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Forest Matters
Stewardship News

Summer 2016

In This Issue
Home Welcome to the Summer 2016 edition of the Forest Matters Stewardship News!

Our lead story highlights the great forest stewardship efforts being made at the Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp. Their experiences and success can serve as a model for other scout camps and large, nonprofit landowners. We also share the inspiring stewardship story of a couple in southwestern Pennsylvania who have made a significant difference in their community.

Read about spring wildfires in an unexpected place, Forest Legacy Program awards and awardees, success stories from competitive grants in Minnesota and New Jersey, and the emergence of the periodical cicada this summer! 

We hope you enjoy this edition of
Forest Matters .

Mike Huneke
Forest Stewardship Program Manager
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

Boy Scout Camp Takes Action to Protect and Manage Forest Resources 

Water flows over Resica Falls in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Devin Wanner, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

Nestled in Monroe County in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania is the Resica Falls Boy Scout camp ---   a 4,200-acre retreat whose signature feature is Resica Falls along Bushkill Creek. The camp provides clear streams and waterfalls, and what seems like endless mountain trails for Scouts to explore nature.  

Read the full Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp article.

Photo: Sandy Clark, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
Landowner Spotlight
Raul Chiesa and Janet Sredy
Where Science, Passion, and Business Connect
A story about two very smart and caring people who love each other and work together to manage their land like a business to make it a better place

Glenn Rosenholm, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
A man and a woman plant a hickory seedling in a woodland area.
Janet Sredy and Raul Chiesa plant a hickory seedling in Beckets Run Woodlands southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. 

Theirs was a match made in science .

Raul Chiesa and Janet Sredy celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary March 7, 2016, and they are still happy and working together after all these years.

Decades ago, their paths crossed in a most professional way. Chiesa, who speaks strongly accented English, came to America in October 1982 from the country of Uruguay, just south of Brazil. "I speak Spanish in addition to English," he said, explaining. "I came here in 1982 to work at Columbia University as a Fulbright fellow."

"I worked at the university, and on the first day I met a research fellow ---   Janet," he said.

They hit it off right away.

(Photo: Sandy Clark, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry)

Want to read more about what other forest landowners are doing?

Check out for more Profiles in Conservation like Janet and Raul's story above.

Landscape Conservation banner.
Stewardship News
Fires in the Northeast: The 16 Mile Fire The remnants of a home that was burned to the ground on a sunny day.

Levi Gelnett, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

April 20, 2016, started out like many of the beautiful spring days that preceded it. It was sunny and dry, with a steady breeze. The past winter had provided very little snow cover, and the previous month was the fifth warmest and driest March on record. The Poconos area was under a red flag warning and the relative humidity ended up dropping to 8%, which is almost unheard of in this region.

Just before 10:00 am the Delaware State Forest received a call to respond to two forest fires that were only about half a mile apart. Within an hour of receiving the call for the first fires, the firefighters were notified of two more fires approximately 3 miles southwest. The two later fires burned together and were called the Beartown Fire. Most of the resources were shifted to that fire due to the large number of homes that were threatened. By the end of the first shift, the Beartown Fire was estimated to be 300 acres and the 16 Mile Fire was 900 acres.

Read the full 16 Mile Fire article

Photo: A structure that was lost in the 16 Mile Fire. (Levi Gelnett, PA DCNR)
Two students compare cell phone pictures in the woods in winter.
School Forests Provide Valuable Legacy of Learning  
Bob Gwizdz, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
February 4, 2016 

Forests can be a lot of things, depending on one's perspective.

To a timberman, a forest is a place to go to work and make a living. To a deer hunter, a forest is a place to seek prey and meditate while sitting on the stand. To a hiker, it's a place to recreate and escape the everyday world.

But to Mike Smalligan, a forest can be something entirely different. It can be a classroom.

Smalligan, who is the Forest Stewardship Program coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said forests are valuable learning tools that haven't been used nearly to their potential.

Read the full school forests article from the Michigan DNR.

Photo: North Dickinson County Schools sophomores Jared Miller, 16, of Sagola and Juliann Wickman, 15, of Felch show each other nature photos they took on their cellphones while on a January outing at the Spring Hill School Forest. (John Pepin, Michigan Department of Natural Resources) 
Wisconsin Forest Legacy Project Wins Award for Wildlife

Neal Bungard, U. S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

The Brule St. Croix Forest Legacy project in Wisconsin was awarded the Wings Across the Americas Habitat Conservation Partnership Award on March 15, 2016, at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. This award recognizes projects that feature outstanding achievements in bird, bat, butterfly, and dragonfly conservation. 

Aerial view of forests and wetlands.
The forest and water complexes of the Brule St. Croix Legacy Forest provide a myriad of habitats for wildlife of all types, including the federally endangered Kirtland's warbler. (Photo: John Gregor/ColdSnap Photography courtesy of The Conservation Fund)
Richard Peterson Wins National Forest Legacy Award

Angela Yuska

Richard (Dick) Peterson, Forest Legacy Program Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, was the 2016 honoree of the Forest Legacy Conservation Excellence Award. The Forest Legacy Program is a Federal program that provides grants to States to protect forested land threatened with development. Since 2000, Dick has worked tirelessly as Minnesota's Forest Legacy Program Coordinator to protect over 350,000 acres of working forest through state and national programs. He began work as a forester for the Division of Forestry in 1983. 

