Timber Harvests - PGC Mapping - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Timber Harvests - PGC Mapping

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has added a Timber Harvest layer to their mapping center application. I'm familiar with the northwest part of the state and don't believe they have been cutting near as much as they should. I reviewed the map looking for areas on SGL that have been clearcut in the past 10 or so years. I looked at all SGL north of I-80 in Venango, Clarion, Warren, Forest, Bradford, Elk, Jefferson and Cameron counties. Those gamelands total 236,965 acres and the maps show that since 2016 730 acres of new ESH has been created via timber harvest.

If I were in charge, I would have about 50% of gamelands in ESH but I know that is a grouse hunter's pipe dream. Realistically though, they should be cutting at least 1% per year or about 10% in the last 10 years. The map total shows 0.37% in the past 10 years. I'm either disappointed that the maps don't show what has actually been cut or extremely upset that the PGC has put creating new grouse habitat that low on the list of priorities.

The chart below shows what I found when looking for ESH creation in what should be one of the best areas in the state for grouse.


County . . . . gameland . . . Size . . Cut . . percent
Bradford . . .. Sgl 30 . . . 11654 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Bradford . . .. Sgl 301 . . . 2231 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Bradford . . .. Sgl 61 . . . . 988 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Bradford . . .. Sgl 62 . .. . 8808 . . . 6 . . . 0.07%
Cameron . . . . Sgl 143 .. . 14948 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Clarion . . . . Sgl 63 .. . . 3534 .. . 53 . . . 1.50%
Clarion . . . . Sgl 72 .. . . 2027 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Clarion . . . . Sgl 74 .. . . 6567 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Elk . . . . . . Sgl 25 . . . 24125 . . 141 . . . 0.58%
Elk . . . . . . Sgl 28 . . . 11268 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Elk . . . . . . Sgl 293 . . . 5395 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Elk . . . . . . Sgl 311 . . . 3757 .. . 20 . . . 0.53%
Elk . . . . . . Sgl 44 . . . 39052 . . 311 . . . 0.80%
Forest . .. . . Sgl 24 .. . . 8585 . . 118 . . . 1.37%
Jefferson . . . Sgl 283 . . . 3061 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Jefferson . . . Sgl 54 . . . 19407 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Venango . . . . Sgl 253 .. . . 661 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Venango . . . . Sgl 39 . . . 10868 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Venango . . . . Sgl 45 .. . . 5819 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Venango . . . . Sgl 47 .. . . 2215 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Venango . . . . Sgl 96 .. . . 4954 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 143 . . . 8447 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 197 . . . 1554 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 272 .. . . 184 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 282 .. . . 437 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 29 .. . . 9831 .. . 81 . . . 0.82%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 291 . . . 1282 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 306 . . . 1091 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 309 .. . . 996 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
Warren .. . . . Sgl 86 . . . 14321 . . . 0 . . . 0.00%
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:47 PM
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They should scrap the pheasant program (avian feeding program) (since they aint got the balls to regulate the avian predators) and funnel that money into creating ESH on game lands for the grouse. At least in the woods grouse stand a better chance against the uncontrolled avian predators.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 09:47 PM
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DAP,

Don't know if you saw my reply in the general hunting section about the new layers, but these layers are not accurate. If you want to see the actual cuts done on those gamelands I can show you what I currently have mapped, even some of the shelterwood cuts are now finished through clearcut. Most of them are older then 10 years but newer than '05, but there are some after '05 that are not mapped. It is odd but their maps don't even show the most recent cuts done on a lot of these gamelands. As an example one of those gamelands that is at 0% has 14 cuts, the way I count them although I am sure some are from the same bid, under 10 years old.

Mark
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 09:06 AM
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grousen-is this boots on the ground information you have used to map out the areas differently? If not where did you get the info and how can we get the same information for other parts of the state?

