Thursday, October 30, 2014

PA SIC Hosts Timber Harvesting Tour for PA County Conservation District Staff

On October 30th the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) hosted a timber harvesting field tour for County Conservation District personnel as part of their annual DEP chapter 102/105 training.

The group toured a timber operation in Julian, PA that is being carried out by Metzler Forest Products out of Reedsville, PA. Nate Byler and Jared Ernico with Metzler Forest Products also helped guide the tour and discussed the reasoning behind particular aspects of the site and equipment use.

The group consisted of nearly 40 County Conservation District staff members from all across Pennsylvania. A number of the participants had never stepped foot on an active logging operation before. While others in the group had some experience with timber harvesting, they still asked many questions. The tour discussed key aspects of maintaining personal safety on logging sites, timber management, harvesting equipment systems, forest products, best management practices, and site planning and layout.

Sarah Hall-Bagdonas, Forest Specialist with the Wayne County Conservation District, also shared some of her experiences working with chapter 102/105 regulations on timber harvest operations in her region, and discussed some practical things she learned over the two years since starting her position.

Staff from DEP and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association also provided input during the tour.

The program was a success, and the positive feedback from the group seemed to indicate that everyone who participated was able to take something away from the tour.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bobwhite Quail Close to Extinction in Pa. and NJ

By Edward Colimore | The Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill Haines Jr. used to see wild quail on his family's farm all the time when he was growing up. He heard their distinctive "bobwhite" calls and thought nothing of it.

Fifty years ago, the small chicken-like bird thrived across parts of the state. Coveys of them were common. Hunters flushed them out by the scores while walking through brushy fields.

Now, their singing has all but stopped. The number of wild bobwhite quail has fallen off so precipitously that — except for small pockets — they're close to extinction in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and barely holding on in Delaware, wildlife ecologists say.

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