News for Immediate Release
September 28, 2011
DCNR to Open Additional State Forest Roads for Hunting Seasons
Harrisburg – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is opening additional roads for hunters in Pennsylvania?s public-owned woodlands in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, Bureau of Forestry Director Dan Devlin announced today.
“Hunters will have access to a total of 442 miles of state forest roads that are normally open only for administrative use,” Devlin said. “By opening these roads, the Bureau of Forestry hopes to improve accessibility while promoting hunting in often remote areas where hunting pressure is needed to benefit forest regeneration and the overall ecosystem.”
During the state?s main archery season, which opens Saturday, Oct. 1 and closes Nov. 12, and during the state?s other hunting seasons running into January 2012, hunters will find more than 3,000 miles of roadway open in state forestlands.
“Whether hunting deer, bear or turkey, hunters in our state forests will find more than 90 percent of that land now is within one-half mile of an open road,” said Devlin.
Devlin reminded hunters that many state parks, especially those in the 12-county Pennsylvania Wilds region, offer inexpensive camping and access to top-quality hunting in nearby public forestlands. Primitive camping on state forestlands is also an option, giving hunters the backcountry camping/hunting experience of our forefathers. Camping permits, issued by the managing forest district, will be required when camping on state forestlands.
“Some of our state parks and forests in the north-central area of the state have seen the same parties of hunters camping for years, and our state forest sites hold an unique allure for those who really enjoy „roughing it,?” Devlin said.
In addition, many of these campsites are close to state park and forestlands enrolled in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), enabling hunters to take one antlerless deer or more when properly licensed. Hunters are advised to check with state forests district headquarters or state park offices about availability.
Devlin noted the opening of some state forest roads always will be governed by local weather and road conditions. He suggested hunters contact district offices in advance for the most up-to-date information.
Hunters traveling to some north-central areas of the state are reminded some hunting areas and travel routes may be impacted by Marcellus Shale-related activities. Some state forest roads may be temporarily closed during drilling operations or other peak periods of heavy use to reduce potential safety hazards.
On state forest roads near drilling sites, visitors may notice increased truck traffic. To avoid potential conflicts on state forest roads during times of high public use, DCNR will attempt to limit or restrict truck traffic at the outset of major hunting and fishing seasons. For details, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/naturalgasexploration/index.htm; click on “Natural Gas Development, Public Access and Recreation.”
Some state forest roads only will be opened for the second week of the traditional rifle season because they cannot withstand the expected heavy traffic of the first week. Two- or three-month-long openings will be in effect only where there is minimal threat of damage or deterioration to road surfaces or forest surroundings.
Special road openings are planned in the following state forest districts and counties:
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101