Saturday, October 17, 2015

PA SIC Member Paul Lyskava presented with PFA Joseph T. Rothrock Award

Paul A. Lyskava was recognized as the Joseph T. Rothrock Conservationist of the Year at the Pennsylvania Forestry Association’s 129th Annual Meeting at Lancaster, PA on October 17, 2015. The award, a tribute and affirmation of the life and contributions of Dr. Rothrock, recognizes the recipient’s outstanding contributions to the conservation of the Commonwealth’s forest resource. The award citation specifically recognizes Paul’s contribution:

Paul Lyskava continues to be an articulate spokesman for the interests and role of forest industry in the stewardship of Penn’s Woods. Through knowledge based communication, he has earned the respect and confidence of the public, all segments of forestry, the governor’s office and the legislature. In the Rothrock tradition, Paul‘s ability to represent the industry and all forest landowners is very effective.

Paul became the Executive Director of the Hardwood Development Council (HDC) in 1998. Previous to that he had worked as a lobbyist for the Rural Electric Cooperative in Harrisburg. At HDC he provided the leadership to create the “Sustaining Penn’s Wood’s” curriculum for middle and high schools in Pennsylvania. He participated in trade shows in Mexico and Germany, as well as many domestic shows in Atlanta, Anaheim, and Philadelphia. He encouraged the Council to provide key leadership in helping Pennsylvania lumber suppliers to go to China and help PA lumber suppliers find new markets for their hardwood in China and the Pacific Rim nations. In April of 2002, he led the first Forest Stewardship Council-certified mission of PA hardwood suppliers to Great Britain along with the Secretary of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He also was the primary contact for Pennsylvania to train pallet manufacturers on the new international regulations for heat treatment or fumigation of hardwood pallets in 2001. He continued as the Executive Director until August of 2002 when he became the Executive Director of the Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers Association (HLMA), which changed their name to the PA Forest Products Association (PFPA) in 2003.

Paul was instrumental in the development of the WoodMobile. He worked long hours developing the exhibit in time for the WoodMobile to be showcased at the 2002 Farm Show and continued to provide important guidance for the program as it grew into a portable museum and interactive educational showcase of Pennsylvania hardwoods by April of 2004. That relationship continued with Paul in his position with PFPA providing key leadership from industry in developing the WoodMobile through the years and he was responsible for the fundraising efforts from PFPA to create WoodMobile Two in 2014 with the grand opening at the 2015 Farm Show.

Paul led PFPA through the toughest economic times the industry has faced and managed to keep PFPA the influential organization that it has become. His ability to lobby for the industry as well as all forest landowners in Pennsylvania is unmatched. Most of the members of legislature as well as the governor and his cabinet know Paul and know that he is the “go to” person whenever there are issues concerning the industry and forest lands of Pennsylvania. Paul has been there to
intercept legislation that would have a detrimental affect not only on industry but forest landowners as well.

Within the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, he led the resurgence of the Log a Load pheasant shoot. Now the shoot is filled up long before the due date and he has gotten many others involved as sponsors of the event. He has also become an avid participant. He has been a supporter for the PFA Conservation Dinner for many years.

Paul has a true passion for what he does and spends a tremendous amount of time at it. He is a devoted husband and father to his wife Kathleen and son Sean. He and Sean enjoy riding bicycle and swimming together whenever possible.

Congratulations to Paul on behalf of the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Receives 17th Annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award

The Pennsylvania SIC was honored today to receive the 17th annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference in Olympic Valley, California. The purpose of the award is to recognize SFI Implementation Committees (SICs) for outstanding work in implementing the SFI program, making a difference on-the-ground advancing sustainable forestry and promoting the benefits of forests and forest products certified to the SFI Standard.

The Pennsylvania SIC was selected for this award primarily for their work at adapting their Professional Timber Harvester Training program into an entry-level program for aspiring logging or forest industry workers and incorporating it into the curriculum of high school programs in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania SIC member Paul Lyskava accepted the award on behalf of the Committee. This is the second time the Pennsylvania Committee was presented with the annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award, with the first the first occurring in 2001.

What an incredible recognition for an already outstanding (literally record breaking!) 20th anniversary year. We set a Guinness World Record for tree planting, and received recognition from the Pennsylvania legislature through resolutions (SR 144 & HR 375) declaring June 5 to be Pennsylvania SFI day across the Commonwealth. While we have taken time to look back and celebrate our success over the last two decades we also have used this important milestone as an opportunity to look ahead to the future of our program.

