessment; how landscape-scale context factors in to current and expected future deer impact; how exclosures may be most efficiently used to minimize deer impact in certain areas and over time; and how multiple mitigation approaches can be combined within a broader management plan across multiple areas and over time.

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Geneticist's Take on Tackling the Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer is the most damaging invasive forest insect pest in North America, having killed hundreds of millions of ash trees across the U.S. since it was introduced. Finding and breeding emerald ash borer-resistant trees may be a key strategy in combatting this pest. U.S. Forest Service research on this was recently featured in an article in Science Magazine.

Can an ambitious breeding effort save North America’s ash trees?

By Gabriel Popkin, Nov. 12, 2020

DELAWARE, OHIO—On a weekday morning in August, just one pickup truck sat in the sprawling visitors’ parking lot here at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Forestry Sciences Laboratory. A decades long decline in research funding had been slowly quieting the place—and then came the pandemic.

But in a narrow strip of grass behind a homely, 1960s-era building, forest geneticist Jennifer Koch was overseeing a hive of activity. A team of seven technicians, researchers, and students—each masked and under their own blue pop-up tent—were systematically dissecting 3-meter-tall ash trees in a strange sort of arboreal disassembly line. Over 5 weeks, the researchers would take apart some 400 saplings, peeling wood back layer by layer in search of the maggot-like larvae of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), the most devastating insect ever to strike a North American tree. Since the Asian beetle was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, it has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees across half the continent and caused tens of billions of dollars of damage.

“We have contests for who can successfully pull out the smallest larvae and the biggest larvae,” Koch says. “People get pretty excited and competitive about it. You have to do something, because it is very tedious—and [the larvae] are really gross.”

The larvae kill ash trees by burrowing into them to feed on bark and, fatally, the thin, pipelike tissues that transport water and nutrients. They then transform into iridescent green beetles about the size of a grain of rice that fly off to attack other trees. Dead larvae excite Koch and her team the most. Those finds signal trees that, through genetic luck, can kill emerald ash borers, rather than the other way around. Such rare resistant trees could ultimately help Koch achieve her ambitious goal: using time-tested plant-breeding techniques to create ash varieties that can fend off the borer and reclaim their historic place in North American forests.

To read the rest of the story click here.

Friday, January 29, 2021

American Chestnut Online Course

A free, interactive, online course, ‘An Introduction to the American chestnut (Castanea dentata)’ is now available from the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. The learner will be introduced to the ecology, silvics, cultural importance, historical significance, and demise of the tree species that once occupied 200 million acres in the eastern United States.

The American chestnut was once one of the most abundant and common tree species in the east, before it was virtually eliminated by a non-native tree disease, the chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica). American chestnut wood was highly valued for its rot resistance, and the nuts were traded for a variety of goods and services in rural Appalachian communities.

The course includes a glossary and various resources the learner can download including links to dendrology tables, external webpages, and published scientific papers. It is available for free to anyone through a simple registration process. The course is self-paced and will take approximately one hour to complete. A certificate of completion qualifies for 1 CFE credit with the Society of American Foresters.

The course was developed by Stacy Clark, research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station and adjunct faculty in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee. To access the course and registration instructions, click here. Use web browsers Edge or Chrome: If you have questions regarding the course, please contact Stacy Clark directly at or 865-318-8391.

Current Restoration Efforts:

The American chestnut and chestnut blight is a classic example of what can happen when our forests succumb to invasive pests and pathogens. Because of its environmental, economic, and cultural importance, many tools have been brought to bear on the chestnut blight problem over the past century. A team at SUNY ESF has focused on enhancing blight tolerance by adding only a couple genes to the approximately 38,000 gene pairs in the chestnut genome using the tools of genetic engineering (GE). These GE tools retain all of the American chestnut genes required for its adaptation to its forest ecosystem. For more on this program and its current progress toward restoring this keystone species view this You Tube video entitled The Chestnut Tree: Bringing Back an American Icon.

For more information on the American Chestnut visit the American Chestnut Foundation web site.