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:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

4-H Members Excel at Wildlife and Forestry Field Day;Fqx3X2nrPP~;O61tcfipq~_w67LeT6~;83L3GaGPM7v3~;3a~;pl04P61p2~;k0vQyAqhw~-~-.bps.a.574844419284680.1073741832.257025421066583/574844662617989/?type=1&theaterThe 2015 4-H Wildlife and Forestry Field Day, held at Rock Springs, PA on April 25, was a natural success! The Field Day allows 4-H youth from all over Pennsylvania to explore the wildlife and forestry sciences. Nearly 75 youth and adults from across Pennsylvania participated this year. The event featured an Exploratory Tract for younger 4-H youth and a Science Tract for teens. The event also included a competitive knowledge and skills assessment session for teen 4-H members wishing to be considered to attend the national competitive events in both wildlife and forestry.;Fqx3X2nrPP~;O61tcfipq~_w67LeT6~;83L3GaGPM7v3~;3a~;pl04P61p2~;k0vQyAqhw~-~-.bps.a.574844419284680.1073741832.257025421066583/574844559284666/?type=1&theater

The top five winners in forestry judging were Riley Roslund (Tioga Couny), Ella Miller (Tioga County), K.C., Cockley (Perry County), Isabella, and Sophia Maloney (West Chester County). These top scoring individuals now have the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania at the 2015 National 4-H Forestry Invitational to be held July 26-31 at Jackson’s Mill 4-H Conference Center in Weston, West Virginia. Participants in both the state and national program must demonstrate their skills in tree measurement, tree identification, insect and disease identification, compass use, topographic map reading, and applied forestry principles.

The top four winners in wildlife science were Grace Stewart (Dauphin County), Lila & Zeke Bolze (Perry County) and Laurie Enders (Amstrong County). These top scoring individuals now have the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania at the 2015 National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Contest to be held August 2-5 at Columbiana, Alabama. Participants in both the state and national program must demonstrate their knowledge in habitat evaluation, wildlife identification, wildlife management practices and applied wildlife science principles.

Extension Specialist Sanford Smith, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and David Jackson, Penn State Extension Forestry Educator, organized this year’s event. Also assisting were Margaret Brittingham, Penn State Professor of Wildlife Sciences, 4-H volunteer Ashlee Earley, and 16 undergraduate and graduate students from Penn State University. A special thank you goes out to the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Pennsylvania Forest Products Association who help sponsor this event. For more information, contact Sanford Smith at or Dave Jackson at