WILKES-BARRE — Highlighting some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse fall foliage, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) again is making its experts available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the commonwealth.
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 29, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website. The report will be updated every Thursday.
Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks throughout October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.
“Each year we are blessed with the opportunity to view some of the world’s most beautiful fall foliage here in the commonwealth,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “It is important to remember that Pennsylvania is a large state with more than 130 native tree species. This gives residents and tourists plentiful opportunities to see a wide array of colors, ensuring every autumn.
Dunn encouraged foliage viewers to check out one of DCNR’s 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland for some of the best views, recreation trails and park experiences. State foresters and park personnel are also available to recommend the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season.
Pennsylvania also boasts an abundance of great festivals, pick-your-own farms, and unrivaled haunted attractions that make the state the obvious choice for autumn, to pair with fall foliage viewing.
These tourist activities help fuel Pennsylvania’s economy, with approximately 200 million travelers injecting about $45 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy. Tourism generates more than $5 billion in tax revenues and is responsible for more than 500,000 jobs related to or benefiting from tourism.
“From the breathtaking shores of Lake Erie to the splendor of the southeast, our foliage season provides endless opportunities for those ‘wow’ moments,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary for Marketing, Tourism and Film for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). “Plus, one can pack up the car and venture to a great fall festival while taking in the dynamic colors along the way.”
Regional forestry experts can discuss the physiology of fall foliage color, as well as the projected outlook for fall foliage in their region of Pennsylvania.
State experts include Austin Noguera, forester: Pinchot Forest District, North Abington Township.
Back Woods Bass Results
Bob Strunk reports the rankings for last week’s results.
Week of 9/12
Wednesday Night Harveys Lake
1st Place: Chuck Peterman/Chris Kalna, 7.05 lbs.
2nd Place: George Gendler Jr. & Sr., 6.95 lbs.
3rd Place: Steven Bell/Kyle Drake, 4.85 lbs.
Harveys Lake Friday Night
1st Place: John & Evan Stravinski, 14 lbs. 1 oz.
2nd Place: Joe Zombek/Mike Bahnweg, 12 lbs. 12 oz.
Also won Lunker Award, 5 lbs. 1 oz.
3rd Place: Johnny Niezgoda, 10 lbs. 14 oz.
4th Place: Randy Ritsick, 5 lbs. 1 oz.
50th anniversary of National Hunting
and Fishing Day celebrated Saturday
Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) joined with other fish and wildlife conservation agencies across the country to recognize the 50th Anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day yesterday, Saturday, Sept. 24.
“The forests, fields, rivers and lakes, the wildlife and fish that call them home, and the hundreds of thousands of hunters and anglers who take every opportunity to enjoy Penn’s Woods are among the things that make Pennsylvania so special,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “Hunting, trapping and fishing are as important here as anywhere, and on this golden anniversary of National Hunting & Fishing Day, there’s no better time to celebrate that fact.”
“With 86,000 miles of water to enjoy, Pennsylvania is truly a fishing paradise that can be enjoyed during every season of the year,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “While seasoned anglers and boaters already know that there is something for everyone, the future of our sport depends on getting new people involved to share our outdoor traditions and our passion for conservation. So, next time you plan to cast a line on your favorite wild or stocked trout stream, venture out onto our beautiful rivers and lakes for big bass, catfish, or walleye; test your skill with steelhead or muskies; or go ice fishing on a frozen lake for panfish in winter – take a friend. There’s plenty of room for everyone.”
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day, Burhans and Schaeffer both appeared as guests on the PGC’s Call of the Outdoors podcast and spoke about the importance of recruiting new participants to outdoor activities and practicing conservation through hunting and fishing. The podcast is available for listening and download at CalloftheOutdoorsPGC.com.
A Proclamation from Gov. Tom Wolf recognizing Hunting and Fishing Day in Pennsylvania stated, “Hunting and fishing continue to be an integral component of the cultural fabric of communities throughout the state, and over recent years have offered a growing number of participants an opportunity to connect with nature on a personal level while simultaneously providing food security, a sense of self-sufficiency, and both mental and physical health benefits.”
The Governor’s proclamation also recognized that, “To this day, the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission are funded primarily by sportsmen and women, through this American System of Conservation Funding: a user pays-public benefits approach that is widely recognized as the most successful model of fish and wildlife management in the world.”
Wolf credited the state’s hunters, trappers, and anglers as being among the first in the nation to support the establishment of fish and wildlife conservation agencies and pioneering a self-imposed federal excise tax on hunting, fishing, and boating equipment to raise additional conservation funds. The proclamation recognized that in 2021, more than 1.8 million Pennsylvania hunters and anglers generated approximately $1 billion to support fish and wildlife conservation efforts.
The PGC and PFBC makes it easy for individuals and families to get involved in hunting and fishing through a wealth of programs, educational resources, and tools for connecting with local lands and waters available at pgc.pa.gov and Fishandboat.com.
To purchase a Pennsylvania hunting or fishing license, customers can visit either the PGC or PFBC website to connect to the HuntFishPA licensing system (huntfish.pa.gov) or visit more than 700 retail license issuing agents.
National Hunting and Fishing Day was established by Congress in 1971. For more information, visit Nhfday.org.
‘Eagles and Their Habitat’ presentation
Oct. 11 at the Van Scott Nature Reserve
The Upper Delaware River region is home to one of the largest wintering populations of bald eagles in the northeast.
Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy at the Van Scott Nature Reserve in Beach Lake, PA, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. for “Eagles and Their Habitat,” presented by Don Hamilton, National Park Service biologist and Natural Resources Chief, and Paul Gamer, Eagle Watch volunteer and bus tour guide.
Learn about the resident bald eagles in our region that live here year-round and the migrants that arrive in the winter from Canada and upstate New York. You’ll learn from Don and Paul all about bald eagles, the habitat they need to thrive, the best places to view wintering eagles, and “Eagle Etiquette” tips for safely viewing the birds without disturbing them. After the presentation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and join the discussion.
Space is limited and advance registration is required. Fee is $5 for Conservancy members and $10 for non-members. Light refreshments will be served.
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy works in partnership with landowners and communities to protect the natural heritage and quality of life of the Upper Delaware River region.
For more information, call 570-226-3164/845-583-1010 — or visit www.DelawareHighlands.org.
State game lands tours
are slated for October
Pennsylvania’s state game lands really are something to see.
Want to find out? Take one of the tours the Pennsylvania Game Commission is holding in October.
Nine tours are scheduled throughout the state — the first of which will be held Sunday, Oct. 2. More tours are planned each Sunday through Oct. 16.
The tours provide a good example of the opportunities available on game lands statewide, while showcasing how habitat work being done on these tracts benefit wildlife.
All tours are free, held rain or shine and open only to vehicles licensed for travel on public roads.
The tour schedule includes:
Sunday, Oct. 2
• State Game Lands 57, Luzerne and Wyoming counties, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Game Commission personnel will be on hand to explain points of interest, including wildlife habitat-improvement projects. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are required for this 30-mile, self-guided driving tour, which will take about three hours to complete.
The tour will pass habitat-improvement projects completed by the State Game Lands 57 wildlife habitat crew with help from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited. Representatives from the Game Commission and conservation organizations will be on hand to explain the projects and answer questions. The route will start at the game lands parking area on Mountain Springs Road just off Route 487.
Each vehicle will be provided a map and brief explanation of wildlife habitat management programs being carried out on this impressive tract of public hunting land.