Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
In what must be one of the most unusual items to appear in the silent auction for the Foresters Fund, Bennie was offered by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Bennie is one of thousands of wild horses available for adoption from the BLM. By law the captured horses, who are not native to the American Plains and can cause a great deal of environmental damage, cannot be destroyed. They must be cared for by BLM until they can go to deserving homes. Don't worry, the auction winner must qualify as an owner and could donate Bennie back until a good home can be found.
These horses, outside the hotel, don't ever actually go anywhere!
The eventual winner was Utah State University. In addition to the trophy, they won prizes from the Geico Gecko. (Each member won a toaster that branded the Gecko on the toast!)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
The US Forest Service Remote Sensing Application Center has put together a number of maps in its Modis Active Fire Mapping Program. The site includes a number of imaging products including interactive ArcIMS maps and Google Earth downloads. Complete data on the fires is also available.
With more people moving into rural areas, the increase in forest fuels, and the capricious climate the problem of widlfires will be with us for a long time. Fortunately, we have reliable real time sources of information with which to study the fires and come up with solutions.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.Alumni at the Penn State Mont Alto Reunion tried out Woodsmen's Competition events during the reunion on June 21st.
Coach Craig Houghton looks on as Paul Shogren and Jerry Klancer do the crosscut.
Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.Retired forestry faculty returned to Mont Alto to meet their old students at the Penn State Mont Alto Alumni Reunion on Saturday June 21.
Robert Douglas was a student at Mon Alto in 1952. He taught forestry courses from1963 to 1973.
Ken Swisher taught dendrology and other forestry courses from1964 to 1996.
Nick Hunter taught at Mont Alto from 1974 to 1985.
The faculty and alumni reminisced over numerous labs in the forests around Mont Alto.
Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.During the Penn State Mont Alto Reunion and 45th Anniversary alumni visited the Waynesboro Watershed where forest technology students carry out many field labs.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
History of Fire Towers in PA with a series of historical photos. The use of fire towers began at Mont Alto as the students were detailed to fight forest fires. At first they climbed prominent hills and even trees. Eventually makeshift towers were secured to tall trees. These eventually developed into manufactured steel towers placed strategically around the State. It became a source of community pride to have a functioning tower. Merle described the often tedious work of a fire tower observer and how the workers coped with the long hours and strenuous conditions.
Eventually fire towers gave way to aerial spotters. Today, with more people living in rural areas, the use of airplanes, and better communication (cell phones and radios) there is less need for towers. A few are still in use however. Others suffer from vandalism. Some may be preserved for their historical value.
Chapter chairman Mike Kusko (right) presents Ralph Heilig with his 50 year SAF Golden Membership Award.
Thanks to the Keystone Chapter members for generously sponsoring the students. It was greatly appreciated after a day of timber harvesting at summer camp!
(from left to right: Logan Droppa, Chance Yeckley, Ryan Thrush, Andrew Baker, Craig Houghton, Beth Brantley, Darren Krebs, John Westerfer, and Peter Linehan)
Yesterday's commencement at Penn State Mont Alto turned out to be the island of sunny weather between heavy rains. Congratulations to the Class of 2009!
(Andrew, Chance, and Darren)
Congratulations too to Tiffany Roddy and Matthew Reitzel, who couldn't attend the ceremony. Last but not lease, congratulations to Charles Hostetter who earned a B.A. in English. Charles studied one year in forest technology before deciding to follow his muse elsewhere. I'm sure his forestry classes will provide many stories for his studies in creative writing at the University of Maryland.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Forest technology students have been busy the past few weeks replanting a thirty acre clearcut on the Waynesboro Watershed with hybrid loblolly trees. The previous stand had became stagnant. Last summer it was harvested. The site was subsequently sprayed with herbicide to kill invasive plants. Now it's ready for replanting! Above is a picture of the freshman silviculture class after a laborious session.
At work with the dibble bar.
MONT ALTO 140
HAYWOOD CC 91
MONTGOMERY CC 48
PENN COLLEGE 26
ALLEGANY COLLEGE OF MD 18
This win showed a strong team effort by all involved. Also, congratulations to Chance Yeckley who came in second in the Stihl Collegiate Qualifying competition.
