Volume 5, Issue 1 (October 2011)
In This Issue...
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order." ~John Burroughs
We're at that strange moment when it still feels like it's the beginning of the semester, but we're actually one third of the way through. Similarly, although it feels as if we just started the Hemlock, this is the first issue of our fourth year. When the Environmental Focus Group began the Hemlock in March 2008, our goal was to bring together people on campus and in the community who had a shared interest in the outdoors, environmentalism, and the culture of central Pennsylvania. A review of the articles in our past issues suggests that we've done just that. I'd like to thank our talented group of contributors, who consistently provide great articles issue after issue. We're constantly looking for new voices--if you have any ideas for an article, please contact Bob Myers.
The Environmental Club
Lock Haven University's Environmental Club meets every other Thursday at 4:00 to discuss environmental topics and plan events. This year the club will be going to the Pocono Environmental Education Center. On Sunday, September 25th, the club picked up litter along Glen Road, our adopted highway. If you're interested in becoming a member, contact the President, Lee Putt. Our next meeting is October 13th, 4:00 p.m., in Raub 408.
Earthquakes in Pennsylvania—“Rara Avises”
~John Way (LHU Geology Professor Emeritus)
Once again, nature has surprised those of us living on the east coast of the U.S. The August 23 Virginia earthquake provided frightening moments for some, rattled nerves of many, and went unnoticed by others. However for geologists it was just another reminder that seismic activity is not confined to the western U.S. coast.
The 5.8 magnitude temblor occurred within the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, a region in the VA piedmont known for small to moderate earthquake activity since the installation of modern seismic equipment. Interestingly, the quake of record for VA occurred near the western edge of this zone in 1897 with an estimated magnitude of 5.8.
Less than five minutes after the quake struck, the United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program’s website (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/) displayed its location and listed preliminary data including magnitude, depth, and distances from major metropolitan centers. Since then, the USGS has recorded multiple aftershocks all within the range of 2.0 to 4.5, and likely more will occur.
Although damage was widespread, extending from central Virginia to southern Maryland, including the Washington D.C. area, no deaths or serious injuries were reported. However, shockwaves spread throughout the eastern U.S. from central Georgia to central Maine, west to Detroit and Chicago, and in many parts of southeastern Canada.
Columbia University’s map marking the locations of recent earthquakes throughout northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada usually displays at least one seismic event that has occurred in the past week. Within the last 6 months, over 96 seismic events have been recorded in this part of North America, all registering below magnitude 4.3.
To put this number into perspective, the USGS estimates several million earthquakes occur on the planet each year. Most go undetected because they are in remote locations or have very small magnitudes. However, at least 20,000 are recorded by a global network of more than 8000 stations that transmit data via email, the internet, and satellites to the USGS National Earthquake Information Center.
A valid question one might ask: Could an earthquake of magnitude 5.8 or greater occur in PA? The answer is unequivocally yes; however, earthquakes in PA are infrequent, mild, and considered rare events. On the other hand, when or where one might occur is impossible to predict, despite the claims of some. Earthquake prediction may someday become a reality, but only after much more has been learned about the mechanisms responsible for generating these events.
We can, however, address where earthquakes have occurred in PA and where they are likely to occur in the future. A review of the historic record of earthquakes in the commonwealth, beginning in the early 1800s, indicates that the most seismically active regions are in the southeast and the northwest. These historic data serve also as the basis for generating the PA seismic hazard map.
Geologists have identified the NE/SW Lancaster-Reading seismic zone as a region where shallow earthquakes have been concentrated. The hazard map indicates that this region extends farther NE into the Lehigh Valley and on into New Jersey.
Two notable earthquakes occurred in this zone: a magnitude 4.4 in 1984 in Lancaster County and a magnitude 4.6 in 1994 in the Reading area. Although shallow-focus events such as these are unlikely to cause personal harm, impacts to infrastructure typically occur; e.g., buildings sway and shake, foundations and plaster crack, windows break, water and gas lines rupture, and objects on shelves fall.