Dick received his award on July 27, 2016, from U.S. Forest Service Natural Resource Program Leader Neal Bungard. The award was presented at Nerstrand Woods #1, Minnesota's first working forest conservation easement through the Forest Legacy Program, which was protected by the program in 2001.

To men are standing side by side next to a frame backpack.
Richard Peterson (left), Minnesota Forest Legacy Program Coordinator, received his Forest Legacy Conservation Excellence Award from U.S. Forest Service Natural Resource Program Leader Neal Bungard at the first Forest Legacy tract in Minnesota, Nerstrand Woods #1. (Photo: Angela Yuska)
Building Bridges & Relationships

Tom Foulkrod, New York Watershed Agricultural Council

On May 19, 2016, the Watershed Agricultural Council's Forestry Program held a logger training workshop at the Siuslaw Model Forest in Greene County, New York. The agenda for this workshop was straightforward: build three portable skidder bridges.

Men swing sledge hammers and use other tools to build a timber skidder bridge.
Read the full bridge building workshop article.

Photo: Skidder bridge building workshop participants. (Tom Foulkrod)
Northeastern Area Cooperative Forest Management Committee Meets in PA

State Forest Stewardship Program Managers from the 20 Northeastern Area States joined their Federal partners at the annual Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) Cooperative Forest Management Committee meeting in April in DuBois, PA. The meeting provided opportunities for attendees to network and discuss program updates and the new national program standards and guidelines. There was also discussion about new approaches for forestry technology transfer and conservation measures for the northern long-eared bat. The meeting featured a field tour of the Pennsylvania Wilds area with a discussion about elk management on State forest land and a tour of a private tree farm.

Thank you to Pennsylvania for hosting a great meeting!

A group of people pose for a picture.
Cooperative Forest Management Committee meeting participants. (Laura Schweitzer, NAASF)

Maryland Forester Wins 2015 Outstanding Cooperative Forest Management Forester Award  

Jamie Weaver, Watershed Forester with the Maryland DNR Forest Service, received the 2015 Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) Outstanding Cooperative Forest Mana gement Forester Award. Iowa State Forester Paul Tauke presented the award to Jamie in April at the NAASF Cooperative Forest Management Committee's annual meeting in DuBois, PA. Jamie was recognized for his outstanding work efforts in
Two men stand side by side.
Jamie Weaver (right) poses with Iowa State Forester Paul Tauke (left) after receiving the 2015 Outstanding Cooperative Forest Management Forester Award. (Photo: Michael Huneke)
Carroll and Baltimore Counties where he helps private forest landowners plant trees and install forestry best management practices to enhance waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Read the full Cooperative Forest Management Forester award article.

A man with a green Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shirt is smiling.
Meet Gary Gilmore, Pennsylvania's New Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator  

Gary Gilmore was recently promoted to Woodland Stewardship Coordinator in  Pennsylvania. Before being hired as a forester 20 years ago, he was self employed as a blacksmith, built his timber frame home, and enjoyed the forested landscape of central Pennsylvania. At age 38 he returned to Penn State and earned a degree in Forestry. For the past 20 years, he has served as a service forester with the Pennsylvania DCNR in Clarion, Jefferson, and Armstrong Counties. He chaired the PA Tree Farm committee during his DCNR tenure; he has also been a member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1993 and received regional SAF Outstanding Field Forester recognition in 2012.

Gary owns a 130-acre Tree Farm and is experienced in everything that can go wrong, from planting trees to battling invasive plants to having too many deer. Gary uses logs from his Tree Farm for lumber and heat.

One of Gary's strange interests is the production and use of charcoal to develop sustainable systems. This material can be used to enhance the growing of food, manage manure, control stormwater, operate vehicles, and more. As a private forest landowner and a public forester working with other landowners, he is in a unique position to understand and encourage better management of forest land.

Contact Gary at 717-418-5203 or
Head and shoulders photo of a man.
Meet Peter Beringer, New Forest Stewardship Coordinator 

Peter Beringer reported aboard the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry as the Durham, NH, field office's new Forest Stewardship Program coordinator, June 27. He replaced Roger Monthey who retired earlier this year.

Beringer comes from the Maine Forest Service, where he worked for 22 years out of Augusta. There, he served as the director of support services with a focus on Federal grant management, oversight of grant administration, and as a financial officer for that State agency. He also performed duties as senior support staff for the Maine State Forester.

Read the full bio for Peter.
Competitive Grant Success Stories
Minnesota Tullibee Lakes Forest Stewardship Project: A Landscape Scale Forest Stewardship Success Story

Dennis McDougall, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

You may be wondering, "What on earth is a tullibee lake?" That's a fair question and we'll get to that in a minute.

