January 2018 | #ForestProud
Pennsylvania Forestry Association
News You Can Use
Dive deep into this month's News You Can Use! Catch up on news articles, learn about changes in the Tree Farm Program for Inspectors, and gain insight on some funding opportunities. This month's articles are sure to please!

Have news to share? Send it to cwright@versantstrategies.net.

Wood Innovations Program – US Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service
Wood Innovations Program – US Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service
           For: USA states nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, communities, school districts, special purpose districts, and IHEs to enhance and promote forestry and wood product markets. Projects should reduce forest fires, be cost effective, and promote environmental and economic health.
           Amount: $10,000 - $250,000
           Deadlines: Proposal deadline – January 22, 2018
           For More Information: See https://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/wip/2018-rfp.shtm . You may also contact
Forest Service Region 9 (Northeastern Area - CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO,
NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI):
ATTN: Lew McCreery
U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area
State & Private Forestry
180 Canfield St
Morgantown, WV 26505
(304) 285–1538
Northeastern Logger's Association Seek Award Nominations
From Executive Director of the Northeastern Logger's Association, Joe Phaneuf:

The NELA Awards Program recognizes outstanding people and companies from our region in the following categories- logging Operator, Sawmill Operator, Wood Manufacturer, Trucking Operator, Wood Manufacturer, Trucking operator, Management of Resources, Contribution to Forestry Industry Education, Contribution to Safety, Industry Activist, Use of Wood, Leadership in the Industry, and Service to the Forest Industry. This year's award winners will be recognized at the Annual Loggers' Banquet to be held on May 10th in Burlington, Vermont.

While it does take some time and thought to nominate someone, it's well worth the effort. Please send your awards nominations to NELA offices by January 31, 2018. We can accept nominations via mail, via fax at 315-369-3736 or via email at jphaneuf@northernlogger.com. Feel free to call me at 315-369-3078 with any questions.
PA Tree Farm Update
Have you reviewed your current management plan recently? Are you wondering how it lines up with the 2015-2020 Standards of Sustainability? Check out the ATFS Management Plan Addendum. This Addendum was developed as an easy to use resource to help you ensure your plan reflects the goals you have for your land assesses the current health of your woods and aligns your plan with the Standards.

Happy Planning and Happy New Year!
The current ATFS Inspectors app will be sun-setting in February of 2018. Inspectors were notified in the most recent Sightline and asked to submit any pending inspections before February 1, 2018, if submitting through the app. Inspectors may also use alternate means of submitting inspections, such as the popular PDF uploader, as described here: Submission of 004 Form. We will also be sending an additional message to inspectors who have active inspections currently within the app, to notify them of this change and remind them to complete any pending inspections in the app. 

ATFS staff is committed to streamlining the inspections process and improving efficiencies where possible. As such, an improved app is currently being explored. We are researching vendors and want to obtain feedback to ensure that any new technologies are the best fit for our community. Regular updates will be posted on www.treefarmsystem.org/app. If you have questions/suggestions contact Nephtali Chavez at nchavez@forestfoundation.org
USDA Seeks Applications for $10 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants
Do you or your organization have an innovative idea for solving a conservation challenge? Looking for a funding partner to help turn your idea into reality? The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service wants to help. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018
In Memoriam

Soren Eriksson
1938 - 2017
It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Soren Eriksson on Dec. 26, 2017 in his home country of Sweden. Soren, founder of the Game of Logging Training, was world renown for the development of exceptional training techniques and courses in chainsaw felling, chainsaw safety, efficient limbing, and maximizing chainsaw performance. Former Forest Resources Association President and current Pennsylvania Forestry Association President Richard Lewis worked with Soren during his early visits to the US.  

At that time the American Pulpwood Association (now Forest Resources Association) sponsored a series of Soren's chainsaw training demonstrations throughout the US. 

Lewis notes, "Although Soren's initial goal was to increase the productivity of chainsaw operators there was a great side benefit of his training efforts. This side benefit, chainsaw safety, in my opinion far surpassed his original productivity goal. Soren's decades of conducting hundreds chainsaw training courses for US loggers, landowners, arborists, and others greatly reduced the annual number of US wide chainsaw operator fatalities and severe injuries. We have lost a modern-day forestry and logging hero. RIP my friend!"

