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Pennsylvania Forest Action Plan

Forests cover nearly 60% of Pennsylvania, providing an array of values including:

  • Clean air and water
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Wood products 
  • Habitat for thousands of plants and animals
  • Carbon storage

The Pennsylvania Forest Action Plan (PDF) -- completed as a requirement for the Federal Farm Bill -- assesses the condition of the commonwealth's forests, both public and private, and sets a framework of strategies for long-term forest sustainability.

The Pennsylvania plan is part of a national forest planning effort.  It is required for continued federal funding of programs including forest stewardship and health, community forestry, and wildland fire.

Sustaining forest values for future generations requires an understanding of the conditions and trends of forests and trees, along with a shared vision and coordination among many stakeholders, including:

  • Agencies
  • Landowners
  • Forest industry
  • Natural resource professionals
  • Conservation organizations
  • Community leaders
  • Policymakers

The 681-page Pennsylvania Forest Action Plan describes current conditions and trends of forests across all ownerships, delineates priority landscapes, and provides a suite of broad strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of Pennsylvania's forests and trees.

The 11 priority issues identified in the plan are:

  • Land use change
  • Forest health
  • Sustainable forest management
  • Climate change
  • Communicating natural resource values
  • Energy management and development
  • Wildland fire and public safety
  • Plant and animal habitat
  • Forest-related economy and jobs
  • Forest recreation
  • Water and soil