The Nature Conservancy’s West Branch Forest in Clinton County — and the innovative work that Conservancy staff are doing on-site — have earned a global reputation for innovative conservation forestry practices, including sustainability certification, carbon marketing and forest restoration.
This week, scientists from Asia, Africa and Europe will visit Williamsport and West Branch to share strategies with Conservancy foresters and tour local forest research and demonstration projects.
“Williamsport is on the international radar,” said Jenkins. “They will be learning from us, and we’ll also be learning from them.”
Bruce Cabarle, Director of Forest Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund and a founder of the international Forest Stewardship Council certification program and Dylan Jenkins, Director of Forest Conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s Pennsylvania Chapter will lead the discussion of a wide range of forest issues and will be available for interviews.
The visiting scientists will tour West Branch Forest, a 3,000-acre property bordering Sproul State Forest, where Conservancy scientists develop and demonstrate new forest conservation practices. Ongoing research projects include strategies for regenerating oaks utilizing prescribed fire and understory mowing, field tests of blight-resistant hybrid American chestnut trees and development of the FoRest Decision Tool, a model that foresters and landowners can use to better manage their lands for biodiversity as well as economic return.
Thursday, Nov. 11, 4:30 pm: The delegates will meet to discuss emerging issues in forestry at the Community Arts Center’s Capitol Lounge in Williamsport. Jenkins and other TNC staffers will present details of TNC’s Working Woodlands, a new forest conservation program that offers private landowners access to FSC certification and carbon markets.
Friday, Nov. 12, 8:00 am: The group will spend about four hours touring West Branch Forest, where they will see examples of projects addressing such issues as restoration of healthy forests following unsustainable logging, invasive species, forest certification, carbon sequestration and biomass harvesting. Reporters and photographers are welcome to join the tour, which will depart from the Community Arts Center.
For more information:
Dylan Jenkins, Director of Forest Conservation
The Nature Conservancy, Pennsylvania Chapter
firstname.lastname@example.org, (570) 321-9090, (570) 321-9090 (cell)
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.