|Alleghany National Forest
|IUCN Category VI (Managed Resource Protected Area)
||512,998 acres pa game commisson (2,076 km²)
||U.S. Forest pa game cmmission Service
The Allegheny National Forest is a National Forest located in northwestern Pennsylvania. The forest covers pa gamecommission over 500,000 acres (2,000 pa game commission km²) of land. Within the forest is the Kinzua Dam, which created the Allegheny Reservoir. The administrative headquarters for the Allegheny National Forest is pa state game commission located in Warren, Pennsylvania. pa game commission horseback riding on state gamelands The Allegheny National Forest has two ranger stations, one in pa fish and game commission Marienville, Pennsylvania, located in Forest County, and the other in Bradford, Pennsylvania, located in McKean County.
- 1 Oil in Allegheny National Forest
- 2 History pa game commission wtwf patch of the Allegheny National Forest before 1923
- 2.1 200 hundred years pa game commission feral cats ago
- 2.2 Early settlers in Allegheny
- 3 Allegheny pa fish & game commission between 1850 and 1900
- 3.1 Allegheny 1900s
- 3.2 Allegheny 1911
- 4 History pa game commission fisher of the Allegheny National Forest after 1923
- 4.1 Allegheny Conservation
- 4.2 Allegheny pa game commission hunting Between 1900 and 1940
- 5 Forest pa game commission mountain lion research
- 6 Recreation
- 7 Multiple benefits, sustainability and the pa game commission patch future
- 8 Source
- 9 External pa game commission ranges links
Oil in Allegheny National Forest
Additionally, the Allegheny National Forest lies in the heart of Pennsylvania's oil and gas region, only 40 miles from the site of the first oil well in the United States. In 1981, about 17% of the state's total crude oil production came from mineral rights owned by private individuals within the Forest boundary. Because of its high paraffin content, Pennsylvania crude is one of the best lubricating oils in the world.
History of the Allegheny National Forest before 1923
Stone stairway leading down from Rimrock Overlook in the Allegheny National Forest
Today the Allegheny Plateau is known for black cherry, maple and other hardwoods, but two hundred years ago these species were less numerous. Today's forest is largely the result of two things: the exploitation of timber at the turn of the century and, since 1923, 75 years of scientific and sustainable management by the Forest Service. Disturbances like windthrow, fire, insects, disease, deer and human intervention worked together to create the unique conditions for black cherry and other hardwoods to become established and flourish.
200 hundred years ago
Two hundred years ago, the forest in northwest Pennsylvania was mostly Eastern Hemlock and American beech, with white pine along river bottoms and oak on the slopes of river valleys. Black cherry accounted for less than one percent of all trees on the Plateau. This old-growth forest contained rich, vibrant biodiversity, and was characterized by large trees, fallen logs, and a multi-layered forest canopy. Deer populations were at naturally-regulated low levels due to predation by the native wolves and cougars. Estimated at 10 deer per square mile, the understory vegetation was dense and richly diverse.
Even then the hemlock/beech forest was not totally primeval in character. Disturbances such as tornado and blowdown were a common natural event that created openings in the forest. Native Americans burned the understory of the forest in small areas to improve berry and oak mast production, hunting, and ease of travel.
Early settlers in Allegheny
European settlers reached this area in the early 1800s. At first, trees were cut mostly to clear land for agriculture and provide timber for cabins and barns. Soon, the first commercial water-powered mills cut small amounts of lumber from selected pine, hemlock and large hardwoods. By 1840, portable steam engines made circular sawmills practical, and mills that could process 10,000 board feet (24 m³) of lumber per day were common.
Tanneries that used hemlock bark as their source of tannin for curing leather began to appear in the late 1850s. This infant industry received a great boost by the Civil War demand for harness, military equipment and industrial belting. By the end of the century, the tanning industry was a major forest industry in Pennsylvania using huge quantities of hemlock bark. The logs were removed later and sawn into lumber products.
