Pennsylvania Game Commission Press Release: Game Commission, Ruffed Grouse Society, And Energy Companies Improving Wildlife Habitat

                Project on State Game Lands 12 and 36 to benefit grouse and woodcock

Good things come in threes. The third and final phase of the “Roughneck Aspen Management Project” was recently completed on State Game Lands 12 and 36 in Franklin Township, Bradford County.

Encompassing 107 acres and split into three different blocks, the project will increase the amount of “early successional habitat” acreage on state game lands. Early successional habitat is generally described as a forest in the first 20 years of growth. It serves to meet the needs of wildlife requiring young forests to flourish. Species dependent on this habitat include ruffed grouse, American woodcock, golden-winged warbler, deer, bear and turkey.

The Game Commission and the Ruffed Grouse Society partnered with three energy

development companies to plan and execute the project with little to no cost to sportsmen.

Aspen stands were harvested to promote aspen root sprouting and select seed trees were left behind to provide soft and hard mast. Stems were left on site to provide cover for birds and mammals. Trees were cut during the winter months to protect root systems and ensure stored carbohydrates are at their peak for the ensuing growing season.

The project was a cooperative effort between the Game Commission, Ruffed Grouse Society, Chief Oil and Gas LLC., Energy Transfer Partners and Williams Midstream. Game Commission personnel provided technical support and oversight for the project, while the energy development companies employed contractors and provided funds to harvest timber.

Game Commission Northeast Region Forester Chad Barclay is credited with developing the project and supervised all phases of operations.

“These energy development companies have interests on state game lands and are  committed to giving something back to wildlife and sportsmen,” said Game Commission Land Management Group Supervisor Phil Kasper. “The Roughneck Aspen Management Project is a prime example of how a wildlife agency, partnering with conservation organizations and industry, can make large-scale impacts on wildlife habitat within the commonwealth.”