Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 18

Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
By PGC staff members Justin Vreeland, Robert Criswell, Robert Einodshofer and Jonathan Zuck

S

CRUB OAK MANAGEMENT is for the birds (warblers, that is) and for bear, deer, turkey, grouse and a long list of other wildlife species. Far different from a stand of majestic pines, oaks or hemlocks that may evoke visions of the primeval wilderness of Pennsylvania, and unlike a picturesque forested wetland, neatly manicured agricultural field or babbling brook, scrub oak communities are nothing particularly attractive to behold. They are typically composed of dense, almost impenetrable thickets of squat, crooked shrubs with occasional trees — particularly pitch pine — and snags. And the Game Commission recognizes these areas as critical wildlife habitat and is manag-

ing them for sensitive bird species and popular game animals alike. Scrub oak barrens are rare in Pennsylvania. Historic accounts by naturalists and pioneers, however, document vast expanses of barrens that are no longer present here. Barrens are disturbance-dependent communities, which means they require some form of intense periodic catastrophe or disturbance to rejuvenate them and eliminate competing vegetation. Historically, the process that kept these barrens healthy was fire. Native Americans, settlers and Mother Nature burned these communities about every 5 to 12 years. Even into the 20th century, arsonists torched these areas so more blueberries would be available for picking, and trains often threw sparks that set barrens ablaze. But aggressive fire suppression in the 1900s through today has permitted fire-intolerant forest plants to encroach on and dominate scrub oak communities. SGL 48, in southern Bedford County, contains one of the largest known patches of scrub oak barrens in central Pennsylvania. This “ridegetop barrens,” as it is
TOM MILLER clears a section of SGL 48 with a treeshear machine.

18

GAME NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Three Centuries and Counting
A Different Perspective
Trappin’ a Bobcat
Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Looking Back Through Binoculars
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Three Centuries and Counting
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - A Different Perspective
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Trappin’ a Bobcat
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Looking Back Through Binoculars
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover4
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