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post #1 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Declining SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Our Forestry Program: A Closer Look (PA Game News, March 2014)

Dave Gustafson (PGC Forestry Division Chief) speaks out about SGL Management. Most importantly, he identifies several reasons for the multiple *declines* in timber harvest thru the years. Interestingly, not ONE of the reasons is a suppressed timber market (due to economic recession). So, the very thing that so many here insisted was the #1 reason, is something Gustafson never even mentions! I feel vindicated.

Instead he says:
1980 - 1994 = high harvest due to gypsy moth salvage
1995 - 2000 = harvest DECREASE due to updating plans
2001 – 2004 = another harvest DECREASE due to 50% staff turnover
2005 – 2013 = another 30% staff turnover



Secondly, multiple times throughout the article he mentions a desire, and an actual *need* to do more in terms of habitat production: “What we’re finding is our plans are calling for many more acres to be managed through timber harvest than we can achieve.”. Duuh! I didn’t need a computer model or “comprehensive plan” to figure that out.

While the article was fairly balanced, I was disappointed there was no mention of:
1) Forested portion of SGL currently stand at a mere 9% young forest
2) USDA recommendation to increase the % of young forest in PA
3) PGC 2008 Woodcock Plan to create an additional 6,790 ac annually of young forest on SGL
4) PGC 2011 Grouse Plan to create an additional 8,000 ac annually of young forest on SGL

According to this video Sgl 314 got a whopping 20% cut all at once (see date stamp 07:10), and then re-cut every 5-10 years to maintain that 20% in young forest stage which is fantastic management and demonstrates it is responsible and can be done.

We hunters need to insist on higher timber harvest on our SGL to restore young forest habitat and associated game to previous levels. If ever there was a time to write letters and make phone calls, it is now! Forestry staff wants to do it, and the plans are in place to create more habitat. Gustafson identifies Governor Corbett as a limiting factor to the forestry staff. PGC Executive Director, PGC Commissioners, and Legislators could all be pressed. What do you say fellas?

pgccomments@ pa.gov
PGC Commissioners
Governor Corbett

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post #2 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:56 AM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

<span style="font-weight: bold"> One common thought process that simply doesn't apply anymore is achieving a harvest goal based upon an arbitrary rotation. </span>

also from the article

wmu 3A
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post #3 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:05 AM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

You won't get an argument from the BOC or GC staff on this. The call and the need for more early successional forest is an ongoing issue.

The gov on the other hand is a problem, the GC presents an operational budget yearly to his office of Administration. That budget is compared to the annual audit of the GC books by this office, Then they set a spending limit (budget) the GC has to adhere to.

Last several years, the GC has had budget severely trimmed to make the overall state budget look better. That reduction at some level impacted the ability of the GC to get the work done to plan the timber cuts.

If anyone recalls the revenue from gamelands study from a few years ago, the most relevant facts to come through was the need for more foresters on the GC staff. The bulk of the work in any cut is the planing an inventory / marking. Timber cutting is more than just marking a square and starting a saw. More so when the end result is different than a commercial cut.

Also from the report, the GC was working on completing individual GL management plans. These plans were comprehensive using state of the art mapping and inventory software. Time consuming yes - but the long term results for all should be much better.

As for the legislature, their intent of late, without party considerations, seems to be to strip away the ability to function, decrease funding, and set the stage for merger to some degree. The ultimate goal of a totally politically driven GC by the legislature, Revenue, more successional forest, more game, and happier hunters doesn't help the goal.

I agree, they need to cut. Big time. Add DCNR as well.


**** The Revenue Resource Study not to be confused by the deer / timber study of 2012 sponsored by one legislator who just happens to be an Honorary Life Member of USP.... with the report absent nearly all other LFBC members names.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #4 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:05 AM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Didn't read the article yet, but did he mention that Corbett's office of administration arbitrarily made cuts in PGC's budgets, even though those budgets are <span style="font-style: italic">not</span> funded by the state, but from license dollars and other PGC income?

In a previous year the Gov's budget office trimmed about $500,000 from the proposed PGC budget. Why?

That proposed PGC budget had nothing to do with balancing the state's budget, it wasn't General Fund money to begin with.

Just one example of the goofy funding things the PGC is faced with every year. Not counting additional legislative meddling, like the bill to pay a bounty on 'yotes and the $700,000 that might siphon from the Game Fund.

Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #5 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:10 AM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Hey grund, read the Jan BOC Land Press release.

They are paying for a large purchase with timber money. Going to be a lot of cutting to pay that bill.

A good deal- they get more land for everyone, and we will get the cutting early successional forest we need.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #6 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 11:38 AM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Corbett denied the PGC staffing requests to make himself look good. Plain and simple.
Will he get a free pass from the sportmens' groups this fall, based on what the NRA says?
On the forestry issue, both the PGC and DCNR are doing alot of work in the forest the doesn't necessarily instantly show up as timber harvest or early sucessional habitat. I am talking about herbiciding, mechanical removal of undesired vegitation, planting trees, deer fencing, etc. All of this work is necessary due to the problems facing achieving desired regeneration in many areas.
I would argue that many areas, especially the oak forests, should not be cut until it can be assured that desired regeneration can occur. Right now, that is not happening in many locations around here.
We shouldn't get so hung up on acres of timber sold. We should focus more on having a QUALITY forest. I think that basically is what they are doing.

Support Habitat Conservation.
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post #7 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:38 PM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

I spoke with my local representative yesterday about this issue. Heck girdle the trees and cut them for firewood for all I care. The gamelands are not the timber production lands for the state.

What I say might not be the popular trend but at least Im not afraid to speak my mind!
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post #8 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:55 PM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetick
You won't get an argument from the BOC or GC staff on this. The call and the need for more early successional forest is an ongoing issue.

The gov on the other hand is a problem, the GC presents an operational budget yearly to his office of Administration. That budget is compared to the annual audit of the GC books by this office, Then they set a spending limit (budget) the GC has to adhere to.

Last several years, the GC has had budget severely trimmed to make the overall state budget look better. That reduction at some level impacted the ability of the GC to get the work done to plan the timber cuts.

If anyone recalls the revenue from gamelands study from a few years ago, the most relevant facts to come through was the need for more foresters on the GC staff. The bulk of the work in any cut is the planing an inventory / marking. Timber cutting is more than just marking a square and starting a saw. More so when the end result is different than a commercial cut.

Also from the report, the GC was working on completing individual GL management plans. These plans were comprehensive using state of the art mapping and inventory software. Time consuming yes - but the long term results for all should be much better.

As for the legislature, their intent of late, without party considerations, seems to be to strip away the ability to function, decrease funding, and set the stage for merger to some degree. The ultimate goal of a totally politically driven GC by the legislature, Revenue, more successional forest, more game, and happier hunters doesn't help the goal.

I agree, they need to cut. Big time. Add DCNR as well.


**** The Revenue Resource Study not to be confused by the deer / timber study of 2012 sponsored by one legislator who just happens to be an Honorary Life Member of USP.... with the report absent nearly all other LFBC members names.
I thought the PGC didn't get money from state budget. That's one of the reasons people don't want a merger with Fish Comm.and DCNR.
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post #9 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 03:57 PM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

How about spending $500,000 dollars on game land habitat instead of advertising for new hunters?
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post #10 of 409 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 04:03 PM
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Re: SGL Mngt - Gustafson On The Record

Thanks Grundsow, great post.
I seems everyone is in agreement we need to cut more. I guess my question would be, how do we get from that to actually getting it done?

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