Monday, February 25, 2019

Erie Times-News: Sustainable Forest Management Initiative Now Underway In The City Of Erie

Last week, David Bruce of the Erie Times reported the Sustainable Forest Management Initiative of the City of Erie and the Foundation for Sustainable Forests got underway with the removal of dead or disease trees from an Erie Park.
The tree removal was done with the use of horses by an Amish loggers Albert Detweiler and Junior Fisher from Crawford County hired by the Foundation.  Horses were used to reduce the impact of the tree removals on the forest.
Other trees were marked for their timber value and will also be removed.
Click Here to read the full Erie Times-News article.
“The Foundation is pleased by how this first cut went, and the positive response by the neighbors who visit that stretch of urban forest most frequently," said Annie Socci, Foundation Executive Director  "As a next step in the process, we will likely come into Glenwood and some of the other parks this summer to do some invasive species management work on the ground, before contemplating additional cuts and an ash tree salvage in the City's Roma and McClelland Parks next winter.
"We look forward to continuing this partnership with Erie, which will include writing a long-term management plan and hopefully also creating educational materials and signage for park users," Socci added.
These are the first steps taken in a new partnership with the City of Erie announced in November with Erie Mayor Joseph Schember and city Arborist Sarah Galloway.
The Initiative aims to develop a long-term sustainable management plan for the city’s 150+ acres of urban forests.
“Our forests face many threats, such as invasive species and climate change. These impacts are affecting forests even when they are left untouched,” said Galloway.
The goal of this partnership is to develop a plan that protects and promotes native plant diversity through invasive species management, improves habitat diversity and quality for birds and other wildlife, and educates the public on the role of sustainable forestry in maintaining healthy forests.
It is the City’s hope that this plan will ensure the long-term health and vigor of its urban forests, while continuing to provide the surrounding community with benefits such as clean air and water, and overall wellness gained from time spent in the woods.
Galloway is also hopeful that this initiative will provide a template for neighboring municipalities who would similarly like to see their wooded parks managed sustainably over time.
The Foundation for Sustainable Forests is uniquely positioned to work with the City.  Although primarily a land trust, a significant part of the FSF’s mission is dedicated to promoting sustainable forest practices for the benefit of both people and the land.
Erie’s Sustainable Forest Management Initiative will showcase approaches to fostering diverse, resilient forests, and broaden its impact on the landscape beyond the lands it currently manages and protects.
In addition to advising the City in the development of their plan and doing work on the ground, the FSF will also be able to assist the city in seeking grant funds for invasive species control and outreach efforts.  
As the project unfolds, the Foundation will be meeting with neighborhood groups surrounding these wooded parks, as well as seeking input from Erie area groups such as the Erie Bird Observatory and I Am a Planet Kid, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry.   
Mayor Schember said the plan, in particular, includes removing dead and dying ash trees affected by the emerald ash boring beetle.
“Any trees that are removed will be determined by the needs of the forest, and net proceeds generated from any tree removal will be reinvested back into the parks, for example to help control the spread of invasive species such as multiflora rose and ornamental vines that spread from neighboring yards,” said Annie Socci, Foundation Executive Director.
“The FSF looks forward to working with the City of Erie on this visionary initiative,” added Socci. “All too often, humans have many negative impacts on the surrounding natural landscape, and we look forward to highlighting ways that people can positively influence wooded ecosystems, including our urban forests.”
To learn more, contact Annie Socci by sending email to:  or call 814-694-5830.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Foundation For Sustainable Forests website.  Click Here to support their work.
(Photo: Erie Times-News.)

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