Working for More Tree Farmer Benefits in PA

    July 16, 2019

    A PFA/PA Tree Farm Deer Impact Task Group has been formed and has started working with the PA Game Commission (PGC) to find solutions the damage high populations of deer do to Penn’s Woods. 

    The Task Group has defined the issues surrounding deer over-abundance  and communicated these concerns to the PGC :

    • Deer consume virtually all desirable commercial hardwood reproduction, a huge economic loss.
    • Over-browsing by deer results in the proliferation of deer tolerant competing and invasive plants.
    • Deer over-abundance negatively impacts other wildlife species.
    • Tree Farmer efforts to be responsible forest stewards have been overwhelmed by the high impact deer are having on our forests.
    • Deer are “actively” managing Tree Farms at the expense of wildlife diversity and forest regeneration.

    Potential solutions for Certified Tree Farmers include:  extending the season for Tree Farmers enrolled in DMAP, ability for Tree Farmers to enroll in the Red Tag program (which currently is only open to other agricultural farmers), increase the number of DMAP coupons issued to a Tree Farmer, loosening the transfer rules for these coupons, and waive the public access requirement. 

    The Task Force is committed to find the best solutions for PA Tree Farmers.  They encourage you to contact the PGC Commissioner that represents your area to voice your support for a solution to deer over-browsing  in our forests. The listing of the Board of Commissioners is found here.  Attending meetings and voicing your concerns is also encouraged.  PA Game Commission Planning meeting dates and details can be found here.

    PATF encourages anyone who has an interest in healthy, sustainable PA forests to communicate your concerns to the PGC Commissioners.  The only way we can bring about change of policy is if we have a united front on the issues and the solutions to the high deer populations in PA.