Month: April 2018

Allegheny National Forest Districts to Accept Local Youth Conservation Corps Applications

Allegheny National Forest Districts to Accept Local Youth Conservation Corps Applications

Warren, Pa. (April 13, 2018) – The Allegheny National Forest is now accepting applications for the 2018 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program on the Bradford and Marienville Districts. This unique youth employment program provides an opportunity for young men and women to work and learn new skills while participating in projects that enhance the development and conservation of our nation’s natural resources.

The 2018 YCC program will tentatively begin June 11 and last for eight weeks. Applicants must be 15 to 18 years of age; enrollees must be 15 by June 11, 2018, and cannot turn 19 during the program. A total of 10 youth will be hired for two five-member crews, one for each District Office. The crews will work Monday through Friday.

Crew members will perform natural resource-based projects throughout the Allegheny National Forest. Enrollees will find the work difficult at times, but also extremely rewarding as they learn teamwork, techniques of proper hand tool use, and what it takes to be successful in the workforce.  It is also a great opportunity for the crews to learn how the Forest Service manages public lands. The enrollees will also participate in educational field trips.

Applications are available at any of the three Forest Service Offices and on the web at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/allegheny/home/?cid=FSEPRD576498.  Warren, Forest, Elk and McKean County High School Guidance Counselors should also have applications available for students. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than April 19, 2018. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Lori Elmquist at 814-728-6286.

Spring Gobbler Hunting Hours

Spring Gobbler Hunting Hours

Hunting hours during the youth hunt end at noon. Junior hunters and mentored youth also may participate in the statewide spring gobbler season.

Hunting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end at noon for the first two weeks of the statewide season (April 28 through May 12). Hunters are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m. when hunting hours end at noon. This is to minimize disturbance of nesting hens.

From May 14 through May 31, hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. The all-day season allows more opportunity at the point in the season when hunting pressure is lower and nesting hens are less likely to abandon nests.

For Information Contact:

Travis Lau

717-705-6541

trlau@pa.gov

 

BLUEBIRD NEST BOXES HELP CONNECT WITH WILDLIFE

BLUEBIRD NEST BOXES HELP CONNECT WITH WILDLIFE

It’s time to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Howard Nursery wants to help you “spring” into the season and connect with wildlife in your backyard.

Bluebird nesting boxes built by staff at Howard Nursery are available for sale at the nursery office, as well as the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters, region offices, and the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Nesting-box kits also are available.

Nursery staff build bluebird and other nesting boxes during the winter for annual sales to the public. A single box sells for $11.66, including sales tax. When purchasing two or more boxes, the cost is $10.60 each, including sales tax.

Customers can select pre-built boxes or choose kits that can be assembled as a wood-working project. The kits provide a great opportunity for Scout troops, summer camps and other conservation groups to get involved with helping wildlife. Special pricing is available for organized educational activities. Call the Howard Nursery or region offices for details.

“Building and placing nesting boxes is a great project for individuals, families or civic organizations interested in connecting with wildlife in a natural way,” said Bryan Burhans, Game Commission Executive Director. “What better way to usher in spring than attracting bluebirds to backyards and properties.”

A brochure of the Game Commission’s bluebird nesting boxes and other wildlife structures is available online by navigating to the Howard Nursery page at www.pgc.pa.gov. Place your cursor on the “Information & Resources” tab at the top of the homepage, then click “Get Involved,” and select “Howard Nursery” to find the “2018 Wildlife Homes Order Form.”

The Game Commission’s Howard Nursery has been manufacturing bluebird nesting boxes and box kits for more than 30 years. Each year, the nursery produces an average of 4,000 bluebird boxes and 10,000 kits. In addition to being sold to groups and individuals, they are also available to cooperators in the Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program.

The nesting boxes constructed at the Howard Nursery are approved by wildlife biologists, and have been proven to attract bluebirds and other native species, such as tree swallows and house wrens. Bluebirds are beautiful songbirds native to Pennsylvania. They are cavity nesters that became less common because of a lack of suitable nest sites. Many nest sites have been lost through changing land-use practices, as well as urban and suburban sprawl. The decline in bluebird numbers is also due in part to non-native species, such as starlings and house sparrows, taking over bluebird nesting cavities.

Bluebirds are early nesters, and according to Game Commission biologists, now is the time to place new nest boxes, as well as to clean and repair existing boxes.

Boxes should be placed on a free-standing pole 3 to 5 feet above the ground, facing south, if possible, and facing a nearby tree or fence where young birds can safely land on their initial flights from the box. To reduce predation and competition from other species, no perch should be placed on the box; bluebirds do not need one.

Nesting boxes can be ordered and shipped directly from the Howard Nursery by calling 814-355-4434. Shipping and handling costs will apply. Shipping is not available from other Game Commission office locations. All purchases can be made with cash, check, money order or credit card. Sales will continue while supplies last.

The Howard Nursery is located at 197 Nursery Road in Howard, Pa. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

The Game Commission’s headquarters is at 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Ave. exit of Interstate 81 in Harrisburg.

Game Commission region office addresses and phone numbers are available on the agency’s website and in the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.

For more information on bluebirds, visit the Game Commission website www.pgc.pa.gov, click on “Wildlife” in the menu bar at the top of the page, then the “Birding” tab, and scroll down to “Eastern Bluebird” under the “Natural History” heading.

Let’s Stay in Touch!

Warren County Visitors Bureau                dave@wcvb.net
22045 Route 6
Warren, PA 16365
814-726-1222
800-624-7802

What do You love about Warren County?