Category Archives: Forestry

Pennsylania SFI

I attended the Keystone SAF chapter meeting last night (3/10) in Grantville at the Holiday Inn. We were in the midst of a huge rainstorm, which I am sure kept attendance down.

Nate Fice, the new director of the SFI training program in Pennsylvania gave an overview of changes in the program. In spite of recent severe budget reductions SFI seems to have a full calendar of training courses for loggers running.

The key to the program are the two core courses: Logging Safety and Environmental Logging, each eight hours long. There are also many other continuing education courses available.

According to Nate the program is making great strides in updating and making current the database of trainees. They are also standardizing the length of time a training credential can be extended with continuing education courses.

For more information on the new policies and the overall program go to the web site: The web site is looking much better these days, too. It has new features and pictures.

Recent Forestry Articles

South Mountain Conservation Landscape Initiative

From the Pennsylvania DCNR:

Throughout the commonwealth, large regions are working together to drive strategic investment and actions around sustainability, conservation, community revitalization, and recreational projects. Known as the Conservation Landscape Initiative, these collaborations are developing in landscapes where there are strong natural assets, local readiness and buy-in, and state level investment support. Several state agencies, local governments, funders and non-profits have worked strategically and collaboratively on the ground for several years in seven CLI’s to develop this value-driven, place-based approach.

Follow this link to see more about the goals of the CLI’s

Here is the South Mountain CLI page on DCNR.

And the home page for the South Mountain CLI activities.

I am on the steering committee for the South Mountain Speakers Series. These events are patterned after the Michaux Lectures that were delivered by Dr. Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century. He helped awaken Pennsylvanians to the need to conserve and manage forest resources. While serving as Forest Commissioner he founded the Pennsylvania Forest Academy, the predecessor to Penn State Mont Alto.

The photostream for South Mountain CLI really tells the story of its activities.

Here is a presentation from the South Mountain CLI describing its justification and purpose:

Bark Beetles in New York Times

Today’s New York Times has an article in the Science section on the devestating bark beetle attack in the western US and Canada. Past forest management practices and favorable winds have led to the spread of the beetle. Here is the permanent link to the article.



Photo Credit
Top: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International,
Bottom: USDA ARS Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

New President, New Forestry Policy ?

On a personal level, I am very pleased with Barack Obama’s victory last night. He has the opportunity to be one of America’s great presidents.

What will his election mean for  natural resources and forest policy in the United States. The Democrats have in the past often allied themselves with the more irrational wings of the environmental movement who wanted to lock up all the national forests. Responsible timber harvesting on public and private lands is vital to maintain the health of forests and provide goods and services to the economy.

We will get clues as to Obama’s policies from his appointments for Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture. Of particular importance will be the selection of the Undersecretary of Agriculture in charge of the Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service. That’s the person who has a great deal of day to day responsibility for these agencies.

The appointment of an EPA Chief will say a great deal about Obama’s policies. Will he treat EPA seriously and include the Chief in his deliberations?

Finally, judicial appointments will count a lot. Environmental issues are so controversial that it seems that every Forest Service decision is automatically brought to the courts. A fair judge is neither conservative or liberal. A judge has to work with the evidence and the laws as they are written. How about if Congress writes clearer laws in the first place?

Visit to Camp Bivens

Yesterday the Outdoor Recreation class (WILDL207), taught by Dr. Jim Hamilton, visited the site of the new YMCA Camp Bivens near St. Thomas. The students walked around the site discussing ideas to develop the site as a youth camp for YMCA members. The emphasis was on sustainable, low-cost measures. Part of the camp’s mission will be to provide environmental education opportunities.

Here is a slide show of pictures from the visit:

This is aGoogle Map of the visit with sites visited marked. If you click at the bottom of the map it will go to a larger version. Some of the icons have picture links. Just click on them.