PA’s seismic hazard map also identifies the northwest as an area exhibiting past earthquake activity. In 1998, a magnitude 5.2 event occurred at the southern end of the Pymatuning Reservoir, just east of the OH border near the Mercer-Crawford county line. Although this quake resulted in minor structural damage, some residents noted effects to their water wells; a few wells went dry while others increased their yield. Clearly, this disruption of the regional ground-water system reflected the movement of the bedrock associated with this quake.
Scharnberger (2007, Earthquake Hazard in PA, Pennsylvania Geological Survey Educational Series 10, available as a free PDF download) discusses a third concentration of seismic activity, the St. Lawrence Seismic Zone, and suggests that earthquakes in Ontario, western New York, northwestern Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio may represent a westward extension of this zone. One of the largest earthquakes in eastern North America, magnitude 6.2, struck in 1925. Its epicenter was located along the St. Lawrence River in the La Charlevoix-Kamouraska region of Quebec. Were a seismic event of magnitude 6 or greater to occur on the western extension of this seismic zone, moderate damage might be expected in one or more of the counties of Pennsylvania’s “northern tier.”
Have any earthquakes occurred in central PA? Yes, two have been recorded in recent history. The largest of these, magnitude 4.4, occurred in 1984 in Centre County. A magnitude 3.3 quake was recorded in southern Blair County in 1938. These events underscore the nature of seismic activity in this region—small, infrequent, and unlikely to cause damage of significance.
The focus of an earthquake does not have to occur with our borders for us to be affected by one; the VA quake demonstrated that fact. Again turning to history, two powerful events impacted the commonwealth located far from its borders. Nearly one hundred years ago, in the winter of 1811-1812, shockwaves from four major quakes centered near New Madrid, MO, awakened residents in Pittsburgh, cracked sidewalks in Washington, D.C., and rang church bells in Boston (http://newmadrid2011.org/). Effects from the powerful Charleston, SC, earthquake of 1886 extended as far as Boston, Chicago, Cuba, and Bermuda.
PA lies between the eastern boundary of the NA plate, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, running down the center of the Atlantic Ocean, and its western edge, essentially the continental boundary with the Pacific (Ocean) plate. At plate boundaries, plate-to-plate interactions include seismic activity, volcanism, and land movement. For example, the San Francisco 1906 earthquake is well understood in terms of plate boundary interaction. However, geologists classify both the New Madrid and Charleston earthquakes, as well as those in central and eastern North America, as “intraplate” seismic activity; these events are not well understood.
In the 1500s Leonardo DaVinci said: “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” To be sure, the U.S. Geological Survey and geophysicists and seismologists around the world would argue that point, however, with every new seismic event, we learn a great deal more about our “solid Earth.”
What can we conclude as a bottom line to this discussion? Without a larger database, one that extends hundreds to thousands of years into the past, there is no reason to preclude an earthquake of magnitude between 5 and 6 occurring anywhere in PA. The outcomes of such earthquakes are likely to mimic those of the recent temblor in VA. An earthquake registering 6 or greater is much less likely, but the fact that such large earthquakes have occurred elsewhere in the East means that this possibility cannot be ruled out entirely.
~Lou Bernard (Curator, Clinton County Historical Society)
If you drive to Farrandsville, along the north side of the Susquehanna River, and go to the end of the road, you’ll come to parking area adjacent to a path through the forest (see Hemlock Hike "Lick Run"). While it's just ruins now, this was once a busy place.
During the Great Depression, Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that a series of camps be set up to provide men with income. Her husband, the president, took her suggestion and instituted the program. This is how the Civilian Conservation Corps was created. The CCC was an organization of quasi-military forest rangers, under the direction of the Army. Living in camps, the men earned money to send home to their families. They were given uniforms, fed, sheltered, and provided with useful work. These men built roads, bridges, dams, and state parks; and they put out fires, found lost hikers, and helped out in the community. Whatever was needed near the camp, the CCC did. One of these camps was in Farrandsville.
If you follow the trail to the left a short distance, you'll see the remains of an old chimney, which was part of one of the buildings. Further back into the forest, if you’re determined, you can see a few cornerstones that nature didn’t put there. These are the remains of the Farrandsville Camp S-120-PA, home to Company 1396, which began on July 10, 1933.
