Monday, April 02, 2007

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: Forest Regeneration Failure at 75% Statewide

PITTSBURGH - A new state survey shows that Pennsylvania's deer herd is nibbling away at new growth in the state's forest lands at an alarming rate.

Nearly 42,000 plots surveyed from the air in 19 of the state's 20 forest districts show a lack of new, woody growth. Less than 25 percent of the plots in the state showed a desirable level of new vegetation.

The areas with the worst growth were the Weiser, Kittanning, Wyoming, Sproul and Delaware state forests in north-central Pennsylvania.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis called the results of the recent air survey troubling.

The information gathered will be used to direct hunters to certain forest areas, so the deer herd can be thinned more in those areas where deer are nibbling away at new plants and trees, DiBerardinis said.

Hunters killed 361,560 deer in 2006, 2 percent more than in 2005. It was the first time the deer kill increased since 2002. Hunters killed 135,290 bucks last year, a 12 percent increase over 2005.


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