In The Works...

Maurice K. Goddard State Park and State Game Lands 270, Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Goddard State Park has abundant wetlands and old fields bordering 1,860-acre Lake Wilhelm. WMI biologists are setting up a rotation of cuts on approximately 103 acres. The first of three phases to set back hardwood tree growth and to create strips and openings took place in February 2012. On 37 acres, managers cut down exotic invasive shrubs to give a boost to native shrubs and young trees. Conservationists also plan to rejuvenate 10 acres of abandoned farmland where trees and shrubs are getting too mature. Here, 100-foot-wide serpentine strip cuts will extend from wet areas near the lake to drier ground up the slope. Openings will be maintained as singing grounds for woodcock and foraging areas for bluebirds, purple martins, and other birds. State Game Lands 270 adjoins Goddard Park to the west. On SGL 270, managers planted 20 acres of former agricultural land with native shrubs in 2009, and another 15 acres are scheduled for planting in 2011. Partners: Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Geological Survey, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Management Institute.

Crooked Creek Conservation Club, Ashtabula County, Ohio

In the Grand River drainage south of Lake Erie, the Crooked Creek Conservation Club is creating young forest on more than 51 acres of largely forested land. The first phase of logging, on 28.5 acres, was wrapped up in March 2012. Full sunlight on the ground will encourage a resurgence of dogwoods, viburnums, hawthorns, and other native shrubs in the forest understory. After this first round of cutting, two more management units, totaling 17 acres, will be harvested. Conservationists have restored a 2-acre wetland on the property. The club plans to plant alders and possibly willow around the edges of the wetland to improve the area for woodcock. Partners: Crooked Creek Conservation Club, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Partners for Wildlife Program), Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Division of Wildlife, and the Wildlife Management Institute.

State Game Lands 314, Erie County, Pennsylvania

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Game Commission launched a multi-year, 700-acre habitat improvement project on this tract – also known as the USX Property – bordering Lake Erie and the Ohio State line. The 700 acres represent around 20 percent of SGL 314, which is centered on formerly farmed land and woodlots. In 2012, 150 acres were harvested. Woodcock, ruffed grouse, blue-winged warbler, cottontail rabbits, and white-tailed deer are a few of the dozens of wildlife species to benefit from the dense growth of young forest that will spring up quickly following the logging. Foresters have designated 17 cutting blocks. In many of the blocks, whole-tree harvest and chipping will clear the landscape of waste wood and stumps. This technique will let habitat managers more easily maintain these areas as young forest, with recutting planned at 10- to 15-year intervals in the future. Expected revenue of nearly $177,000 from the timber harvest will be used to fund other wildlife management programs and habitat improvement projects throughout Pennsylvania’s state game lands system.