Two hundred men, mostly veterans of World War One, arrived and began to build the camp. Their first job was to clear out all the rattlesnakes. For the first six months, most of the men lived in tents as the barracks were being built. The unit was commanded by First Lieutenant Thomas Larner. The Contract Surgeon was George Green, who had commanded the 305th Ambulance Corps in the First World War. Green was responsible for integrating the Army; his unit was home to William Raymond, the first African-American soldier to serve with white men.
The CCC men built two roads leading from Farrandsville, each thirteen miles long. Carrier Road and Hazard Road both begin in Farrandsville, and both were constructed early on by the CCC. They built fire trails and cleaned roadsides, and in 1935, Farrandsville won the Sub-District 9 Trophy for their outstanding work.
On March 17, 1936, the city of Lock Haven flooded. Farrandsville CCC was sent in by a gasoline-powered scooter on the Pennsylvania Railroad line to help with the rescue efforts. They worked hard at helping the city of Lock Haven. The first duty was to clear and open the sewers so that the floodwaters could be drained. After that, a Red Cross aid station was set up at the silk mill on North Fairview Street (the site of LHU's new dorm), and the CCC brought in supplies. They delivered hundreds of mattresses, blankets, cots, and added five stoves and a supply of wood to the shelter. After the Red Cross was supplied, the next immediate priority was cleaning the basements of local homes. The Lock Haven Express stated in a special section about the flood: “The CCC Companies….worked diligently, cheerfully, and efficiently in the task of clearing away flood wreckage.”
The camps provided and income for men who badly needed to feed their families. These men, in turn, provided valuable services to the community. They came and victims of the Depression. They left as heroes.
For more information about the CCC in Pennsylvania, see Joseph Speakman, At Work in Penn's Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania (PSU Press, 2006). LHU alum Rich Wykoff has put together an excellent collection of photographs of the camp.
~Melinda Hughes-Wert (President of Nature Abounds)
A native of Clarion, PA, I have worked with thousands of community volunteers at various levels. While working with these volunteers, I observed a need that wasn’t being met: they needed a broader voice for issues they cared about. In discussions with others, we realized that many people knew about environmental problems impacting their own community, but they didn't know how to combat these issues, nor did they have the resources or political will to fight them. As these individuals observed more and more environmental degradation, such as mountain-top-removal mining, the pollution of water and air, improper wildlife management, drilling on protected public lands, they thirsted for more. They wanted to see their efforts become meaningful, not only for themselves but for future generations. I also observed problems with how volunteers were being utilized and respected while committing their time and energy to non-profits.
So my husband Jim and I began exploring ways in which to help average citizens across the country and around the globe have a stronger voice for conserving and protecting natural resources and restoring environmental stewardship. We also hoped that solving some of the environmental problems might also solve some of the social and economic issues. With family members and friends we began sharing our idea of forming a new environmental non-profit organization, one that understood the need for balance between community economic needs and environmental concerns. The new organization would bring together people not only to solve their own community’s problems but to network with like-minded citizens in other communities, increasing the impact of environmental stewardship. Furthermore, the new organization would educate citizens on how to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, and it would create opportunities for volunteers to be involved in their community. Finally, the organization would focus on the environment as a whole, versus only focusing on one issue such as water or wildlife.
To make this new organization happen, I resigned from my job as National Volunteer Manager at the National Wildlife Federation, and in March 2008 we moved from the Washington DC area to my native Pennsylvania. In May 2008, Nature Abounds incorporated as a non-profit to bring together people for a healthy planet.
At Nature Abounds, we believe that if we take care of the planet, the planet will take care of us. We believe that if we have a healthy environment, we will also have a strong economy and a healthy society. We also believe everyone has something to contribute towards the betterment of the planet regardless of such factors as age, race, or gender. While all living beings are different, we all have the same basic needs--clean air and water, fresh food, and some form of habitat to protect us and our young. Every species plays a role in having a healthy eco-system. Therefore, we need to co-exist with other species as they are part of the same eco-system. Nature Abounds takes a multi-tier approach to achieving our goals. While educating people about "going green" and "environmental stewardship" on the national level, we also work with local officials to preserve our local environment through community involvement.