Without a doubt, that future includes the students enrolled in the Natural Resource Management Career and Technical Program at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, PA. The Pennsylvania SIC would like to thank everyone involved in our successful training partnership that formed the basis of this award and we look forward to forming new partnerships with other high school programs in the future. A special thanks to the Keystone Wood Products Association (KWPA) for their important financial support of this partnership.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2015

Download a PDF Here
        

Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Takes Logger Training
for Youth and Harvesting Professionals to New Heights


Olympic Valley, CA. - Gone are the days when children followed their fathers to work in the woods. These informal apprenticeships are a thing of the past because of today's safety considerations. So the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee decided if they can't bring youth to the forest, they would bring the forest to youth.

"What are the risks to the supply chain, to our economy, to forests in general, if we don't secure a future generation to care for our forests and to harvest them responsibly?" said Kathy Abusow, SFI Inc. President and CEO. "The Pennsylvania Committee members are thought leaders when it comes to youth training."

For the second year in a row, students in the Natural Resource Management Career and Technical Program at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall received the SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training credential. The training is provided through a partnership with the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee that allows students in the program to complete it as part of their regular curriculum at no additional cost to them or the school.

"We hope that through this partnership more students will become interested in a career in the forest sector. By graduating with this training credential, these students come out ahead of the game as they enter the workforce. They already have the training that employers are looking for," said Chuck Coup, the SFI Implementation Committee's Program Manager.

The training is the same that loggers in Pennsylvania are required to complete to maintain their status as harvesting professionals recognized by SFI. The training program emphasizes safety, environmental conservation and professionalism. Students are taught requirements for timber harvesting safety, and methods of protecting the environment during timber harvesting operations, including best management practices for protecting water resources.

The Pennsylvania Committee has a history of expertise in logger training. More than 7,000 individuals have participated in the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program. About 700 participants maintain their current training status each year, and some loggers have completed more than 100 hours of training.

The benefits of the training program were further recognized and bolstered when the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry adopted a policy in 2007 that requires SFI-trained loggers to lead all commercial timber harvesting activities on Pennsylvania's 2.2 million acres (890,308 hectares) of state forestland.

And most recently, the SFI Committee convinced state lawmakers to unanimously designate June 5 officially as Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Day. Both the House and Senate Resolutions specifically cite SFI logger training as a major reason for declaring SFI Day.

"This strong recognition from the state government is a fitting tribute to the 20-year history of progress and leadership on sustainability from the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee. It also reminds us all of the critical role loggers play on the front lines when it comes to the stainability of habitats and ensuring critical steps are taken to protect things like water quality," Abusow said.

The Pennsylvania Committee was presented with the 17th annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference. 

    
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About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
SFI® Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. SFI works collaboratively with conservation groups, local communities, youth, resource professionals, landowners and countless other organizations and individuals who share our passion for and commitment to healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 38 conservation and 28 community partnership grants totaling more than $1.9 million to foster education, research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $7.1 million. In addition, sustainable forestry is promoted through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. SFI on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI



Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Woodworth
Vice President, Communications & Community Engagement
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 202-596-3452 
media@sfiprogram.org




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

SFI and the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Set A New World Record

https://www.facebook.com/SustainableForestryInitiative/photos/a.648050638625271.1073741828.641102662653402/861013230662343/?type=3&theater
On May 20th this year 98 volunteers in Pennsylvania set out to join over a thousand other volunteers across the United States and Canada to set a new Guinness World Record by planting 202,935 trees in one hour. You can read more about the attempt here:

http://pasfinews.blogspot.com/2015/05/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

After extensive review of the tree planting attempt, Guinness World Records has officially confirmed that it represents the current record for most trees planted simultaneously at multiple locations by teams of up to 100 people.

The Pennsylvania SIC would like to thank everyone who participated and supported this event, and congratulate the participants as official Guinness World Record holders!

A video recapping the efforts of the 29 teams, including Pennsylvania's two teams, can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5HanvBEi7A


Friday, August 14, 2015

NEW: Hands On Diesel Engine and Hydraulic System Safety Training


Schneebeli Earth Science Center
203 Allenwood Camp Lane
Montgomery, PA 17752



This fall the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program will be offering two new hands-on training courses designed to help participants gain a better understanding of diesel engine and hydraulic systems safety, operation, diagnostics, and maintenance.

Sat. October 17, 2015
    Hydraulic Safety

Sat. October 31, 2015
    Electronic Diesel Controls

The two 8-hour courses will be taught by instructors in the Pennsylvania College of Technology's Heavy Construction Equipment Program and will be held at the school's Earth Science Center in Montgomery, PA. Each training qualifies for 2 years of continuing education credit.