In recognition of Soren's training efforts that greatly improved US forest logging worker safety The Forest Resources Association's National Timber Harvesting and Transportation Safety Foundation presented Soren with its National Logging Safety Award on March 14, 2010.

Those wishing to express their condolences to the Eriksson family can do so by writing to Soren's wife: Britt Eriksson, Gassarvett Mellanakersv 4, 79397 Siljansnas, Sweden
A Life Of Trees
Recently, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation did a feature article on PFA Lifetime Member Nancy Baker, a champion of conservation through forestry. Read the article below. More information can be found at www.cbf.org.

Underutilized or “Low Use” Wood
Opportunities for renewable energy from Pennsylvania's forests

Prepared by Daniel Ciolkosz, Penn State Extension

When talking about wood as a feedstock for bioenergy, we almost always refer to “low use wood”, which is a funny term, but essentially refers to either undesirable trees or byproducts of higher value timber operations. In Pennsylvania this year, forest owners and wood product manufacturers have found themselves facing a dramatic glut of this “low use” material, which is impacting forestry economics and making it more difficult to carry out forest improvement activities such as thinning, since most of the material removed in those operations would fall into this “low use” category. The two causes most often cited for this glut are:

An uptick in timber harvests for high value (i.e. veneer, cabinetry), which has increased the amount of residuals available.
Two mild winters in a row, which has reduced the demand for wood pellet feedstock.
If these trends continue, we can expect continued challenges for foresters wishing to improve their forests, as well as from timber companies that depend on income from low use wood. However, this supposed problem can also be a dramatic opportunity for the region, if we identify ways to utilize low use wood in a sustainable and ecologically responsible manner that creates new products and business opportunities. Several possibilities exist for this, especially with respect to energy production:

Commercial scale biomass heat- Schools, hospitals, large residences and businesses throughout Pennsylvania already successfully utilize wood heat at a commercial scale, using high efficiency automated boilers that burn either wood chips or pellets.
Biochar – has great potential as a replacement for coal or for other uses. See the adjacent article in this newsletter for further details.
Cellulosic fuel production – future expansion in America’s biofuel capacity is planned to be from cellulosic feedstocks, and low use wood is a good candidate for that application.
Export markets for wood pellets – Currently, almost all wood pellets in the Northeast US are sold to the domestic home heating market. Adding an export option could be a useful way to add diversity to that market, especially in down years when local demand is soft.
Other materials – Bioplastics, building materials, spill cleanup media, and other non energy markets could provide a complement to energy uses that allows for a healthy economy that utilizes wood material while enhancing our ability to manage the forest.
On April 30 and May 1st of next year, Penn State Extension will be partnering with West Virginia University to host a symposium to explore opportunities for underutilized wood in the region and develop contacts and plans for new projects in this area. If you are interested in presenting or attending this event, please contact Daniel Ciolkosz at dec109@psu.edu. In the meantime, consider participating in the Pennsylvania State Wood Energy Team, a collaborative group seeking to encourage sustainable use of wood for energy.
The Fires of Penn's Woods
Almost everyday news accounts show video and still photos of entire Western towns devastated by wildfires. Terms like “largest in history,” or “a community destroyed by a wildfire,” are common as news reporters in yellow firefighter shirts stand before the cameras. A hundred and twenty years ago the same kind of devastation was found in Pennsylvania. But it doesn’t take a 300,000 acre fire to be significant. If it is your family, house, barn or place of employment that was burned, it is immaterial whether the fire burned a thousand acres or two acres. The fire was significant!

As the great forests of Pennsylvania were cleared, the slash and debris left by loggers was prone to burn – and it did! Huge fires once raged through the forest of Pennsylvania. While certainly not on the scale of the fires that have burned across the American West in the recent years, the wildfires that have burned in Pennsylvania took lives, disrupted families and businesses, burned homes, farms and even entire towns. The fires provided the impetus for the founding of the science of forestry and wildfire control in the Keystone State.