Allegheny between 1850 and 1900
Between 1850 and 1900, American society and technology changed in dramatic ways. People, moving West and in the growing cities in the East, demanded lumber to build homes, stores and furniture. Demand for paper and other wood pulp products increased. An eighty-fold increase in coal production led to the need for more lumber for mine props, timbers, and planks. Band saws came into use after 1880, making possible the construction of huge mills capable of sawing 100,000 feet (30 km) or more of lumber per day. Railroads provided convenient transportation to consumers and markets. They also opened up extensive and previously inaccessible areas of timber with specialized locomotives such as the Shay which could traverse steep hillsides, uneven tracks and sharp curves. All of these factors supported large sawmill and tannery industries.
By 1900, deer and their predators were almost eliminated due to overhunting. The PA Game Commission began to restore the deer herd by importing deer from other states.
A new enterprise, the wood chemical industry, changed the course of forest development. Between 1890 and 1930, wood chemical plants produced charcoal, wood alcohol, acetic acid, acetate of lime and similar products, and provided a market for virtually every size, species and quality of tree growing on the Allegheny Plateau. Harvests during this era were the most complete ever made in the area, clearing nearly every accessible tree of every size. The once vast forest of the Allegheny Plateau was almost completely removed, leaving barren hillsides as far as the eye could see.
Many large corporate forest landowners in Pennsylvania and other northeastern states simply abandoned the land and moved West in search of new forests. The land left behind often ended up on delinquent tax rolls, prompting a financial crisis for rural counties. The bare soil and logging slash made floods and wildfires a constant danger.
In 1911, Congress passed the Weeks Act, allowing the federal government to buy land in eastern states for the establishment of National Forests The Allegheny National Forest was established in 1923. The land was so depleted that many residents jokingly called it the "Allegheny Brush-patch". Some worried the forest would never recover.
But with low deer populations, a new forest did quickly grow. It was a different forest than the previous one, because conditions were now different. Shade-tolerant, long-lived trees like hemlock and beech gave way to sun-loving, shorter-lived species like black cherry, which readily germinated on the bare sunny ground. Cherry, red maple, black birch, and sugar maple became common species in the understory. The changing and varied vegetation created habitat for increasingly diverse wildlife.
Today many of the Eastern National Forests are primarily second-growth forests and different in character than National Forests in the West created from huge forest reserves of largely virgin forest. On the Allegheny National Forest, the trees are roughly the same age because they started growing about the same time.
"A healthy forest is one that is diverse and resilient. We manage the Allegheny to be a rich mosaic of different species of trees -- cherry, maple, oak, hemlock, beech and many others -- and different ages of trees, including seedlings and saplings as well as mature and old-growth trees", says former ANF Forest Supervisor, John Palmer. "This biological diversity will help ensure a sustainable forest that will continue forever".
History of the Allegheny National Forest after 1923
An old-growth forest of hemlock and beech once stretched along northern Pennsylvania, but heavy logging between 1890 and 1930 left only pockets of that early forest in places like Hearts Content. Since the Forest Service began to manage the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) in 1923, a vibrant new forest of light-loving hardwoods like black cherry flourished, and today the ANF boasts some of the world's finest hardwood forests.
The Forest Service brought new concepts in forest management to the Allegheny Plateau, multiple benefits and sustainability. The Organic Act of 1897 introduced the National Forest mission: to improve the forest, provide favorable conditions for water flows, and furnish a continuous supply of timber to meet people's needs. On these lands, seedlings for tomorrow's forest are the focus of forest management activities. Watersheds are managed to ensure clear water for fisheries like trout and clean drinking water for all.
Over time, various laws added other benefits like wilderness, heritage resources and grazing to the original idea of watershed protection and continuous timber. The Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 recognized outdoor recreation, wilderness preservation, and habitat for wildlife and fisheries.
The motto "Land of Many Uses" captures the National Forest goal of a healthy, vigorous forest that provides wood products, watershed protection, a variety of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities, not only for today, but in a sustainable way so future generations can enjoy these benefits, too.
When the Allegheny National Forest was established in 1923, the immediate challenge was nurturing the young trees growing amongst logging slash on the recently-cleared hillsides. Until that happened, wildfires, floods and erosion were a threat. With care, the forests grew. Since they started growing at roughly the same time, most of the trees in today's second-growth forest on the Allegheny Plateau are the same age (70-100 years old).