The electronic diesel controls course will introduce participants to the theory and operation of electronically controlled engine systems such as: fuel systems, mechanical systems, sensors and control modules. General system diagnostics and basic electronics troubleshooting will also be
introduced.

Photos courtesy of Penn College of Technology
The hydraulic safety course will introduce 
participants to the theory of hydraulic operation,
nomenclature and function of associated
components, safety practices, general maintenance,
and diagnostic troubleshooting of hydraulic
systems.

The cost of each course is $75. Classes are limited to 25 participants, and registration is on a first-come first-served basis. Spaces are not reserved until the registration payment is received. Please be sure to register early to reserve your spot. Individuals can register for
these courses on the PA SFI website:

www.sfiofpa.org/course-registration.php


Monday, August 10, 2015

Pennsylvania SIC Summer 2015 Newsletter

http://www.sfiofpa.org/newsletter.phpNow Available Online:

  • Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee celebrates 20th Anniversary with World Record Tree-Planting Attempt
  • Don't Get Stuck in January
  • NEW: Hands-On Diesel Engine and Hydraulic System Safety Training
  • Training Reciprocity
  • Todd Smith Named AHUG Logger of the Year
  • Thank You to our SFI Participants and SIC Partners & Supporters
  • Advanced Logger Rescue Training
  • 2015 Forest Executive Development Workshop

  •  2015 Fall Training Schedule 

Monday, July 6, 2015

SFI Unveils the 2015 Progress Report - Growing the Future






I am pleased to present you with the 2015 SFI Progress Report: Growing the Future.

At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), we believe the future of our forests and our shared quality of life depend on strengthening the vital links between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities.

Our beliefs are based on a 20-year history of leadership on behalf of forests and the communities that depend on them. The story of SFI's leadership unfolds in the pages of this report, interwoven through the data, people and accomplishments that constitute the SFI community across North America.

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we look forward to a future where the global community has addressed deforestation and illegal logging, and takes pride in purchasing forest products derived from a responsibly managed renewable resource.

Thank you for being part of the SFI community. Together, we are making a difference.

 


Kathy Abusow
President and CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. 


To order
Order copies of the report for your colleagues, stakeholders and customers
The first 25 copies are complimentary, shipping charges apply. Extra copies are $3 each.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Penn State Mont Alto Students Receive Valuable Training through Partnership with the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee


In the past year the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee (SIC) has reached out to the future workforce at the high school and post-secondary level, getting students involved in training aimed at encouraging and helping them to enter careers in Pennsylvania’s forest products industry thorough collaborative MOU partnerships with the schools. The partnerships allow students to complete the core training requirements for the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program as part of their regular curriculum at no additional cost to them or the school. The training program is administered by the Pennsylvania SIC.

This spring marked the first class of Forest Technology students at Penn State’s Mont Alto Campus to receive their PA SFI training credential. The coursework they completed involves both classroom and hands on learning, and is the same training that many professional timber harvesters in Pennsylvania are required to complete. The training program emphasizes safety, environmental conservation, and professionalism. Students are taught proper chainsaw operation and felling practices, OSHA requirements for timber harvesting safety, and methods of protecting the environment during timber harvesting operations - including Best Management Practices (BMPs) for protecting water resources.

“Many of Penn State Mont Alto’s forest technology students are marking timber, working in harvesting operations, and applying sustainable forest management practices,” said Forest Technology Program Director Craig Houghton. "The PA SFI training credential provides an advantage in their summer jobs and future careers.”

Fourteen students enrolled in the Penn State Mont Alto Forest Technology program completed the training; Dakota Aldinger, Tyler Amspacher, Cody Behrens, Elizabeth Clark, Nicholas Grimm, Colton Groff, Austin Grove, Ronald Hartman, Lucas Markley, Cameron Murphy, Daniel Nace, Taylor Reneker, Swade Rotz II, and Kyle Williams.

The Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training credential is widely recognized and well respected within Pennsylvania’s forest products industry. Having this training allows the students to graduate ahead of the game as they pursue careers in the industry. The Pennsylvania SIC hopes that through this training partnership and others like it that younger generations will continue to do just that.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Central Mountain High School Students Benefit from Training Partnership with Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee


From left, John May (Natural Resources Management Program Instructor), Emery Watson, Cole Wheeler, Dylan Hinds, Chuck Coup (PA SIC Program Manager), Lou Sycz (KWPA Board Member and Comptroller/Lumber Sales Manager for Pine Creek Lumber Company). Not Pictured, Zachary Meyer.
For the second year in a row, students enrolled in the Natural Resource Management Career and Technical Program at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, PA received the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Professional Timber Harvester Training credential.