Friday, April 18, 2008
- First Place: Chance Yeckley and Tiffany Roddy for "Meeting of the Pines Natural Area"
- Second Place: Kevin Braun and Eric Monger "The Distribution of American Chestnuts on Oak Road"
- Third Place: Logan Droppa for "Mapping Ornamental Trees: Korean Tetrainum and Amur Corktree"
- Matt Reitzel "Identifying and Mapping Fir Trees on Campus
- Andrew Baker " Practical Use of Geographic Information System (GIS) in Developing Forest Management Plans on Privately Owned Forest Land in Washington County, Pennsylvania"
Saturday, April 12, 2008
These beautiful cherry trees were in full bloom today outside the Shippensburg Borough Police Department. At first I thought they were the result of years of intense pruning. It turns out that these Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella) trees are the result of numerous branches grafted to a single stem. They certainly add a dramatic element to the landscape.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The overview of his presentation is that of the 58% of Pennsylvania that is forested, much of the land is privately owned and the size of the land is being parcelized (broken into smaller and smaller tracts). Since most land owners who harvest their forests do not hire a forester, the result is high grading and not thinking about the future forests. They are not waiting for adequate regeneration and what does manage to regenerate is not what we want to see. The main tree species that are regenerating are red maple and black birch. Deer don't eat them or fern. The fern shades out and filters the light needed by the tree seedlings and then if oak regeneration does manage to out grow the fern, the deer browse it off. If the deer don't browse it off, then the oak has to compete with the faster growing birch and maple.
Using tests such as the ASID test and fencing out deer, we can see that the deer, fern, and competition as well as invasive insects like the Gypsy moth paint a very bleak picture for the oak. One of the things that we can do is educate the public and try to use best management practices to ensure a strong forest in the future.
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/foresthealth.aspx This website discusses the concern for deer and Gypsy moth, which relate to the decrease in oak regeneration and its component in our forests, especially in our future forests.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Here is a map I made of Mount Washington in New Hampshire:
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Mount Washington is the highest point on the east coast of the USA.
I am not sure how they select the contour interval. It seems to be 40 feet.
Here is another map of the Waynesboro Reservoir:
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This one also seems to have a 40 foot interval, too. It will be interesting to check other regions, such as the Rockies. I do like the effect of contours and shading to show elevation. This is a great option. It turns the online maps into much more of a professional tool.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The Historical Marker Database is a favorite I like to follow. Today the marker for Mira Lloyd Dock in Harrisburg was entered. Dock (1853-1945) was a conservation pioneer for her work in parks around Harrisburg, conservation education, and with the Pennsylvania Forestry Commission. Her marker could have been just as easily placed in Mont Alto. She was a frequent lecturer at the Forest Academy. She also mentored many of the students in the first classes, inviting them to Sunday teas at her home in Caledonia.
She also gave many talks on forestry and conservation at Mont Alto and around Pennsylvania. Take a look at some of the slides in her glass lantern shows at the Penn State Library.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
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The four companies use similar techniques but they are very different. One is a large operation with new equipment. The owner, who lost one arm in an accident, is always experimenting with new techniques to increase production, such as using a helicopter to initially set a cable. Another company works with a small crew using a converted WWII tank as a yarder. When one worker goes home with a bad back everyone has to shift jobs and production plummets for the day.
The show concentrates on the drama of the loggers and their work. Watching it as a forester I think of the bigger picture of the forest situation in Oregon with the restrictions on harvesting and the controversies on the best way to manage the forests. The previews hint that in future episodes the decline in logging, the closure of mills, and the difficulties in the forest economy will be highlighted. Watching this show I can understand the slightly bemused attitude I have always noticed in loggers when I have been on logging tours. They know that all the silvicultural theories rely on their actions.
The loggers work under tremendous pressure. In addition to the dangers they have to maintain production to get paid. Their contracts have hard deadlines that they have to meet. It's a hard way to make a living.
This is a series well worth watching.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
During a surveying exercise this morning I came across a memorial black walnut tree for F. Henry Sipe (PSFS 25). Sipe became a forester and surveyor in West Virginia. He wrote a book Compass Land Surveying, of which I have the final 1979 edition. It was a detailed handbook for doing forest property surveys. It's definitely a classic! It's great to have these historical reminders around the Mont Alto campus.