The Fires of Penn’s Woods is a detailed historical account of how fires –some quite large and some quite small - impacted Pennsylvania and shaped what is today a sustainable forest that has re-grown from the Great Pennsylvania Desert – the land that was left after industrial logging virtually cleared the state of its trees by the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Until now there has not been a comprehensive history that has documented wildfires in Pennsylvania to this extent. This thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed book describes how the science of forestry, wildfire prevention, and fire control has grown in Pennsylvania. 

The author, Michael Klimkos is retired from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. For twenty-five years he was a volunteer firefighter and a member of wildland firefighting crews. He writes from his home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The book is available through Amazon, The Fires of Penn's Woods , as well as other retail booksellers. For information on how to obtain a signed copy, or find out where the author is doing a book signing or presentation, visit the author’s website at   www.mjklimkos.com.
State endangered mammal requires old-growth conifers for food and shelter

Scattered remnants of a diminishing boreal forest are the last footholds for the state-endangered northern flying squirrel in northeastern Pennsylvania. The diminutive nocturnal rodent, with its disproportionately large eyes and unique ability to glide through the air, is in trouble. Forest fragmentation, the loss of trees necessary for food and shelter, and competition with a close cousin have kept this species precariously clinging to survival in the commonwealth. But help may be on the way in the form of a habitat-improvement project taking shape on state game lands in the Poconos.

Read the entire Press Release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the link below.
Red Spruce seedling planted on SGL 149 in Luzurne County. Photo Credit Zach Wismer.
Northern flying squirrel gliding. Photo Credit National Park Service.
Make Plans to Attend the 2018 Conservation Dinner
The PFA’s Annual Conservation Dinner is slated for Saturday, March 3 rd at the Genetti Hotel & Conference Center in Williamsport. Watch for details and a registration form in the upcoming winter issue of Pennsylvania Forests . Contact the PFA office for tickets!
Become a Certified American Tree Farm System Inspector
2018 Tree Farm Inspector
Certification Training Sessions

Wednesday, February 21, 2018. 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM. 
Wyndham Gettysburg, 95 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg, PA

Wednesday, February 28, 2018. 11:30 PM - 2:30 PM. Forest Resources Building, Room 217, Penn State University Park

Sponsored by: The Pennsylvania Forestry Association Tree Farm  
    Committee and Penn State Extension

Trainings are open to anyone interested in becoming certified by the American Tree Farm System to inspect family owned forestland to the Tree Farm Standard. The minimum qualification to become an inspector includes a 2 yr. or 4 yr. forestry degree from an SAF accredited program. All those wishing to inspect and certify Tree Farms must attend an initial face-to-face training class. There is no charge for taking the class.

Prior Registration Required: Register by phone or email. Contact the Pennsylvania Forestry Association at (800) 835-8065 or thePFA@paforestry.org.
In the news
The importance of tree genetics in conserving urban forests will be discussed at a Jan. 18 program hosted by the Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association. Cynthia Morton, a researcher with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, will lead the program at 6:30 p.m. in the Westmoreland Conservation District... -  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

HARRISBURG — The state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding told lawmakers Tuesday that the Wolf administration recognizes the importance of getting broadband available in rural Pennsylvania. Speaking to the House agriculture and rural affairs committee at the... -  Meadville Tribune

It’s such a pretty little plant... -  AP

Monarch butterflies are in Mexico, the end of an annual migration these animals make from Canada and the United States — now with help from a project at Friendship Hill National Historic Site in Springhill Township. A group of volunteers has been working for three years with the National... -  Uniontown Herald-Standard

  (Press Release)

More than 70 acres of Monroe County woodlands and wetlands that provide habitat to endangered and at-risk species were preserved this month thanks to the Wildlands Conservancy. The 72-acre acquisition expands the Wildlands’ 1,300-acre Thomas Darling Preserve at Two Mile Run along Route 940 in Blakeslee. The... -  Allentown Morning Call

Chances are you haven’t heard of the spotted lanternfly — yet. But the invasive species that has steadily increased its population in the eastern part of the state could make its way westward. A spotted lanternfly isn’t much bigger than a small moth. It’s smaller than a cicada — the most recent swarming insect to hit the... -  Waynesburg Greene County Messenger
The Pennsylvania Foresty Association | 1( 800) 835-8065 | thePFA@paforestry.org | www.paforestry.org