Washington Township, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today visited Beartown Woods Natural Area in Franklin County to celebrate its forest heritage and to induct it into the Old-Growth Forest Network.
“Pennsylvania is already home to a number of Old-Growth Forests, and we are happy to have that designation bestowed on Beartown Woods Natural Area,” Dunn said. “It’s hard to describe the sense of awe that comes from taking a walk among old trees. This designation helps spotlight for the public the unique and exciting opportunities that are offered for outdoor recreation and experiencing nature in our state parks and forests.”
The Beartown Woods Natural Area is 27 acres within the 85,500-acre Michaux State Forest and is a relic northern hardwood forest more typical of northern Pennsylvania and New England. Species found in this forest include sugar maple, yellow birch, American beech, and eastern hemlock.
This forest was protected from harvest because it lies mostly within the Appalachian Trail corridor. It provides a valuable resting point for AT through hikers. The area is largely maintained through the efforts of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and some local volunteers of the Friends of Michaux.
The Old-Growth Forest Network is a national organization working to preserve ancient forests for the enjoyment of present and future generations. In counties capable of supporting forest growth, the network identifies at least one forest that will be protected from logging and open to the public.
“Pennsylvania is leading the nation in the quantity of old-growth forests dedicated to the Network,” said Old Growth Forest Network Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Brian Kane. “With 23 now in the national network, Pennsylvania shows its commitment to the preservation of old-growth forest within its boundaries. The DCNR has shown remarkable support of the protection of these valuable national resources.”
The Michaux State Forest is named for international French botanist André Michaux, who studied the flora of North America from 1785-1796 and published his findings.
Find out more about the Michaux State Forest on DCNR’s website and about the Old-Growth Forest Network on its website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, 717-579-5177
# # #