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11/04/2019

DCNR Names New Manager of William Penn State Forest District

Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the appointment of Stephen E. Wacker, former assistant district forester of Tuscarora State Forest District, to the district forester position at William Penn State Forest District in southeastern Pennsylvania.

"A true veteran of forestry operations, Steve brings a wealth of knowledge to this position," said Dunn. "His skills as both an administrator and coordinator of people and resources will be well utilized in the William Penn State Forest District."  

From headquarters in Elverson, Chester County, Wacker will oversee operations in a district that includes nine counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia. 

The district includes Valley Forge State Forest, comprised of 10 separate tracts in several counties that total 1,683 acres. Among the more notable: Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens, 602 acres in southwest Chester County; Little Tinicum Island, 200 acres in a heavily industrialized section along the Delaware River in Delaware County; and the Cornwall Tower site, 10 acres in Lancaster County. 

The new district forester will oversee state forest operations, forest-growth management, personnel coordination, infrastructure maintenance, and wildland fire prevention, and suppression. He also will manage service foresters who provide support, direction, and technical assistance to private forest landowners. 

"I am excited to work with William Penn District staff, continuing the important work of forestry in southeastern Pennsylvania," Wacker said. "The district is involved with many important projects -- both interesting and challenging. I will miss working in the Tuscarora Forest I have grown to know and love, but I will also have the privilege of getting to know many new unique and special places, and the people that love them. I look forward to sharing with others what I learn about William Penn State Forest." 

Formerly known as Valley Forge State Forest District for 31 years, the state forest district was renamed William Penn in 2007. It most recently was overseen by Joseph Frassetta, who retired early this year. 

The new district forester's professional career included private industry work in Kane, Pennsylvania., and Whitefield, New Hampshire, as well as 2005 forestry projects in Ethiopia. Wacker began his career with DCNR in 1987 as a forester in its Nursery and Special Projects Section, and later served as a forester in the Buchannan State Forest District. For the past 22 years, he worked as assistant district forester in the Tuscarora State Forest District, overseeing its forest resource, fire and recreation programs. In 2006, Wacker received the President's Award for Outstanding Field Forester from the Society of American Foresters.  

A native of Camp Hill, Wacker, 56, hold a bachelor's degree in forest science from The Pennsylvania State University. Married, he and his wife, Beth, are the parents of three grown sons. 

For more information, contact the district office at (610) 582-9660, or visit the DCNR website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-705-2225

 

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