But ultimately this story is not so much about tullibees (whatever they are) as it is about the inter-relationships of seemingly unrelated natural resource issues, and the ability to recognize and understand those relationships to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions to unique environmental problems.

Read the full Tullibee Lakes Forest Stewardship Project story.

A dock entends out into a tranquil lake on a sunny day. Photo: The allure of a northern is obvious, though for some the scenery is merely a byproduct in their pursuit of a trophy catch. (T. Lawrence, Great Lakes Fishery Commission)
Sparta Mountain Gives Endangered Songbirds a Reason to Sing

Kristen Pakonis, Correspondent
December 14, 2015

Reprinted with permission from the Daily Record
(Parsippany, NJ)

[Ed. note: The Highlands area of New York and New Jersey was identified as a region of national significance by the Highlands Regional Study (HRS) in 1992. This study acknowledged a need for conservation to go beyond land preservation and identified conservation strategies that include reaching out and informing, monitoring landscapes and resources, and demonstrating conservation.

The project featured in this article supports conservation strategies through the development of an ecologically based Forest Stewardship Plan, which covers one of the Conservation Focal Areas identified in the 2002 HRS Update: Sparta Mountain. Through a competitive grant from Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, New Jersey Audubon developed a plan for 3,282 acres of the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Sussex County. New Jersey Audubon cooperatively manages Sparta Mountain with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife and developed management strategies to improve ruffed grouse and golden-winged warbler habitats. New Jersey Audubon also achieved third-party certification through the Rain Forest Alliance.]

On a Sunday morning in August, we stood knee deep in a sea of goldenrod, raspberries, grasses and sedges, on the edge of a young forest in the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

"Listen, there are two towhees," said Sharon Petzinger, a senior zoologist with New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, as she identified the birds by sound. We all stayed silent until the next eastern towhee call rang through the air. This was a sign of success.

Read the full Sparta Mountain article.

An open area surrounded by forest has thick regeneration. Photo taken [in 2015] in Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area of an area harvested in 2012. (Don Donnelly)
Forest Land Conservation Spotlight
forest legacy logo
Forest Legacy Program 
Conservation Commission Explores Forest Legacy Program

Kitty LeShay
January 28, 2016

Reprinted with permission from the Hartford (CT) Courant

Ashford residents love their land and love living in the Last Green Valley.

Most of them want to keep this pristine part of Connecticut exactly like it is in perpetuity and are looking at various ways to do that. The Forest Legacy Program, a federal program operated in partnership with states, encourages the protection of privately owned forest land through conservation easements.

The Ashford Conservation Commission met on Jan. 11 to discuss the possibilities of the Westford Woodlands project, a consortium of landowners interested in preserving their land. It was the first step in a long application process.

Read the full Hartford Courant Forest Legacy Program article.

Community Forest Program
Rensselaer Plateau Community Forest: A Grassroots Community Effort from its Inception

Jim Bonesteel, Executive Director, Rensselaer Plateau Alliance

The ultimate secret to a successful community forest project is strong community engagement, partnerships, and a focus on working forests. This story is about such an effort in New York State.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, two full years before the 350-acre parcel of forest land that would become the Rensselaer Plateau Community Forest was identified as a potential site, Walter Kersch attended a training workshop at the Fisher Museum of the Harvard Forest. The U.S. Forest Service-funded workshop was one of several that were part of the Regional Pilot Project, New York/New England Family Forest Owner Engagement of the North East State Foresters Association.
Group of people listening to a man talk in a field surrounded by forests.

Photo above: Suzanne Treyger (center) from Audubon New York visits with Community Forest Committee members to discuss the restoration and management of a meadow on the Rensselaer Plateau Community Forest with a focus on the birds. (Jim Bonesteel)
Naturalist's Corner
Brood V Periodical Cicadas: 2016 Was a Very Good Year   

Sandy Clark, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

A red-eyed cicada rests on a light pole. After hunkering for 17 years underground, they emerged by the billions. Cicada larvae doggedly tunneled their way out of the ground in May and soon morphed into red-eyed flying adults. The cacophony of males singing to attract mates reached a fever pitch in June that only quieted when darkness fell.

They are gone now. The only visible signs of their presence are small, round holes in the soil and the reddish, drooping ends of branches where females drilled slits to lay their eggs.

A group of three cicada species that are collectively known as "Brood V" emerges every 17 years in West Virginia, eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and western Virginia. Larvae begin to emerge when the soil 8 inches below the ground's surface warms up to 64 degrees F. This particular brood includes three species of cicada: Magicicada cassini, M. Septendecim, and M. septendecula. This video features singing cicadas, most of which are M. cassini (video courtesy of

According to, periodical cicadas only live in Eastern North America. There are 17-year periodical cicada species as well as 13-year species. Unique combinations of species that emerge at the same time in their prime-numbered life cycles are classified into 15 distinct "broods." Because they emerge in such large numbers and at intervals that are prime numbers (which makes it far less likely that predators with a shorter life cycle will be in sync), these broods have successfully evolved to survive predation.

Where and when will other cicada broods emerge? Check out this web site hosted by!

Photo: Brood V periodical cicada in West Virginia. (Sandy Clark)