The Pennsylvania Forestry Association, the PSU-Mont Alto Forestry Club, and the South Mountain Partnership partnered to look at the past, present and future of forestry in the South Mountain region. From the cut over and burned over landscape that Joseph Rothrock knew 140 years ago to the mosaic of fertile agricultural valleys and shady wooded ridges that we see today, the Pennsylvania landscape has been transformed.
The panel discussion highlighted the history, diversity, and current management of South Central Pennsylvania’s hardwood forest resource: Joe Barnard (retired, USDA Forest Service) summarized the legacy of Joseph Rothrock and his efforts to protect of thousands of acres of Pennsylvania forest. Matt Keefer (Assistant State Forester for Community and Private Forest Stewardship, DCNR) detailed the current condition of South Central Pennsylvania’s forests and outlined the opportunities and threats to day-to-day management of private and public forests. Nancy Baker (private forest landowner) offered a case history of a 163-acre woodland she owns and manages, land that has been in her family since her great grandfather conducted its first timber harvest in the 1860’s.