Buchanan State Forest
Buchanan State Forest is named in honor of James Buchanan, fifthteenth President of the United States. Buchanan State Forest covers 71,683 acres in:
Buchanan’s woodlands straddle the iconic ridges of south central Pennsylvania.
The 19 tracts of the Buchanan State Forest occupy upper slopes in the southern portion of the ridge and valley region of Pennsylvania. The forests are generally mixed oak communities interrupted here and there by groves of pine with hemlock or red maple dominating cooler ravines.
The variety of oaks includes:
- White oak
- Red oak
- Chestnut oak
- Scarlet oak
- Black oak
Other members of the community include:
- Sweet birch
- White pine
Dogwood and striped maple are abundant in the understory as are heaths (mountain laurel, low-bush blueberry, huckleberry, and teaberry).
Some abandoned farmlands in southern Bedford County, now part of the state forest, have seeded in naturally to Virginia pine on shallow, infertile soils.
Buchanan 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:
The management of our state forests is guided by the State Forest Resource Management Plan.
Public Input Meeting for Buchanan State Forest Resource Management Plan
DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is in the process of revising the Buchanan State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP). A district-level state forest management plan is written for each of the bureau’s 20 forest districts across the state.
Buchanan State Forest staff hosted a public meeting (PDF) about its draft management plan on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
Citizens may view the newest draft of the Buchanan SFRMP (PDF).
2018 Management Activities
View Buchanan State Forest’s 2018 management activities (PDF) for upcoming projects and events to implement the State Forest Resource Management Plan.
Local state forest harvest schedules promote and maintain desired forest landscape conditions while providing a sustainable flow of forest products.
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:
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 Buchanan State Forest
Buchanan State Forest
25185 Great Cove Road
McConnellsburg, PA 17233