The annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Forest Heritage Association was held on November 12, 2016 at the Caledonia State Park Office Conference Room. Twenty members were in attendance. Some things of note that occurred at the meeting were:
The board of directors are seeking comments from the membership on the wording of the mission statement (found at the end of the winter 2016 newsletter). Since the name change is official the statement should reflect that.
Jim Hyland from the Bureau of Forestry in District 12 is heading the BOF Forest History Committee.
The Golf Outing will be held June 23, 2017.
The Association received and opened the photo collection of Thomas C. Harbison, a graduate of Mont Alto and a former State Representative.
During the year the Discovery Center had more than 1,300 visitors.
Joseph Dague receives the George Wirt award.
If you stop by the Discovery Center on a regular basis you are likely to run into Joe Dague. Joe is tireless in his volunteer efforts to promote PFHA, and for his outstanding efforts he was presented with the 2016 George H. Wirt Award for his work on behalf of the mission of the association. Joe is pictured above with Jack Graham who presented the award
Yesterday’s Smokey Bear birthday party at the Forest Heritage Center at Caledonia State Park was a great success. Over 115 people came to wish Smokey a Happy Birthday and learn a little about wildfire safety and the story of forest conservation in Pennsylvania. Given that it was a perfect sunny Sunday afternoon, there were many visitors at the park, including families with children.
Many thanks to our sponsors: Walmart for the cake and sub, and McDonald’s for the drinks.
Thanks to our volunteers: Bob Rudy (sponsors and Smokey), Joe Dague (volunteer and firepump demonstrator), and Peter Linehan (volunteer).
Thanks to Caledonia State Park Director Phil Schmidt and Ranger Brandon Black for your help. And finally thanks to Phil Bietsch from Bureau of Forestry District 1 for helping us get the Smokey suit.
We will be celebrating the birthday of Smokey Bear on Sunday, August 7 at the Forest Heritage Center from noon to 5pm. There will be games and refreshments. And rumor has it that the guest of honor himself will be there!
Last Friday, June 24th, the Pennsylvania Forest Heritage Association and Pennsylvania Forestry Association Golf Tournament was held at Rich Valley Golf Course in Mechanicsbug. Forty golfers enjoyed the near perfect weather for a great afternoon of golf. This year the net proceeds from the tournament will be dedicated to improving the displays at the Forest Heritage Discovery Center at Caledonia State Park.
The winning teams included:
First place: Terry Felty, John Risser, Steve Kline, Mark Chritzman
Second place, the American Legion team: Brian Shonyo, Josh Swails, Bobby Williams, Dave Dudley
Third place: Ken Brought, Phil Faust, Wayne Wright, Jake Creswell
In the collection of the PFHA are many of the annual reports submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry in its first few decades. These are hardbound books of varying thicknesses.
In the 1916-17 report there is a section on THE GREAT WAR. I thought it was appropriate to highlight as we are now in the centennial of the First World War. Here is the opening paragraph:
The entrance of the Government of the United States into the German War on April 6, 1917, was the signal for many of the foresters, former foresters, students, and employes (sic) to think of immediate entry into the service and were accepted as rapidly as they offered themselves. The majority entered by voluntary enlistment. Their names, ranks, and units of service are indicated in the following table:
There followed a list of 41 men, including Edwin A. Ziegler, who was the Director of the Forest Academy at Mont Alto. The names of six Mont Alto students who had enlisted in the Army were listed subsequently.
It seems that foresters have long been a patriotic group!