Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mountain Lions in Pennsylvania

On Thursday, November 18, the Forestry Club hosted Tuscarora District Forester Gene Odato for a fascinating presentation on the existence of mountain lions in Pennsylvania. Gene has collected photos and prints that point to the likelihood that the big cats are here among us. The presentation and pizza dinner was sponsored by the Tau Phi Delta fraternity.

Tau Phi Delta brothers introduced Gene and gave a brief overview of fraternity life at State College for the Mont Alto foresters.
We want lions!
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Gene Odato

Click here to see links to mountain lion information.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VA Update: May 19

After days of not getting whimbrel in front of our traps, we finally figured out where they prefer to land for roosting during the current heights and times of high tide. Today we set up one trap at a close location to Box Tree Dock where we had seen a few whimbrel land; one trap in a high marsh area where we had seen tons of whimbrel land; and a third trap in another high marsh area where they love to land during really high tides. Throughout the morning we didnt have much action, but a pair of gull-billed terns provided entertainment.

gull-billed terns
Around 3:30pm, we had about 35 whimbrel land near one of the high marsh trap sites, but they landed out of reach of our nets and never walked in close enough for a shot before they flew. Around 4:30pm we saw birds headed for our second high marsh trap site and Fletcher, Anna, and I tookt he boat in for a closer look. It looked like some birds had landed in our trap zone, so Fletcher and Anna dropped me off at the end of the blasting wire while they took the boat around for a better angle to see the trap zone from. A few minutes later, Fletcher called me on the radio to say that it looked like 5 birds would be caught by the trap, so I charged and fired the net and we raced over in the boat, ran the 100 meters to the net, and found 3 whimbrel safely trapped uner it. We had the birds extracted within minutes and headed back to the dock. We could tell as soon as we saw the trapped birds, that we had three fat female whimbrel. This is exactly what we wanted so we could start putting satellite transmitters on them, which will track their migration northward. If they prove to be the western subspecies (Numenius phaeopus rufiventris), it will migrate from here to Alaska to breed, having already come from Brazil or another Northeastern South American country. The three birds we caught today weighed 630 grams, 555 grams, and 620 grams. The two larger birds are most likely the 3rd and 4th largest whimbrels ever banded, respectfully. The two birds over 600 grams are most likely of the western subspecies.
The first whimbrel we banded today; a large 630 gram potential female, with an unusually short bill for its size.Close-up of the 630 gram whimbrel.
Close-up of the radio transmitter we attached. These transmitters are solar powered.Whimbrel before released; note satellite transmitter.

Anna with one of the three whimbrel before releasing.

Close-up of another of the three whimbrel.
The three whimbrel being released with green Alpha-numeric tag, yellow Virginia band, USGS metal band, and satellite transmitters on all of them!
Hopefully tomorow will be just as productive and we can get some more birds banded and given radio or satellite transmitters!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Visiting a Timber Harvesting Operation





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On April 23, consulting forester Mike Waldron showed forestry club members a thinning operation at the Little King's Gap Hunting Club. Designed to create a wildlife opening to attract deer, to earn some income, and to prepare the site for natural regeneration, the planning of the harvest presented many options to consider. Thanks, Mike, for an interesting discussion and visit!

Below is a map of the timber harvest location. Located adjacent to Kings Gap State Park, the hunting club is near farm fields and not far from new housing developments. There shouldn't be any trouble attracting many deer.

View Visit to hunting club in a larger map
During April, Penn State Forestry Students planted American chestnut and various species of hickories on a fenced plot of land on Waynesboro Reservior property in South Mountain, PA. Here are a few photos taken by Alex Lamoreaux during one of the planting days....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Academic Festival 2010

Forestry students were well represented in the Penn State Mont Alto Academic Festival on April 14th. Click on the pictures to see a description of each project. The projects ranged from aspen regeneration to forest type mapping. The students are getting quite skillful with GIS to map their work.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

April Events

At today's (March 23) meeting of the Forestry Club we decided on the following events:
  • April 23 -- There will be an afternoon field trip to a hunting club property near King's Gap State Park followed by pizza!
  • April 24 -- We will lead tree walks in the campus arboretum for children attending the Pediatric Fair.
  • April 24 -- We will have an informational table for the Earth Day celebration at Caledonia State Park. This will only take two people.
  • April 25 -- We will volunteer for tree shelter removal in the state forest plantation near Sand Rd.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pancake Breakfast. Yum!

From Penn State Mont Alto Forestry Club

On Saturday February 27, forestry club members Tim Benedict, Sam Bond, Mike Trisket, Tyler Wakefield, and Seth Morris went to a pancake breakfast in Mount Hope. The event was to support the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve. The members in attendance had a great time. After the breakfast we went to the Nature Preserve and hiked some of the nature trails.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


With the huge amounts of snow that have fallen in the last two weeks the students were eager to try out the snow tubing at White Tail again. This year's course has a higher raised ending to prevent crashes into the fence, but the course is still fast. Check out the videos.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Burning the Woodpile

From time to time the Woodsmen's Team needs to dispose of the accumulated scraps from practice. Also, students in arboriculture have pruned a lot of branches around campus. But it's important to burn the pile safely. It just so happens that this weekend the area is being hit by a huge snowstorm. No chance of the fire getting away! The team members will monitor it overnight, though.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Brush Pile Burn THIS WEEKEND!

The brush pile burn is now scheduled for this weekend; 5:00pm on Friday till 12:00pm on Saturday, February 5th and 6th. Sign up for time slots with Tim or Ricky.

- Alex Lamoreaux

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brush Pile Burn Postponed

I am sad to announce that due to predicted weather conditions, the brush pile burn set to occur this Thursday night into Friday has to be postponed. Please check back here for information as to when the new date for this event will be......

- Alex Lamoreaux

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meeting today....

Today was out first club meeting this semester and basically we made plans for some events for the spring semester. The meeting went well and it seems that everyone is excited for our upcoming events.

To recap, here are some events we planned out:

Brush pile burn : January 22nd and then overnight till the 23rd

snow tubing : February 9th leaving the campus at 6:00pm, we will tube from 7 till 9 pm

Audubon Society meeting (Vernal Ponds) : meet at bus at 6:30pm

Alleghany SAF meeting in WV : February 16th till the 17th

Fishing Derby : April 11th

Be sure to check back often as we will try to make this blog more active.

-Alex Lamoreaux