Allegheny Between 1900 and 1940
Between 1900 and 1940, the young forest grew and evolved from openings to young forest to maturing forest. Each stage in forest development brought different benefits for people, wildlife and plants. Like a community, a forest is healthiest and offers the most benefits if it contains a variety of ages and species of plants and animals.
Young forests offer diverse vegetation like seedlings, saplings, wildflowers and berries. Deer, grouse, songbirds and other wildlife thrive with the abundant food and cover. Rapidly-growing trees soak up carbon, add lots of oxygen to the atmosphere, and protect soil. Taller trees shade streams, helping to regulate water temperature for acquatic life.
By the 1940s, the forest began to take on an appearance familiar to us today. The older trees provide acorns, cherries, and beech nuts for bear and turkey. Birds find sites for nests in the leafy tree crowns and plants like trillium prefer the filtered light of the maturing forest. In the 1940s, the Forest Service gradually resumed timber harvesting under strict research-based guidelines to ensure sustainability for future generations.
Abundant browse led to a dramatic increase in the deer population, which peaked in the 1940s and again in the late 1970s. Since the mid-1980s, the deer population has remained fairly constant, although at a level higher in many places than the forest can support.
Today the trees are mature and able to provide quality hardwood for furniture and other needs. Foresters deal with challenges like deer, insects, disease, drought and competing vegetation such as fern through research and careful management.
The Forest Service also established a research station for the Northeast in 1923. Soon, research scientists were studying complex relationships among vegetation, animals, soil, nutrients, weather and disease. For decades, scientists have shared both research results and management guidelines based on these results with the ANF, other public and private landowners, and other scientists.
During the 1920s, recreation on the ANF focused mostly on dispersed activities like hunting and fishing. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps changed the face of National Forests across the country by building hundreds of recreation facilities, including Twin Lakes and Loleta Recreation Areas on the ANF. These and other facilities became popular after World War II when newly-mobile families discovered the joys of outdoor recreation.
The creation of the Allegheny Reservoir when the Kinzua Dam was completed in 1965 brought the most dramatic change to developed recreation on the ANF. Within ten years, a tremendous development program resulted in campgrounds, boat launches, beaches, picnic areas, hiking trails and overlooks around the reservoir shoreline and elsewhere throughout the forest.
Over time, people's changing and more sophisticated expectations led to campground improvements like electricity, hot showers, and baby-changing stations. Areas to watch wildlife (Buzzard Swamp, Little Drummer), trails for cross-country skiing and motorized recreation (all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles) and fully accessible fishing piers, trails and restrooms have been added, too. In 1984, President Reagan signed the Pennsylvania Wilderness Act into law, which designated the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area and Allegheny Islands Wilderness Area as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Multiple benefits, sustainability and the future
Today, the Forest Service carries out a variety of management and research activities, providing multiple benefits with a strong scientific basis. Sometimes managers must designate different locations for activities that are not compatible, such as wilderness hiking and snowmobiling. Usually, though, management activities are compatible and benefit vegetation, wildlife and people. For example, harvesting timber provides wood products that we all use and creates openings which allow sunlight to reach the forest floor to stimulate seedlings, berries and other plants that wildlife need. This provides opportunities for berry pickers, birdwatchers and hunters.
Defining the way a National Forest is to be managed can be controversial. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 required each National Forest to implement a Forest Plan with extensive public involvement, outlining a vision for how and where management activities will be emphasized. The ANF's initial Forest Plan, which was approved in 1986, is currently undergoing revision. The revision process began in the fall of 2003, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2006 or early 2007. Additional parcels of the ANF are expected to be recommended to Congress for permanent protection as wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act of 1964 as a result of the Forest Plan revision process. As we turn toward the 21st century, forest managers, scientists and people who value National Forests must continue to work together to care for and sustain the forest today and for the future.
- USDA Forest Service - Allegheny National Forest - History
- USDA Forest Service - Allegheny National Forest
- Friends of Allegheny Wilderness
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Kinzua Lake
- Hiking photos
- Forest Press
||Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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