451 McCormick Rd
Coraopolis PA 15108
For Immediate Release
March 8, 2016
Coraopolis, PA – As a result of successful early successional habitat (ESH) enhancement performed through a collaborative partnership between the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (WVDNR), West Virginia Division of Forestry (WVDOF) and the Monongahela National Forest (MNF), the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) has most graciously provided a forestry mulching machine to assist in this ongoing work. A variety of wildlife species require ESH during all or part of their lifecycle, most notably ruffed grouse, American woodcock and a whole suite of songbirds.
The Caterpillar 299D XHP machine, mulching head and gooseneck trailer were procured by RGS for use by the collaborators to maintain and create ESH on several projects on the Beaverdam, Cheat and Little River Cooperative WMA’s of the MNF and Kumbrabow State Forest. To compliment the machine, the MNF has appropriated funds to hire an operator and cover maintenance costs, and the WVDNR is in the process of purchasing a new heavy duty truck to haul the equipment.
Jack Tribble, district ranger on the MNF Greenbrier Ranger District, complimented this effort by stating, “It is really nice to see that over the last five years we have really moved forward on a comprehensive and cooperative approach to habitat management. The group of wildlife professionals with the State and USFS are some of the best around. Getting it done on the ground is so paramount, and we all are moving in the same direction with these positive results.”
Rob Tallman, DNR wildlife manager on the Cheat Cooperative WMA and Kumbrabow SF added, “Partnerships equal results. The partnership we have developed and our interagency working relationship along with RGS support has proven very successful. With the generous addition of this machine, the amount of habitat we will put on the ground in these areas will truly make a difference. The sportsmen and women of West Virginia should thank RGS and especially RGS Regional Biologist Dr. Linda Ordiway for expressing their commitment to the wildlife resources of this State in such a tremendous way.”
Travis Miller, state lands manager for WVDOF expressed, “The goals for wildlife habitat management and forest management are essentially the same. By working together as partners, we accomplish tremendously more than we have in the past when projects were designed and implemented independently. The addition of the RGS machine provides us with a tool to not only create and maintain habitat, but to mechanically enhance our timber resources through crop tree release and timber stand improvement.”
Dr. Ordiway stated, “This type of agency commitment and cooperation in creating and enhancing existing habitat is needed for successful management. This is a model partnership where the end result is providing habitat for sustaining the wildlife and floral diversity West Virginia is known for.”
The group has set an initial goal of creating/maintaining 300 acres of habitat-per-year with the machine. Much thought has gone into project development and implementation, and results are already being seen on Kumbrabow State Forest where the machine is currently working.
Established in 1961, The Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS/AWS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.
Information on RGS/AWS, the mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.
Hoy Murphy, 304-957-9365, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Contact: Rob Tallman, 304-552-2528, Robert.E.Tallman@wv.gov
Ruffed Grouse Society contact: Dr. Linda Ordiway, 412-720-6034, LindaO@RuffedGrouseSociety.org