ALLEGHENY FOREST HEALTH COLLABORATIVE UPDATE

ALLEGHENY FOREST HEALTH COLLABORATIVE UPDATE

 
Forty-five members of the Allegheny Forest Health Collaborative (AFHC) met on September 25, 2019 at the Ridgway Municipal Building to discuss accomplishments and to plan work for 2020. Most of the day was spent in breakout groups, organized by existing working groups (Silviculture, Research, Monitoring, Non-Native Invasive Species, and Communications) and proposed working groups (Changing Timber Markets, Geospatial Data Sharing, and Aesthetics and Multi-Modal Corridors). Wayne Bender, Pennsylvania Hardwood Development Council, presented an overview of the current trends in the statewide timber markets.

The Collaborative made significant progress in 2019, including coordinated monitoring, mapping, and grant proposal development for invasive species management across five counties in Pennsylvania and New York; an index tool for prioritizing forest stands for treatment based on forest health considerations; a decision-support strategy for matching specific treatments to stands based on forest health conditions; and a series of articles highlighting the work of the Collaborative in Pennsylvania Forests magazine.

Work in 2020 will include further refinement of all of these efforts; better sharing of geospatial data across boundaries to coordinate forest health treatments; new efforts to address aesthetics and safety issues across landownerships; expanded communications efforts; and possible work toward a research cooperative for the region. The research breakout group also generated a list of broad research needs for the region.

Follow the Collaborative on Facebook for updates throughout the year (@AlleghenyForestHealthCollaborative) or better yet, join the group! Email andrea.hille@usda.gov if you’d like to join.