GAME COMMISSION STILL TO HOLD STATE GAME LAND TOURS FOR PUBLIC
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† HARRISBURG ‚Äď As part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission‚Äôs efforts to highlight its ongoing habitat improvement initiatives, the public is invited to take part in upcoming tours of several State Game Lands.¬† All tours are free.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúFlooding associated with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee has forced us to cancel three of our planned State Game Land tours for this,‚ÄĚ said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.¬† ‚ÄúHowever, for those State Game Lands that escaped damage to tour routes, the show must go on.‚ÄĚ
Roe noted the tours cancelled included State Game Lands 12 and 36 in Bradford County, originally scheduled for Oct. 2; State Game Land 57 in Luzerne and Wyoming counties, originally scheduled for Oct. 9; and State Game Land 211 in Dauphin and Lebanon counties, originally scheduled for Oct. 16.
‚ÄúWe hope to have these administrative roads and bridges repaired as soon as possible,‚ÄĚ Roe said. ‚ÄúAt the very least, we hope to have the routes back before next year‚Äôs tour dates, as we enjoy showing off our wildlife habitat improvement projects just as much as people enjoy a day in Penn‚Äôs Woods.‚ÄĚ
Additional rains may cause the cancellation of another tour planned for State Game Land 110 in Berks and Schuylkill counties.
‚ÄúWith additional rain on Sept. 27 and 28, we cannot commit to a final decision as to whether we will be able to hold the tour for State Game Land 110,‚ÄĚ said Doug Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region director.¬† ‚ÄúTentatively, we plan to hold this tour on Oct. 16.¬† However, due to current road conditions, and the possibility of those conditions worsening with additional rains and washouts, a final decision will not be made until Oct. 6.¬† We would ask those who are interested in this tour to check our website for updated information.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Information on the various tours that will continue as planned are as follows:
Cambria County: Sunday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., State Game Land 108, consisting of 23,086 acres.¬† This 7.5-mile, self-guided, one-way, driving tour will highlight mountainous terrain and fall foliage on the Allegheny front.¬† Items of interest along the tour route include a rehabilitated strip-mined area, which has been converted to small game habitat. The area also serves as a study area for grassland nesting birds, including the Henslow‚Äôs sparrow, a grassland species of special concern. Northern harriers and endangered short-eared owls also inhabit the study area.¬† Also highlighted are tree and shrub identification, wildlife habitat food plots and a deer exclosure fence. Kids will enjoy a stop along the tour where they can see and touch some of the furs, skulls and mounts of local wildlife that can be found in the area.¬†Each tour participant will be provided a brochure with directions and information about various features along the tour route. The tour begins at the State Game Land access road three-tenths of a mile north of Frugality, along State Route 53, in White Township.¬† Watch for the sign.¬† The starting point is just minutes away from the main beach at Prince Gallitzin State Park, where the annual Apple Cider Festival will be taking place on the same weekend. The tour will conclude on State Route 865 near Blandburg, in Reade Township.¬† Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers, Land Management personnel, biologists and foresters will be on hand to explain the various habitat improvement projects on this SGL and to answer questions.¬† A high ground clearance vehicle is highly-recommended to participate in this tour.
Bedford/Blair counties:¬† Sunday, Oct. 9, from noon to 3 p.m., State Game Land 26, which encompasses 12,062 acres in a four-county area. This popular tour highlights mountainous terrain and fall foliage. The seven-mile, self-guided auto tour begins at the parking area on the northeast side of Route 869, between Pavia and Beaverdale, and concludes near the village of Blue Knob. Youngsters will enjoy the opportunity to locate and identify mounted wildlife specimens placed in their natural habitat along the drive. Game Commission personnel will be on hand to answer questions relating to Game Commission programs and activities.
Clearfield County: Sunday, Oct. 9, State Game Land 77, which encompasses 3,038 acres.¬† Rain or shine, at 1 p.m., tour participants will meet at the parking area along Game Lands Road (T402), about one mile east of Route 219.¬†This will be a driving tour with short walks at planned stops to view habitat management practices, a public firearms range and an ongoing reclamation coal mining and stream rehabilitation project.¬† Attendees will use their own vehicle to travel along on the tour and four-wheel drive is not needed.¬† This tour will take about two hours and will be conducted by Game Commission personnel.
Lycoming County: Sunday, Oct. 16, State Game Land 75, Fisher Mine site.¬† At 1 p.m., tour participants will meet at the parking area near the intersection of Shingle Mill Road and Silver Springs Road, northwest of English Center.¬† The tour will highlight the ongoing surface mine operation of the Fisher Mining Company along with past mining operations and current restoration practices to improve wildlife habitat.¬† Mine personnel will be on hand to describe the mining operation while Game Commission personnel will be available to answer questions regarding wildlife habitat practices.¬† The tour will be conducted using the Commission‚Äôs trucks where the participants will be riding in the open-air, so dress accordingly.¬† The tour will last about two and one-half hours.
¬†Berks/Schuylkill counties (final decision to be made on Oct. 6 based on road conditions): Sunday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Land 110, which encompasses nearly 10,150 acres of historical, scenic and recreational property in a two-county area. The nine-mile trip will begin at the agency‚Äôs parking lot on Mountain Road, midway between the Shartlesville Exit of Interstate 78 and Route 61; and will exit onto Route 183, north of Strausstown. Game Commission Officers will be on hand to answer questions relating to Game Commission programs and activities.¬†