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Managing The Lacawac Forest

Lacawac forest type and managment areas.

Area designated for 2010 reforestation plan.

    The Lacawac Sanctuary preserves almost 500 acres of native forest.  Most of it is second growth although some traces of original forested areas exist within the practical protection areas of the boreal bog and on the high side of the Wallenpaupack Ledges.  We currently manage the forest aggressively to encourage regeneration of old growth and habitat variety for various species of flora and fauna.  The areas around the trails are also managed for scenic, recreational value.   The entire preserve has been professionally surveyed by a certified forester and he supervises all management activity within the forest. 

     Currently our forest is under attack.  Threats include outbreaks of gypsy moth caterpillars, tent caterpillars, wooley adelgid, and a few years back we had wind damage to the larger hemlock trees near the lake.  There are also areas where foreign invasive plant species such as the hay scented fern choke back native seedling propagation. 

     Further, the very large herd of deer prevent a good deal of seedling regeneration with their concentrated browsing.  At present there are two deer exclosures on the property –  they may be seen off of the Broun Nature Trail – where deer are excluded and visitors can see firsthand how an undisturbed forest recreates itself.

    Stay tuned and we will update you periodically on our work to create an even more beautiful forest, preserve those special areas we already protect, and test and experiment with various cutting edge woodland management techniques.

Lacawac’s Forest Management Plan

TNC's Old Growth Forest Theory

UPDATE  - The Lacawac Forest

    Lacawac is pleased to share the fact that it is undertaking two experimental forestry patches this fall (2010). The two target stands have been ravaged by high winds and wooley adelgids and had very high tree mortality coupled with almost no regeneration because of heavy deer browse.  The sites will also be used as an experimental area to test The nature Conservancy’s new theory on accelerating old growth forest characteristics.  

    At the same time, we will be running control experiments to isolate the primary cause of delayed new seedling development in areas currently protected from deer browse.  The test sites will compare hay scented fern versus canopy lighting to determine which is the more potent deterrent to seedling development. The work will be under the watchful eye of our forester, Robin Wildumuth, with oversight from our Lacawac Science and Resource Committee led by Dr. Bruce Hargreaves of Lehigh University. 

    For those of you who have contributed to Lacawac’s Forest Fund over the last 7 months (plant a tree gifts) – this is the area where the new trees will be planted. We expect to do the planting sometime in the mid-fall and will keep you apprised.  Please be patient, we are sure you will appreciate the results!