Wild Notes Spring 2010 edition

Spring 2010

*You can also download the entire issue in PDF form.

Cosmo the flying squirrel


Trees are the answer by Kristen Hand, education and outreach coordinator for D C N R

Trees are the answer, but what are the questions? And if trees are in question what are the answers? Trees and forests are such an integral part of
our ecosystem, our natural resources, and our experiences that the many stressors facing them suggest a great need for our involvement.

iConserve Pennsylvania

This year iConserve PA (DCNR’s citizen conservation awareness program) will provide ideas on how to help in four key ways: protecting trees and forests; planting trees; buying sustainable tree and forest products; and exploring and enjoying the forests. Through the iConservePA website, innovative programs, new publications, and a knowledgeable team of experts, DCNR hopes to build awareness around the many issues facing these resources and how their condition is related to water quality; climatic and environmental health; the availability of forest products; the integrity of habitat and wildlife; the opportunities for recreation; and our own health and welfare.

Protection is possibly the most important step to address. Trees and forests play a crucial role in maintaining our water supplies, acting as a natural filter
in the headwater areas of our state, and serving as riparian buffers along many miles of our approximately 83,000 miles of waterway. Protecting them can help ensure a clean and viable water supply for Pennsylvania’s inhabitants and, in some cases, those of neighboring states. iConserve PA is offering several tips on how to get involved with forest protection and restoration.

Trees and forests also play a major role in helping to combat climate change. Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas and our large tracts of forest land are instrumental in mitigating climate change and storing carbon dioxide. Individuals can assist by properly caring for their own trees so that they can grow strong, live long, and perform these functions for many years.

emeral ash borer is an invasive insect killing trees in Pennsyvlania and throughout the midwest

Invasive plants and pests are major threats to our trees and forests and an ongoing struggle to combat. Become familiar with invasives and, to keep them from taking over our native plant populations, learn techniques for their removal. Also learn to recognize invasive pests and the ways they can be accidentally introduced to an environment. One easy practice to avoid such
introductions is by not transporting firewood, which can harbor invasive pests, like the emerald ash borer beetle.

Planting trees is another step in aiding the trees and forests cause. Pennsylvania was at one time almost completely covered with forests, but every day we lose about 350 acres of forest lands and open spaces to
development. Planting trees not only helps to restore fragmented habitat for wildlife, it has also been shown to increase property values in neighborhoods and decrease crime rates. In response to an alarming loss of urban tree cover in Pennsylvania’s metropolitan areas, DCNR and partners created a program called TreeVitalize, with a goal to plant one million trees by 2012. After you plant your next tree, log on to www.treevitalize.net and have it counted as one in that million.

Treevitalize - a partnership to restore tree cover in Pennsylvania communities

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Pennsylvania Wild Resource Program