The Private Land Opportunties for Woodcock Program seeks to identify and contact forest owners, management groups, and foresters in order to enlist them in a comprehensive plan to develop more early-successional forest habitat for the benefit of woodcock in Pennsylvania. The Management Plan for Woodcock in Pennsylvania, authored in 2008 by PGC Biologist and WL of PA Technical Liason Bill Palmer, calls for the creation of over 80,000 acres of new woodcock habitat per year through 2018 in order to reverse declining woodcock numbers in Pennsylvania. Almost 80% of the land in Pennsylvania is privately owned, so the majority of this new habitat will have to be found on private land. PLOW currently has over 30,000 acres enrolled in the PLOW Program.
When a landowner enrolls in PLOW, we have an assessment of their land done by a habitat management specialist with expertise in the identification of and the enhancement of woodcock habitat. If needed, a management plan for the property will then be developed. PLOW will utilize a state-wide resource network to assist landowners with the actual habitat work being conducted on their land and will also provide ongoing oversight in the project.
If you are interested in getting more information about PLOW, or if you know someone who we should contact to let them know about this project, please let us know!
Montour Preserve Habitat Work
In December of 2007, WL of PA was asked to come up with a Comprehensive Woodcock Management Plan for PPL's Montour Preserve located in Montour County. There are approximately 5,000 acres included in the Preserve and surrounding acreage. Two field days were held in the spring of 2008 and almost 3,000 Aspen and Gray and Silky Dogwood seedlings were planted on two separate tracts within the Preserve. More than 10,000 Aspen, Crab Apple, and Silky Dogwood were planted at three new, separate sites during the spring 2010 workday. Because part of this area has been included in a pheasant trap and transfer program initiated by Pheasants Forever with the intent of reestablishing a population of wild birds, WL has tried to be careful so as not to infringe on or overlap on habitat being managed for the pheasant program. It is a good example of inter-organizational cooperation, so far as the habitat work is concerned!
More work days will be planned on an on-going basis as the Management Plan is implemented.
Pictured at the December, 2007 Meeting (left to right):
Kevin Drewencki, PPL; Tom Kotay, WL Member; Pete Aiken, PGC;Keith Sanford, PGC; Ben Jones, PGC; Mike Kotay, WL Board; Bill Palmer, PGC