Loyalsock State Forest
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (January 2013)|
|Loyalsock State Forest|
|Pennsylvania State Forest|
|Managed Resource Protected Area (IUCN VI)|
Loyalsock Creek in Loyalsock State Forest in Sullivan County
|Named for: Loyalsock Creek|
|Counties||Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan|
|- elevation||1,765 ft (538 m)|
|- Reorganized||July 1, 2005|
|Managed by||Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|
|Website : Loyalsock State Forest|
Loyalsock State Forest is a Pennsylvania state forest in Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry District #20. On July 1, 2005, a reorganization of Pennsylvania State Forests in eastern Pennsylvania resulted in the creation of the "Loyalsock State Forest" and the elimination of the name Wyoming State Forest.
The District #20 main office was located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania in Columbia County in the United States, and is still there as of September 2008. The office will be moved to Sullivan County, to Laporte Township. The new Resource Management Center is near completion and is anticipated to open in December 2008.
The state forests of Pennsylvania were formed as a direct result of the depletion of the forests of Pennsylvania that took place during the mid-to-late 19th century. Conservationists like Dr. Joseph Rothrock became concerned that the forests would not regrow if they were not managed properly. Lumber and Iron companies had harvested the old-growth forests for various reasons. They clear cut the forests and left behind nothing but dried tree tops and rotting stumps. The sparks of passing steam locomotives ignited wildfires that prevented the formation of second growth forests.
Conservationists feared that the forest would never regrow if there was not a change in the philosophy of forest management. They called for the state to purchase land from the lumber and iron companies, and the companies were more than willing to sell their land since they had depleted the natural resources of the forests. The changes began to take place in 1895 when Dr. Rothrock was appointed the first commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, the forerunner of today's Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a piece of legislation in 1897 that authorized the purchase of "unseated lands for forest reservations." This was the beginning of the State Forest system.
The history of the state forest goes back to 1929, when the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, a precursor to the modern Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, began purchasing land devastated by logging and wild fire to create Wyoming State Forest. The state forest lands in Sullivan county (formerly the Wyoming State Forest) became part of the new Loyalsock State Forest, along with state forest lands in eastern Lycoming County (previously part of Tiadaghton State Forest) and Bradford County (previously part of Tioga State Forest). District #20 covers these three counties since the realignment.
Marcellus Shale Development
The Loyalsock Forest lies in the heart of the Marcellus Shale Fairway. Most of the natural gas rights owned by the Commonwealth under the forest have been leased by DCNR to drilling companies. This includes Seneca Resources, a division of National Fuel. Seneca claims wells drilled in the area are highly productive.
"Clarence Moore Lands" Controversy
Much of the remaining natural gas rights under the forest are owned by private parties. In particular, a region known as the "Clarence Moore Lands" has sparked controversy over ownership and access rights to the natural gas under this area. Most of these disputed rights are believed to be owned by the heirs of Thomas E. Proctor, who reserved them in an earlier deed. They are found to be owned outright in some areas ("Blue Tract") and in conjunction with the successors of the United States Leather Company in others ("Yellow Tract").
Neighboring state forest districts
- Lackawanna State Forest (east)
- Weiser State Forest (south)
- Tiadaghton State Forest (southwest)
- Tioga State Forest (northwest)
Nearby state parks
High Knob Overlook
High Knob Overlook offers parking, free admission, bicycling, and 6.75 miles of trails for hiking. Because High Knob is located in the rural area of Hillsgrove, PA, High Knob Overlook has a Bortle-rating of 3 (rural level light pollution) and it has its own Clear Dark Sky Chart.
- Loyalsock Trail, 59.3 miles (95.4 km) along Loyalsock Creek in Lycoming and Sullivan counties
- Old Loggers Path, a loop of 27.8 miles (44.7 km) in the Pleasant Stream and Rock Run valleys in northeast Lycoming County
Natural and wild areas
- The Devils Elbow Natural Area, 404 acres (163 ha) with several small bogs, northern hemlock and hardwood forest
- McIntyre Wild Area, 7,500 acres (3,035 ha) with four streams, numerous waterfalls
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Loyalsock State Forest.|
- "History of the William Penn State Forest". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- "Worlds End State Park: History". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- Maykuth, Andrew. "Threat of gas drilling to Pa. State Forests weighed Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/special_packages/inquirer/marcellus-shale/20100221_Threat_of_gas_drilling_to_Pa__State_Forests_weighed.html#Eg8F6fA1SHHml30u.99".
- Jacobs, Nicole. "Seneca Resources Gets Innovative to Reduce Impacts".
- Blakenship, Karl. "Conservationists fight to save one of PA’s gem streams".
- "Amicus Curiae".
- Clipper, Justice David. "Opinion Signed COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA THE ESTATE OF CLARENCE MOORE and : BEFORE THE BOARD OF CLAIMS PENNLYCO, LTD., a Maryland : Corporation : VS. : : COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, : DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION : AND NATURAL RESOURCES".
- Szybist, Mark. "Controversy in the Loyalsock".
- "High Knob Overlook | visitPA". The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "High Knob Overlook, Sullivan County PA". Placenames.com. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "High Knob Overlook | Hillsgrove". Stackpole Books. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Danko, Attilla. "High Knob Overlook: Clear Sky Chart". Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Loyalsock State Forest". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "DCNR REALIGNING FOREST DISTRICTS". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. June 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-12.[dead link]
- "State Forest Districts". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-07-12. Note: Map showing districts after the July 1, 2005 realignment
- "National & State Forest Hiking Trails". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2006-07-14.