The hawks are killing everything.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 09:29 AM
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Grousewit, you do know don't you that the PGC cannot over ride federal law and neither can the federal fish and wildlife service because raptors are protected under a treaty with other countries. It is called the migratory bird treaty act. You should Look it before you make more silly statements.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 09:55 AM
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Ww, lets look at a bigger picture. Anytime the Fed's get involved we lose. Maybe u noticed hunter participation is dropping. States should manage wildlife scientifically not federally based laws on emotion of anti hunters. Uncontrolled avian predation=no pheasants in PA. Uncontrolled wolves out west = no elk,deer, etc. to hunt. Open your eyes farther than your nose! It's a much bigger adgenda than u think. If u get enough predators to balance prey u don't need hunters!

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK SE Pa View Post
grousen-is this boots on the ground information you have used to map out the areas differently? If not where did you get the info and how can we get the same information for other parts of the state?
I actually have compiled all of this through google earth and the history feature. I cannot tell you exact dates of removals, but time periods, ie 05-08, 10-12, etc. The accuracy of when the cuts are completed is really dependent on how frequently google has updated the maps in your area. Some areas in Michigan for example have larger gaps then NW PA so it could be a much bigger difference. I will say it is very time consuming to map cuts this way, the bonus though is it allows you to get a better picture of the regrowth of a cut as well as finding blow down events that are never noted. I have a lot of cuts mapped in NW/Central PA and some in North Central PA. Also a good note is that while I use OnXmaps for on the ground navigation I also purchased backcountry navigator pro because it allows me to upload all my cuts and keeps the colors I assigned them. This allows me to quickly look at a map in the field and know the age of a cut or search for a different cut with known age without cell reception.

Mark
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 11:47 AM
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I can say for certain that within the last 2 years I helped do a cut on a Bradford County SGL that isn't even listed.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by grousen'at View Post
DAP,

Don't know if you saw my reply in the general hunting section about the new layers, but these layers are not accurate. If you want to see the actual cuts done on those gamelands I can show you what I currently have mapped, even some of the shelterwood cuts are now finished through clearcut. Most of them are older then 10 years but newer than '05, but there are some after '05 that are not mapped. It is odd but their maps don't even show the most recent cuts done on a lot of these gamelands. As an example one of those gamelands that is at 0% has 14 cuts, the way I count them although I am sure some are from the same bid, under 10 years old.

Mark
I missed your post about the layers in the General forum. I watched the replay of the webinar and saw that they were available. I wasn't using them to specifically look for cover to hun (you're right google earth's history feature is best for that), but more so to get a idea of how many acres had been cut on SGL in the last 10 years within a 2-3 hour drive. I figured some had been missed on the layers map, but wasn't sure how much.

How much do you think has been cut in the last 10 years that doesn't show up on the layers map?
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 05:57 PM
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Many of the map layers are out of date by many years. I see areas of game lands in Elk County that still show active strip mining even though the land has been reclaimed with several years of warm season grass now planted and growing on it. I would say some areas haven’t had updated aerial surveys for at least five or more years. There are also many newly cut areas that don’t show on the maps for the same reason of no recent aerial survey updates.

Also you can’t use the acreage of the game lands and expect to have it all qualify as areas that can be cut. Only about half of the land on most game lands are even included in the areas open to cutting. Some areas those acres are not forested and will never be cut in our lifetime because they don’t have any trees on them. Some areas are swamps and wetlands, some areas along streams where cutting would be damaging to the aquatics and water temperatures. Some areas are protected due to their proximity to eagle, osprey or heron nests. Some are critical habitat for other endangered or threatened species and some are just so steep or erodible that any timber operation is basically out of the question unless it is going to be done with specialized logging equipment that would make it to cost prohibited for most commercial logging operations.

The Game Commission has said many times that only about half of the game lands are available for cutting yet some hunters repeatedly refuse to accept or understand that and then try to use the incorrect amount of land open to cutting data making it look worse that it really is.

Dick Bodenhorn
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Last edited by R. S. B.; 03-05-2018 at 05:59 PM.
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