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Elk State Forest

Elk State Forest derives its name from the great numbers of elk that once thrived in the area. It encompasses almost 200,000 acres of northern hardwood forest, located in:

  • Elk County
  • Cameron County

Today, visitors can once again see elk in the meadows and openings scattered throughout the state forest.

This is one of eight state forests located in the Pennsylvania Wilds region and features the Elk Country Visitor Center and a portion of the Elk Scenic Drive.

ELK State Forest Management

DCNR's Bureau of Forestry manages our state forests for their long-term health and productivity while conserving native wild plants. These forests are “working forests” and provide a whole suite of uses and values to Pennsylvania citizens, all while maintaining the forest’s wild character.

Our state forests are managed for:

  • Pure water
  • Recreation
  • Scenic beauty
  • Plant and animal habitat
  • Sustainable timber and natural gas
  • Many other uses and values

The management of our state forests is guided by the State Forest Resource Management Plan.

2017 Management Activities

View Elk State Forest's 2017 management activities (PDF) for upcoming projects and events to implement the State Forest Resource Management Plan.

Harvest Schedule

Local state forest harvest schedules promote and maintain desired forest landscape conditions while providing a sustainable flow of forest products.

Ecosystem Management

The Bureau of Forestry has adopted “ecosystem management” as its principal strategy for managing state forests. This approach seeks to conserve the natural patterns and processes of the forest while advancing long-term sustainability.

Ecosystem management promotes the conservation of plant and animal communities and the landscapes and habitats that support them. It also accounts for needs and values of people and communities.

This results in a holistic, integrated approach to managing forest resources.

A Working Forest

As you travel throughout the state forest, you’ll see examples of our forests “at work.” Some of these management practices are more noticeable than others, such as:

  • Active timber harvests
  • Deer exclosure fences
  • Natural gas drilling sites
  • Prescribed fires
  • Gypsy moth spraying

Others are more subtle, such as the:

  • Protection of a vernal pool
  • Buffering of a stream from timber harvesting
  • Setting aside of a special area to conserve its wild character or protect a rare plant community

Each of these management practices and activities play a vital role in the management and conservation of our state forest system.

Certified “Well Managed”

Pennsylvania’s 2.2-million-acre state forest system is one the largest certified forests in North America. The forest is certified (FSC-C017154) under the Forest Stewardship Council™ standards. The FSC® is an independent organization supporting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

contact Elk State Forest

Elk District Office
258 Sizerville Road
Emporium, PA 15834
814-486-3353

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Elk State Forest