Help Celebrate WWIA's Thirtieth Birthday in 2019! Join us for an upcoming event!

June 15,Woodlands Group to Tour Forbes State Forest's Braddock Division 

                        Ninth annual Forbes State Forest field trip and skills day

                        Saturday, June 15, 2019,  9:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m.

                        Begin at Braddock Division Maintenance headquarters (1200 Skyline Drive, Farmington, PA                                  15437.

                        Free and open to the public. Please call Sandy at the Westmoreland Conservation District Office                          (724-837-5271) to register by June 11.

Dave Planinsek and Ralph Campbell, foresters for Forbes State Forest, will demonstrate forest management challenges and successes throughout the Braddock Division.  "We will focus on unique silvicultural activities, including low shade removals, mowing treatments and herbicide applications," Dave says. "These practices can be applied to forests throughout Pennsylvania to establish and enhance diverse regeneration of desirable tree seedlings." 

Establishing sufficient numbers of seedlings is essential to sustainable  forest management.  These practices are designed to establish a new generation of seedlings before a timber harvest.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry's mission is to conserve the long-term health, viability, and productivity of the Commonwealth’s forests and to conserve wild plants. As we tour the forests of the Braddock Division, the foresters will discuss how they implement this mission in this diverse landscape.

The Braddock Division of Forbes State Forest consists of approximately 20,000 acres of state forestland on Chestnut Ridge in Fayette County.  It contains a diverse forest of mixed oak, yellow poplar, and red maple. To retain its wild character, no permanent development is allowed in the 7,441-acre Quebec Run Wild Area. Other attractions include Lick Hollow Picnic Area, Pine Knob Overlook, and the historical Wharton Iron Furnace.  

Ralph Campbell is a native of southwestern PA and has spent much of his life working in, enjoying, and learning about our forests. Ralph has a B.S. in forest management from Penn State.  He has worked as a forester in Maryland, a service forester in Pennsylvania, and a timber management forester in Forbes State Forest. He is now a fire forester responsible for wildland fire prevention and suppression in Greene, Washington, and Fayette counties. Ralph is a member of the Pennsylvania Wildland Fire Crew and often travels to other states to assist with fire suppression.

Dave Planinsek is also a native of southwestern Pennsylvania. He earned a B.S. in forest management from Penn State in 2004. He started with the PA Bureau of Forestry as a forest technician in Potter County, then became a service forester for Somerset and Fayette counties. Since 2006 he has worked as a management forester in Forbes State Forest.

 WWIA will offer carpooling from the front lot of the Donohoe Center (214 Donohoe Rd., Greensburg). Departure time will be around 7:45 a.m. John Hilewick will be driving, taking US Route 30 to US 119 to US 40. Please tell Sandy when you call to register if you want to carpool.

If you are traveling by PA Route 381S/PA711S, at the town of Farmington turn right on US Route 40W and go 5.9 miles. At the top of the hill, make a sharp left turn onto Skyline Drive, just before the Summit Inn. The Braddock Division maintenance headquarters is 5.7 miles down Skyline Drive on the left. (When you see the sign for Laurel Caverns keep going, but you’re getting close). Or you can take US Route 119 to the Hopwood Exit for US 40E. 

As on previous field trips, attendees should be prepared to spend the day in the forest. We will be outdoors for the entire tour, so we recommend that you prepare for the weather, wear long pants and sturdy footwear, and bring insect repellent and sunscreen. The tour will including walking over rough terrain. WWIA will provide bottled water, but please bring your own lunch. 

Feel free to bring binoculars or field guides for viewing wildlife. Attendees will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions of the experts.

The tour will go on rain or shine, short of unsafe/hazardous weather. If the forecast is for major storms, you can call Dave at the Forbes State Forest District Office (724-238-1200) the day before to confirm. We will shelter in the maintenance shop if a storm passes through.


June 29. Time TBD. Leslie Horner, Forest Stewardship Program associate at the Center for Private Forests at Penn State, will lead a workshop and field day focusing on woodland health and regeneration assessment at WWIA vice president Fred Lau's woodlot.

 September 19, 6:30 p.m. Sandy Feather, an educator from the Penn State Extension Service, will discuss the spotted lanternfly and its spread.

 October 17,  6:00 p.m. The annual WWIA potluck dinner and business meeting will be followed by a presentation on forest regeneration. Speaker TBD.