The training is provided through a partnership with the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) that allows students in the program to complete it as part of their regular curriculum at no additional cost to them or the school. Financial support for the training is provided by the Keystone Wood Products Association (KWPA), which strives to enhance the lumber and wood products manufacturers of Central Pennsylvania through promotion of career opportunities in the industry and other initiatives.

The training is the same that many professional loggers in Pennsylvania are required to complete, including those that cut commercial timber sales on state forestlands or on lands certified to the SFI standard. The training program emphasizes safety, environmental conservation, and professionalism. Students are taught proper chainsaw operation and felling practices, OSHA requirements for timber harvesting safety, and methods of protecting the environment during timber harvesting operations - including Best Management Practices (BMPs) for protecting water resources.

The Pennsylvania SIC hopes that through this partnership more students will become interested in pursuing a career in the forest products industry. By graduating with this training credential, these students come out ahead of the game as they enter the industry workforce. They already have the training that employers are looking for.

This year, four students completed the training; Dylan Hinds, Zachary Meyer, Emery Watson, and Cole Wheeler. Chuck Coup, Pennsylvania SIC Program Manager, presented the students with their official training records on June 3rd. Lou Sycz, KWPA board member and Comptroller/Lumber Sales Manager for Pine Creek Lumber Company in Mill Hall, PA spoke to the students about career opportunities in Pennsylvania's forest products industry. The students are set to graduate on June 11th.

The Natural Resource Management Program at Central Mountain High School dates back to 1985 when it was simply known as the Forestry Program. Since that time students have been learning how to manage forest resources and safely operate chainsaws and portable sawmills in a hands-on setting.

The Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee has been operating the statewide Professional Timber Harvester Training program since 1995. More than 7,000 individuals have participated in the training aimed at reducing logging accidents, increasing the productivity and professionalism of Pennsylvania’s loggers, and improving the sustainability of timber harvesting practices in the state.


(Read also about last year's class: http://pasfinews.blogspot.com/2014/06/high-school-students-participate-in.html)


Friday, May 22, 2015

Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee celebrates 20th Anniversary by Partnering with DCNR in SFI World Record Tree-Planting Attempt


This year marks the 20th anniversary for the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Implementation Committee (SIC) and its work aimed at fostering an appreciation of forest conservation and sustainable management throughout the forest community in Pennsylvania. To celebrate this important milestone the Pennsylvania SIC enthusiastically engaged in an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in 1 hour simultaneously by small groups. The record setting attempt was organized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI).

“We could not think of a better way to celebrate this important milestone in our organization than to participate in this world-record tree planting attempt that brings global recognition to the importance of our forests while also helping to ensure their future,” said Chuck Coup, program manager with the Pennsylvania SIC.

The attempt took place on May 20th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT. The Pennsylvania SIC partnered with DCNR and established two teams of volunteer tree planters that joined 27 other teams across the United States and Canada in the attempt. Both teams were made up of forest industry representatives, DCNR workers, various conservation organizations, and a diverse group of young people.

One team of 45 planters was led by PA SIC Program Manager Chuck Coup and organized in Centre County at a location south of Windburn on the Moshannon State Forest. The site had been cleared for surface coal mining in the past and was used as a local landfill. It was reclaimed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in conjunction with DCNR and reforestation efforts at the location have been ongoing for many years.

Another team of 53 planters was led by District Forester Gene Odato on the Tuscarora State Forest in Perry County near Fowlers Hollow State Park. Hard hit by past gypsy moth infestation the clear-cut site was targeted for spruce and white pine planting.

Eight thousand white pine and white spruce tree seedlings were donated by DCNR's Penn Nursery for the event.

Both teams were successful, with the 98 Pennsylvania volunteers planting a total of 7,248 trees (3,957 trees on the Moshannon State Forest, and 3,291 trees on the Tuscarora State Forest). The combined efforts of all the teams, representing more than 1,100 participants planting across four time zones, resulted in 202,935 trees being planted during the 1 hour attempt.

The benchmark that the attempt needed to exceed in order to obtain the record was 40,885 trees; however, the record will not be official until Guinness World Records reviews and confirms the results, which is expected to take 6-8 weeks.

The Pennsylvania SIC wants to thank all the volunteers who participated in this event as well as those who acted as videographers and official witnesses and stewards for the attempt. We would also like to extend a great deal of thanks to all of our DCNR partners at the Moshannon State Forest, Tuscarora State Forest, Penn Nursery, and the Central Office who helped to support, organize, and execute this event.

Moshannon State Forest Team:

Tuscarora State Forest Team:

All Participating Teams:

More coverage of this event: