Forest Stewardship: Sources of Information and Guidance for Forest Stewards

This article describes services offered to private woodland owners by public agencies and private organizations to help forest landowners in PA achieve their management objectives
Forest Stewardship: Sources of Information and Guidance for Forest Stewards - Articles
Forest Stewardship: Sources of Information and Guidance for Forest Stewards

Professional Forest Management Assistance

Penn State Renewable Natural Resources Extension

Forestry and wildlife information and educational programs for woodland owners are provided through personal letters, publications, newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television programs, meetings, exhibits, tours, and short courses. Extension foresters work with specialists from other agencies to conduct forest stewardship workshops for forest landowners and loggers. Natural Resources Extension helps people make informed decisions that improve their well-being and ensure clean water, viable populations of native wildlife, recreational opportunities, attractive communities, and the sustainable production of wood and paper products. In addition, extension foresters educate youth about ecology and the environment. For specific forestry and wildlife information, contact your county extension office, usually listed as "_______________ County Agricultural Extension Service" in the telephone directory of your county seat, or contact:

Natural Resources Extension
The Pennsylvania State University
416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-0401 or 800-235-9473

Services Offered

  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Forestry

The seventeen million forested acres covering the state have incalculable cultural, economic, and social value to the residents and visitors of Pennsylvania. This program assists private forest landowners with taxes, property easements, and managing forests for nontimber forest products, recreation, timber, and aesthetics. Extension faculty produce publications and train state foresters, consulting foresters, and private landowners.

Stewardship Resource Professionals

These trained resource managers can help landowners understand their woodlands' biological potential and achieve desired management goals. Although professionals come from a variety of natural resources disciplines, they share a pledge to promote stewardship principles and sound forest management practices as they work to meet forest landowner objectives. Resource professionals meet minimum educational standards and have attended a Bureau of Forestry stewardship training program and/or an NRCS technical service provider training that qualifies them to write forest plans for landowners. Depending on your goals and interests, you may choose to contact any of the following other types of professionals: forestry consultants; forest industry advisers; and wildlife, fisheries, botany, and recreation consultants. To hire a resource professional, contact your local Bureau of Forestry service forester to obtain a directory of professionals practicing in your area. Or, reach out to fellow landowners who can recommend or share their experience with the professional. Remember, before hiring a professional, you should determine his or her qualifications by checking credentials and requesting references from former clients.

Services Offered
  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Service Fee
  • Fish and Wildlife Management

Peer Volunteer Networks

The Pennsylvania Forest Stewards and Women and Their Woods programs train volunteers in the principles of forest stewardship so they become better informed about actively managing their own land. In exchange for training, the volunteers agree to encourage friends, neighbors, and other woodland owners to become good stewards of their lands. For more information about these two programs, contact:

Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator
Natural Resources Extension
The Pennsylvania State University
416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 1-800-235-WISE or 814-863-0401
Website: Pennsylvania Forest Stewards

Urban and Community Forestry

More than 80 percent of Pennsylvania's population lives in towns and cities, and most people lack the expertise to care for their trees. Tree-lined streets and parks beautify our communities, enhance them economically, and improve the quality of our environment. Regional extension urban foresters help communities manage their green spaces through technical advice, educational workshops, and grants that promote tree planting.

Water Resources

Pennsylvania is home to more than one million private water wells, 65,000 miles of streams, and thousands of ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Extension educators use the latest research findings to assist Pennsylvanians with water resources issues, including drinking water quality, droughts and floods, water conservation, pond management, and watershed management. They have produced numerous publications and web resources to help farmers, landowners, and homeowners with water resources management.

Wildlife

Hunting, fishing, bird-watching, and landscaping for wildlife are activities that enrich our lives and are part of our Pennsylvania heritage. Wildlife extension programs increase awareness of the importance of this resource and provide tools and techniques for enhancing wildlife habitat while minimizing nuisance and damage problems. Numerous extension publications and educational materials about Pennsylvania wildlife, habitat management, landscaping for wildlife, and wildlife nuisance and damage problems are available.

Wood Products

Forest and related resources contribute to the state's economy in excess of any other manufacturing or service sector, including agriculture and food processing. And, unlike many sectors with declining vitality and proportional economic contribution, the forest-based sector is strong and growing. This program provides technical and managerial education and assistance to the secondary wood products industry in Pennsylvania.

Youth

Teaching youth about natural resources provides future leaders and stewards with an appreciation and understanding of the land. The main youth program of Penn State Extension is 4-H. Natural Resources Extension has developed a full set of curricula on forest, wildlife, and water resources for 4-H youth. In addition to 4-H curricula, the From the Woods educational publication series, the Environment and Ecology educational publication series, and the Sustainable Forestry Teacher Resource Center website are available for all educators. The website contains forestry, wildlife, earth science, and water lesson plans that address environmental and ecology state education standards.

Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry

Organized within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), this bureau offers a range of information and technical assistance to woodland owners. Service foresters, on request and as schedules allow, examine woodlands, make management recommendations, and review forest stewardship plans prepared by other professionals. They also monitor activities that qualify for federal cost-share programs. The bureau provides advice on erosion and sedimentation control, wildlife habitat improvement, insect and disease control, forest recreation, and urban and community forestry. There is no charge for these services. (A bureau forester may suggest that a landowner obtain additional assistance from professional consultants for commercial timber sales, appraisals, and other activities.) Local bureau offices are usually listed in the telephone directory of each county seat.

The bureau also offers guidance in conserving biological diversity in forested areas by coordinating and maintaining the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP). The program's mission is to locate, identify, and monitor uncommon natural features and threatened and endangered flora and fauna throughout the Commonwealth. The program is supported technically by The Nature Conservancy and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which help map biological, historical, and ecological data for each known significant site. In many cases, PNHP uses historical data to pinpoint where threatened and endangered species exist today. The site-specific and dynamic nature of PNHP makes it an efficient and accurate tool for environmental planners and resource managers. For more information about PNHP or other assistance available to landowners, contact:

Bureau of Forestry
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
PO Box 8552
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8552
Phone: 717-787-2106
Websites: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry and www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Service Foresters

One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing an experienced professional forester with whom to discuss your goals and ideas. Ideally, this natural resources professional will have completed training at an accredited institution (Society of American Foresters is the accreditation agency for forestry schools). Similar to other professional accreditations, this assures you that your forester brings the benefits of completing a prescribed course of study in forestry. Even if you believe you know what you want from your forest, having a trained forester involved in your decision processes will help ensure your forest's health and sustainability.

If you have not already done so, your first step should be to contact your county's DCNR Bureau of Forestry service forester to learn of the services and advice available. Service foresters have a wealth of information and guidance to share. In many cases, their input will sufficiently meet your needs. For others who require more assistance, your service forester can provide a listing of consulting foresters working in your area. For a fee, consulting foresters provide many services. Many forest owners hesitate to pay for forestry advice. However, foresters are like other professionals who help protect your finances and health. And, in many cases, the fees foresters charge for their services can be treated as an expense of managing your forest. Below is more information on the kinds of natural resources professionals who are available to forest landowners in Pennsylvania. No matter which natural resources professional with whom you work, make sure he or she is looking out for you and your forest's interests first.

Contact information for your county service forester can be found in the blue pages of your local telephone directory under "State Government." You can also locate your service forester on the Bureau of Forestry's website.

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Educational Programs

Private Natural Resources Professionals

Forestry Consultants

These professional foresters provide a broad range of woodland management services, including timber appraisals, marketing assistance, preparation of forest management plans, timber stand improvement operations, forest pest management assistance, and information about forest management activities that qualify for government cost-sharing. Professional foresters have a bachelor's degree in forest resource management. Many have earned an advanced degree in forestry or a related discipline and may have gained additional experience through forest management employment. Their fees may be based on the amount of time required to perform a job or the acreage of woodland involved, or a set contract price based on a proportion of revenues from the sales of forest products. Obtain cost estimates from several consultants before choosing one.

Services Offered
  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Service Fee
  • Fish and Wildlife Management

Forestry Industry Consultants

These consultants offer technical assistance in forest management, primarily in woodland areas near their mills. Some forest products companies develop an informal marketing arrangement with woodland owners. The firm provides advice and services, usually in the form of a forest management plan, which aids landowners in the implementation of their management objectives. The landowner is generally under no obligation to the wood-using firm, other than to give it the opportunity to bid on any timber offered for sale. Some companies offer cost-sharing as an incentive if landowners plant seedlings.

Services Offered
  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Financial Assistance
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral

Wildlife, Fisheries, Botany, and Recreation Consultants

These professionals can provide assistance in managing for various objectives. They can help landowners identify ecologically significant areas, such as wetlands. They will work with landowners to develop management plans that meet their environmental and economic objectives.

Services Offered
  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Service Fee
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral

Federal Agencies

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and other private landowners and managers. Through the Farm Bill, NRCS provides cost-sharing funds for a variety of soil, water, wildlife, and forestry practices, including tree planting, riparian zone management, timber stand improvement, early successional habitat, invasive vegetation management, and many other practices that promote good forest stewardship across the landscape. In addition, NRCS provides technical assistance to landowners about erosion and sedimentation control practices and for soil interpretations that indicate erosion hazard, equipment limitation, expected seedling mortality, windrow hazard, plant competition, trees to favor in the residual stand, site indices of important tree species, and trees adapted for planting in the area. Published soil surveys are available from the NRCS to help woodland owners assess land productivity for timber, wildlife, and agricultural purposes. The local NRCS office is usually listed in the telephone directory of the county seat under "U.S. Government." Contact the state office at:

Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA
Suite 340
One Credit Union Place
Harrisburg, PA 17110-2993
Phone: 717-237-2100

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Financial Assistance
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)

FSA is an agency of the USDA that handles the administrative side of cost-share programs. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (see above) uses FSA records to determine a landowner's eligibly to enroll in cost-sharing programs. If a landowner has never registered his/her land with FSA, or if anything has changed with the operation since the records were last completed with FSA, contact the county's office to make an appointment and stop in. FSA determines a "farm" number, tract number, and the operator of record. Landowners must be listed as the operator in the local FSA farm records management system. Many forest landowners who wish to use cost-share monies may not have an FSA farm number; in that case, a landowner must complete the FSA farm record number process before applying for cost-share through NRCS. If FSA records are complete and up to date it will make the cost-share enrollment process much faster and easier.

FSA also offers loans or loan guarantees to establish forestry practices, purchase farm and forestry equipment and materials, pay for labor, and buy, improve, or enlarge farms and farm buildings. To be eligible, landowners must earn a substantial portion of their income from a family farm and be unable to obtain reasonable credit terms and rates from private sources. For more information, contact the local FSA office listed in the telephone directory under "U.S. Government." Contact information for the local FSA office can also be found online.

Services Offered

  • Financial Assistance
  • Information and Referral

USDA Forest Service

The Forest Service provides national leadership to forest landowners, operators, processors of forest products, and urban forestry interests. The Forest Service works with its partners to ensure that forests provide a sustained flow of natural resources goods and services to help meet the needs of the nation and to contribute to the needs of the international community. In Pennsylvania, most services offered by the USDA Forest Service are directed through the state Bureau of Forestry. For further information, contact:

USDA Forest Service
Northeastern Area
State and Private Forestry
11 Campus Boulevard
Newton Square, PA 19073
Phone: 610-557-4103

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This federal agency protects and enhances our nation's land, air, and water systems to the fullest extent possible under the laws enacted by Congress. The agency encourages the prevention of pollution and deals with problems of air and water pollution; management of solid and hazardous wastes; and regulation of pesticides, toxic substances, and some aspects of radiation. The agency has ten regions. Pennsylvania is in region three; its office is located at:

1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: 215-814-5122

The EPA strives to formulate and implement actions that lead to a compatible balance between human activities and the ability of natural systems to support and nurture life. For further information, contact:

Public Information Center
Lobby of 1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 214-814-5121

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Research Coordination and Support

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

Organized under the Department of the Interior, this federal agency leads the nation in the conservation of its migratory birds, endangered species, certain mammals, and sport fishes. The Ecological Services branch provides technical assistance for restoring or creating wetlands and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. Financial assistance for certain practices, such as wetlands restoration, is available to qualifying landowners. The FWS is responsible for enforcing a number of environmental regulations, including the Clean Water Act and other pollution discharge regulations. The service also issues certain environmental permits and disseminates wildlife management information. For more information, contact:

Ecological Services Field Office
Suite 322
315 S. Allen Street
State College, PA 16801-4850
Phone: 814-234-4090

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Research Coordination and Support

Other State and County Agencies

Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC)

This commission is responsible for the protection and management of all birds and mammals in Pennsylvania. Through cooperative programs, the commission assists landowners with wildlife management in a number of ways. The LINK program links hunters and landowners with wildlife problems. Rather than opening their land indiscriminately to hunting, landowners work closely with a partner hunter to achieve their wildlife goals.

The PGC also helps landowners achieve deer impacts consistent with their land-use goals through the Deer Management Area Program (DMAP). In exchange for keeping land open for public hunting, the commission will cut field edge borders to benefit wildlife by removing trees that overshadow crop areas; provide signs to assist hunters using the area; and distribute seedlings and seed packets to promote wildlife food and cover. Seedling packets containing five species of trees and shrubs favored by wildlife are available for purchase through the commission. The commission also aids in implementing control measures for wildlife damage problems. To take advantage of these resources, landowners must become a PGC cooperator. The commission has publications available on a variety of wildlife-related subjects. These include the Wildlife Notes series, which describes in detail species of wildlife in Pennsylvania; an environmental education activity manual for teachers called Project Wild, and the monthly Pennsylvania Game News magazine.

PGC also has six regional wildlife diversity biologists who work with private forest landowners to develop wildlife habitat conservation plans to help meet landowners' wildlife goals and ensure habitat for threatened wildlife species. The commission's goal is to improve Pennsylvania's landscape for wildlife species of special concern by developing detailed plans for interested landowners who want to help these at-risk species. These plans focus on creating or maintaining habitat for the state's 88 bird and mammal species of concern. Although the plans focus on species of concern, a wide variety of species often benefit from these habitat plans once they are implemented. For more information, contact the wildlife conservation officer listed in your local telephone directory under "Government Services, Game Commission," or contact:

Pennsylvania Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797
Phone: 717-787-4250

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC)

The purpose of the commission is to provide fishing and boating opportunities through the protection and management of aquatic resources. Throughout the Commonwealth, the commission is responsible for enforcing the Fish and Boat Code regulations dealing with the protection, conservation, and enhancement of the state's valuable water resources. To help youth learn about Pennsylvania's aquatic resources, the commission sponsors the Keystone Aquatic Resource Education (KARE) program.

The PFBC also sponsors an Adopt-a-Stream Program, which gives conservation groups and interested landowners an opportunity to gain a working knowledge of Pennsylvania aquatic resources. Project cooperators are provided with technical assistance, planning guidance, construction supervision, and a limited amount of materials to implement approved projects on qualified waters. For more information about how you or your group can adopt a stream to build devices, contact:

Habitat Management Section
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
450 Robinson Lane
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: 814-359-5153

For more information about the commission, contact:

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
1601 Elmerton Avenue
PO Box 67000
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000
Phone: 717-705-7800

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks

The mission of the state park system is "to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and to serve as an outdoor classroom for environmental education." In meeting these purposes, first consideration is given to conserving the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of the parks, as well as protecting the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The bureau operates four environmental education centers year-round. For more information, telephone the following centers:

  • Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Northampton County, phone: 610-746-2801
  • Jennings Environmental Education Center in Butler County, phone: 724-794- 6011
  • Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County, phone: 717-486-5031
  • Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center in Berks County, phone: 610-796-3699

The centers provide information and public programming on various environmental issues affecting not only landowners but all Pennsylvania citizens. These issues include acid rain, global warming, wetlands, biodiversity, water quality and erosion control, the Chesapeake Bay, and threatened or endangered species. By providing these programs, the environmental education centers can help Pennsylvania landowners better understand the guiding principles of woodlot and wildlife management, environmental issues, and good stewardship practices. For more information, contact:

Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
PO Box 8551
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8551
Phone: 1-888-PAPARKS

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania DCNR: Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an environmental education manual designed for students ranging from prekindergarten to eighth grade, with additional high school modules. PLT is housed at the Bureau of Forestry and endorsed by environmental organizations and forest industry. For more information about PLT in Pennsylvania, contact:

PLT Director
Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry
PO Box 8552
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Phone: 717-787-2703

Services Offered

  • Educational Programs

County Conservation Districts

County conservation districts--local subdivisions of state government--work to promote the conservation, wise use, and orderly development of land, water, forests, wildlife, and related natural resources. Conservation district activities include implementing regulations on erosion and sedimentation control and assisting with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI; an industry-sponsored program) logger training. For more information, contact the conservation district office listed under "County Government" in your county seat telephone directory, or contact the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts.

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

This state-level organization provides information about the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forestland Assessment Act, also known as Act 319 or the Clean and Green Act. The act specifies that agricultural and forest lands be assessed for taxation purposes at the value they have for agricultural or forestry use rather than at their development value.

To find out if Act 319 is operative in your county, contact the county assessor, listed in your county seat telephone directory under "County Government," or contact:

Bureau of Farmland Preservation
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-783-3167

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Research Coordination and Support

State Conservation Commission

This commission oversees policy and administration issues and approves policies related to cost-share programs and federal allocations for the sixty-six local conservation districts in the state. Programs administered by the commission include an annual grant program for conservation districts and a Chesapeake Bay Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to farmers to install soil conservation and nutrient management practices. The commission also administers a dirt and gravel road maintenance program and state nutrient management regulations (Act 6). For more information, contact:

State Conservation Commission
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
2301 North Cameron Street
Room 407
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408
Phone: 717-787-4737

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Financial Assistance
  • Information and Referral
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

The DEP holds regulatory jurisdiction over the state's environmental resources. Its responsibilities include reducing air pollution; ensuring safe drinking water; protecting water quality; regulating waste management; supporting community renewal and revitalization; promoting advanced energy technology; and helping citizens prevent pollution and comply with the Commonwealth's environmental regulations. Regional offices are responsible for all permit assignments, enforcement, and compliance activities. For further information, contact:

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: 717-783-2300

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Educational Programs

Associations and Councils

County and Regional Forest Landowner Associations

Groups have been established in numerous counties and regions throughout Pennsylvania to provide educational opportunities for members. Each group is independent and may have differing missions and membership policies. Most groups use meetings, field demonstrations, tours, seminars, and newsletters to provide information about forests and sound forest management to their members and people in the local communities.

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA)

The PFA is the nation's oldest state organization devoted to forest conservation. Founded in 1886, this association of individuals, landowners, loggers, forest industries, resource professionals, and businesses is concerned about the stewardship of Pennsylvania's forest resources. Members receive a quarterly magazine, Pennsylvania Forests, and have opportunities to become involved in forestry issues. The PFA conducts public meetings, woodland tours, seminars, and workshops for woodland owners. The association also promotes the Tree Farm and Forest Stewardship programs in Pennsylvania. For more information, contact:

Pennsylvania Forestry Association
PO Box 1278
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Phone: 800-835-8065

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

American Tree Farm Association

This is a nationwide program to encourage private forest owners to do an effective job of growing trees as a crop. The Tree Farm program provides forest landowners with management assistance to produce continuous crops of trees, improved wildlife habitat, watershed protection, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic values. Upon implementing a tree farm management plan, certified tree farmers receive a Tree Farm program certificate and sign. They also receive regular mailings of Tree Farmer magazine from the American Forest Foundation (AFF), as well as newsletters and bulletins from their State Tree Farm Committee. Certified tree farms are eligible to compete in the AFF series of state, regional, and national Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year contests. In addition, tree farmers are invited to conferences, field days, study tours, and seminars on tree farming. For further information, contact:

American Forest Foundation
1111 19th Street NW, Suite 78
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-463-2462
Websites: www.treefarmsystem.org and patreefarm.org

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program is a voluntary, industry-driven program of comprehensive forestry and conservation practices. SFI was created by the American Forest and Paper Association (the national trade organization representing the U.S. forest products industry). In Pennsylvania, the program is known as SFI of PA. Current participants include the Pennsylvania forest products industry, the Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers Association of Pennsylvania (HLMA), the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, Penn State, loggers, forestry consultants, and private landowners. SFI teaches loggers safer, more productive skills and proper environmental practices and provides private landowners with information they can use to make better-informed forest management decisions. For more information, contact:

Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania
211 Barrington Lane
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Toll free: 888-734-9366
Phone: 814-355-1010
Fax: 814-355-1022

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&D)

This program helps communities expand economic opportunities through wise use and development of natural resources. RC&D is a locally organized and directed program of rural development. Technical and financial help for natural resources development is provided to multicounty areas that agree to sponsor the program. For further information, contact one of the nine regional RC&D offices in Pennsylvania or the Pennsylvania Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Financial Assistance
  • Information and Referral
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD)

This nonprofit organization serves as the statewide instrument of its membership--local conservation districts--through representation at the state level in matters concerning legislation, regulation, and program development. The PACD also interacts, on behalf of the districts, with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). For more information, contact:

PACD
25 N. Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: 717-238-7223

Services Offered

  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Association of The American Chestnut Foundation (PA-TACF)

PA-TACF is a nonprofit organization with the mission to "restore the American chestnut tree to the forests of Pennsylvania and the eastern United States. TACF partners with local and national organizations to accomplish its breeding goals." In Pennsylvania, volunteers maintain more than 150 orchards and have planted tens of thousands of trees. For more information, contact:

PA-TACF
The Pennsylvania State University
206 Forest Resources Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-7192
Email: mail@patacf.org

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

National Woodland Owners Association

This nationwide organization of nonindustrial private woodland owners is independent of the forest products industry and forestry agencies and works with all organizations to promote nonindustrial forestry and the best interests of woodland owners. Members receive National Woodlands magazine and Woodland Report newsletter. An introductory visit from a certified professional forester is available in most states. For further information, contact:

National Woodland Owners Association
374 Maple Ave. E., Suite 310
Vienna, VA 22180
Phone: 800-476-8733

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association

This industry association promotes cooperation among growers and researchers to solve production and marketing problems. Members are kept up to date on research and legislation through the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Bulletin and educational meetings. The association offers a referral service to wholesale and retail Christmas tree buyers. Contact the executive secretary at:

Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association
4305 N. 6th Street, Suite A
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-238-9765 or 800-547-2842

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council

This council promotes the production and marketing of pure maple products and coordinates purchases of supplies needed by producers. Membership includes representatives from five local associations. Members receive the Maple Digest and may attend periodic meetings on maple syrup production.

Services Offered

  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Wildlife Organizations

Audubon Pennsylvania

Audubon Pennsylvania's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats by empowering "citizen scientists" and other volunteers to study, preserve, and restore the natural environment. Audubon Pennsylvania provides educational programs, nature centers, and advocacy through its chapter volunteers. For more information, contact:

Audubon Pennsylvania
100 Wildwood Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-213-6880

Services Offered

  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Ducks Unlimited (DU)

DU conserves habitat at the continental scale to meet the lifecycle needs of North America's waterfowl by conserving, restoring, and managing wetlands and associated habitats. Pennsylvania is part of the Atlantic Flyway, providing important migration and wintering areas for many of the continent's waterfowl such as American black ducks, mallards, canvasbacks, and Canada geese. Pennsylvania's conservation projects are designed to maximize the amount and quality of migration and wintering waterfowl habitat, as well as improve conditions for waterfowl production. For more information, contact:

Ducks Unlimited
One Waterfowl Way
Memphis, TN 38120
Phone: 800-45DUCKS or 901-758-3825

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)

This nonprofit conservation organization supports scientific wildlife management on public, private, and corporate lands, as well as wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport. The NWTF provides educational materials, outreach programs, and opportunities to purchase seeds and seedlings at a reduced cost. NWTF's Wild Turkey Woodlands program recognizes landowners who manage their properties for wild turkey and other wildlife. For more information, contact:

National Wild Turkey Federation
770 Augusta Road
PO Box 530
Edgefield, SC 29824
Phone: 1-800-THE-NWTF or 803-637-3106

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Pheasants Forever

PF is "dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail, and other wildlife, through habitat improvements, public awareness, education, and land management policies and programs." They provide publications, seminars, and technical assistance for private landowners interested in improving wildlife habitat, as well as technical information and funding for private land management through their chapter volunteers. Members receive the Pheasants Forever journal and the e-newsletter On the Wing. For more information, contact:

Pheasants Forever
1783 Buerkle Circle
St. Paul, MN 55110
Toll free: 877-773-2070
Phone: 651-773-2000

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA)

This nonprofit wildlife conservation organization is dedicated to ensuring a high-quality and sustainable future for white-tailed deer and white-tailed deer hunting. Founded in 1988, the QDMA has developed numerous partnerships with state wildlife agencies, timber companies, hunting groups, and product manufacturers. These partnerships have continued the work of QDMA to produce biologically and socially balanced deer herds within existing environmental, social, and legal constraints. For more information, contact:

Quality Deer Management Association
PO Box 160
Bogart, GA 30622
Phone: 800-209-DEER

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF)

This foundation is a nonprofit habitat conservation organization, headquartered in Missoula, Montana, whose mission is "to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, and their habitat by raising funds and support through the efforts of volunteer-staffed chapters in North America," including twenty-six chapters in Pennsylvania. For more information, contact:

Pennsylvania Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
PO Box 311
Montrose, PA 18801
Phone: 866-287-9293

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS)

This society works to enhance habitat for the ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and other wildlife species that require or use thick, young forests. They provide publications, seminars, and technical assistance for private landowners interested in improving wildlife habitat. They also provide technical information and funding for public land management. Society members receive the Ruffed Grouse Society Magazine, which contains articles about wildlife habitat, grouse and woodcock behavior, and related outdoor topics. For more information, contact:

Ruffed Grouse Society
451 McCormick Road
Coraopolis, PA 15108
Phone: 1-888-564-6747

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Trout Unlimited (TU)

This organization conserves, protects, and restores North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. TU provides technical publications on fish habitat, such as the planning guide called Saving a Forest Stream. They also sponsor joint fishery restoration projects with the American Tree Farm System on some private forestlands. For more information, contact:

Trout Unlimited
1300 N. 17th Street, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22209-2404
Toll free: 1-800-834-2419
Phone: 703-522-0200
Email: trout@tu.org

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Planning Materials
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Information and Referral
  • Research Coordination and Support
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Land Conservancies

Land conservancies work to conserve and preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth. Many tools to protect land and water are available through conservancies, including outright purchase of land, conservation easements, professional assistance, and funding. There are well over 300 land conservancies and land trusts in Pennsylvania. To find a land trust or land conservancy in your region, check the yellow pages of your local telephone directory or contact the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, an umbrella organization and clearinghouse for land conservancy and land trust information:

Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
119 Pine Street, First Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: 717-230-8560

Services Offered

  • Technical Assistance
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Estate Tax Planning Information
  • Information and Referral
  • Monthly/Quarterly Publications
  • Educational Programs

Revised by Penn State Extension Renewable Natural Resources staff Carol Leitzell, Michelle Mathason, and Allyson Muth. Originally prepared by Ellen M. O'Donnell, stewardship associate; Shelby E. Chunko, research support associate, and James C. Finley, professor of forest resources.

Authors

Forest stewardship Private forest landowners Woodland care Collaborative learning Action research Peer-to-peer education

More by Allyson Brownlee Muth, Ed.D.