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Tuscarora State Forest

Tuscarora State Forest derives its name from Tuscarora Mountain, which was named for the Iroquois-nation tribe that once inhabited the area. Comprising 96,025 acres, Tuscarora includes tracts in:

  • Cumberland County
  • Franklin County
  • Huntingdon County
  • Juniata County
  • Mifflin County
  • Perry County

Tuscarora State Forest lands cover the narrow valleys and steep, rocky ridges of the ridge and valley region of Pennsylvania. These fertile, well-watered sites are ideal for growing majestic oak and hemlock forests.

There are abundant populations of most wildlife species native to this region. Forests of the lower slopes are essentially mixed-oak communities with pockets of white pine among:

  • Black birch
  • Sugar maple
  • Beech
  • Hickories
  • Basswood
  • Tuliptree

Researchers from West Virginia University are currently monitoring the migration of golden eagles along the ridges of Tuscarora State Forest.

Tuscarora 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 managed as “working forests” and provide a suite of uses and values to Pennsylvania citizens, 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.

Tuscarora State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP)

A district-level state forest resource management plan is written for each of the bureau’s 20 forest districts across the state.

Tuscarora State Forest staff hosted a public meeting and online survey about its draft management plan in 2018. Citizens are invited to view public comments and responses (PDF).

Using public input and building on the statewide 2016 management plan, the Bureau of Forestry revised and completed a new Tuscarora SFRMP (PDF). setting district-level management priorities.

2021 Management Activities

View the 2021 Tuscarora State Forest 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.

Dual Certified Forest

Pennsylvania’s 2.2-million-acre state forest system is one of the largest dual certified forests in North America. The forest is certified under Forest Stewardship Council™ and Sustainable Forestry Initiative© standards.

The FSC© is an independent organization supporting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

SFI© certification focuses on protection of water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.

Dual certification ensures that Pennsylvania’s state forests are managed to the highest third-party standards.

Water Resources

Two municipal watersheds are located within Tuscarora State Forest. They supply water to:

  • Mifflin
  • Mifflintown

Contact Tuscarora State Forest

Tuscarora District Office
4455 Big Spring Road
Blain, PA 17006
(717) 536-3191
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

​Explore Tuscarora State Forest

Tuscarora State Forest