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DCNR Announces New District Forester for the Susquehannock State Forest


​Harrisburg, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that Marc Popchak has been appointed to serve as the district forester for the Susquehannock State Forest, which spans Potter, Clinton, and McKean Counties.

“The experience and dedication Marc brings to this role is extremely valuable as he takes on leadership of the Susquehannock,” Dunn said. “Marc is a true public servant and we are excited to see where his vison takes this state forest district going forward.”

Popchak assumed management responsibilities for the Susquehannock in September, overseeing the 265,000-acre forest that grows some of the most productive stands of black cherry trees in the world.

The forest includes 550 miles of hiking trails and offers opportunities for camping, hunting, fishing, and motorized recreation.

The Susquehannock and is one of eight state forests located in the Pennsylvania Wilds region and is a part of the Lumber Heritage Region and the Route 6 Heritage Corridor.

“This is a huge honor and I am grateful for the opportunity to manage this amazing natural resource,” Popchak said. “I look forward to continuing to build on the legacy of the Susquehannock and working with all of the relevant stakeholders to maintain this special forest.”

Popchak said he is in the process of hiring multiple positions in the state forest district and is eager to complete his team.

He noted that one of his goals is for the Susquehannock to continue to be a training ground for new foresters, adding that he is plans to connect with state and regional colleges and universities to help grow DCNR’s ranks.

Popchak replaces Chris Nicholas, who is now working as the regional forester for Pennsylvania’s northern and western state forest districts.

Popchak has worked for DCNR since 2004, beginning his career as a forest technician and holding various roles including as a service forester, management forester and assistant district forester.

Pointing to his love for the outdoors, Popchak, a Portage, Pennsylvania native, said he knew grew up knowing that working in the outdoors was the only career path he wanted to pursue.

He earned an associate degree in forest technology from Penn State Mont Alto prior to earning a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Penn State’s main campus in State College.

Popchak’s commitment to public service includes a 22-year career with the Pennsylvania National Guard. His military service includes multiple deployments, including to Lithuania, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Popchak said he enjoys doing anything outdoors, but especially enjoys backpacking, hunting, archery, trapping, and fishing. He lives in Coudersport with his wife, Nicole, and their blended family, Daniel, Lucas, Elizabeth, and Macie, as well as their golden retriever, Luna.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about state forests, and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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