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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Proper management of the region's White-Tail Deer is key to maintaining and improving the habitiat for all of the National Forest's species"---Robert Hilliard; author of "A SEASON ON THE ALLEGHENY"..............Even back in 1920, Pennsylvania Game biologists were saying the density of deer was killing the forest!................In 2001, Pennsylvania had an estimated 1.5 million deer- about 30 per square mile............That's more than 3 times what the state had before European settlement(8 to 10 per sq mile which allowed for forest regeneration)-------And even with 8 to 10 per sq. mile, Indians, Wolves, Bears and Pumas all existed in harmony with the White-Tails..........We love the fact that Eastern Coyotes and Black Bears are doing their thing in "Penn's Woods"...........However, even their "spring pulse" "bite" on fawns is not slowing down the growth of the states deer herd.............Bringing back the wolves and the Pumas which will give the woodlands of this beautiful state a chance at healing and seeing the widest variety of tree and shrub species once again flourish

Hunting: Deer browsing having impact on national forest:


In 2001, Pennsylvania
had an estimated 1.5 million
deer—about 30 deer per
square mile. That’s more than
three times what the state had
before European settlement.
By John Hayes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Despite Allegheny National Forest's reputation as a wilderness haven, it has always been a man-made habitat and its wildlife should be managed to reflect that fact, said the author of a new book on the region."A Season on the Allegheny," written and independently published by biologist and outdoors writer Robert T. Hilliard of Beaver County, is a well-researched, well-written account of his family's hunting and exploring adventures on the 513,175-acre patch of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Comprising much of the Game Commission's Wildlife Management Area 2F in Warren, McKean, Forest and Elk counties, the National Forest is known for its rare tracts of old-growth timber. But they are on small parcels in a large environment that Hilliard described as "very different than it was 200 years ago." Proper management of the region's white-tailed deer, he said, is key to maintaining and improving the habitat for all of the National Forest's species.

white-tail deer

"The native forest where early European pioneers found white pine and beech was originally cut for farming and later for the logging and wood chemical industries," he said. "The native trees were virtually gone. When it became a National Forest in 1923 people called it 'The Allegheny Brushland.' "
Trees returned -- smaller and in different proportions -- and so did the deer, which had been practically eliminated in Pennsylvania and repopulated by the Game Commission. The National Forest we now know, said Hilliard, is mostly second growth hardwoods that are greatly impacted by the deer.

"First, there are more deer than before. They stop regeneration and selectively browse some species over others, changing the composition of the forest," he said. "What we see now is really different from the original forest. The deer impact every habitat and by extension every species."

One thing hasn't changed, said Hilliard. While researching documents from the 1920s, he found a letter with Game Commission biologists saying there were too many deer and hunters saying there weren't enough.

The Allegheny Forest in the Fall


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