Although Nature Abounds is only three years old, we already have approximately 2,500 volunteers engaged across forty-nine states. Through our Citizen-Science opportunities, Watch the Wild and IceWatch USA, we engaged over 2,200 volunteers in observing wildlife, weather, and seasonal changes in their community. Nature Abounds also works with the local officials and citizens to address environmental problems in the Allegheny Mountains, specifically those problems associated with natural gas drilling, as well as forest and wildlife issues. Partnering with Disney Parks and the Hands on Network, Nature Abounds held several clean-up events in local communities for the “Give a Day, Get a Day” promotion. Likewise, we entered an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to revitalize and expand the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps, a group of volunteers across the state aged 55+ that perform tasks like monitoring water quality and marking abandoned wells.
In the near future, we plan to launch the Nature Force Network to bring together any group that is interested in the environment. Together we will share successes, lessons learned, and work together for the betterment of the planet. Through Nature Abounds’ new Going Green Corps program, volunteers will be trained to help others to be environmentally responsible. Another initiative of Nature Abounds is Keepers of the Forest with opportunities to educate and involve citizens about basic forest health and preservation. Our long-term plans include acquiring land and building a Nature Center along the Interstate-80 corridor.If you're interested in becoming involved, contact Nature Abounds at email@example.com or by phone at 814-765-1453. If in the Clearfield area, stop by the Nature Abounds office at 415 W. Front Street – Suite A. You can also find out more on-line at www.natureabounds.org .
~Dick Martin (Coordinator, PaForestCoalition)
Last month we honored the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, when the United States and the world were shocked by an act of terrorism beyond imagination.
In tribute to those who perished in America’s single worst terrorist attack, we have an opportunity to establish a national trail to be called the September 11th National Memorial Trail. This trail will provide a physical linkage connecting the three memorials which commemorate the tragic events that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail will eventually be a 1,100-mile non-motorized hiking and cycling trail. It will also include a highway tour component connecting the memorials. While the primary purpose is to preserve the memory of the September 11 events, the victims, their families and the first responders on the scenes, it will also serve as an important recreational and transportation venue for promoting tourism, trails, greenways and economic development.
The trail’s concept began on September 15, 2001, when just blocks from the Pentagon when conservation and recreation leaders from across the country convened to attend the Mid-Atlantic Governors Conference on Greenways in Arlington, Virginia - just four days after the attacks. During that conference, the concept of a September 11 memorial trail was born.
Since then, the non-profit September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance (www.911MemorialTrail.org) was formed. The trail is shaped as a triangle, linking New York City’s National September 11 Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The first two of the three legs of the connecting trail are already in place. The 337-mile route from the National September 11 Memorial to the Pentagon Memorial follows the East Coast Greenway, under construction thanks to the efforts of the East Coast Greenway Alliance (www.greenway.org). It links New York City through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland to the Pentagon in Northern Virginia.
The second leg of the trail begins at the Pentagon Memorial, extending along the National Park Service’s 184-mile Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/CHOH/index.htm) and follows the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland; then connecting to the new 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (www.atatrail.org) completed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under the leadership of The Allegheny Trail Alliance.
Only a short (24 mile) route is needed from the Great Allegheny Passage to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville. From there the last link will proceed from the Flight 93 National Memorial eastward across Pennsylvania.
The goal is to have the route established with a number of segments open for use in time for the tenth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks.
The critical Pennsylvania leg will extend east from the Flight 93 National Memorial to New York City’s National September 11 Memorial. This 441-mile segment is now in the planning stages. Under the guidance of the National Park Service and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we have conducted workshops in Bethlehem, Somerset and Harrisburg. Input from conservancies, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Keystone Trails Association and others has allowed us to follow existing and plan new trails to be built, especially taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s many rails-to-trails.
Americans now have a real opportunity to help build our Pennsylvania section of this National Trail. To volunteer, donate funds or get further information please go to www.911MemorialTrail.org or contact David Brickley, President of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance at 911Trail@comcast.net. Be a part of history.
~Guy Graybill (Author of
They are safe as they play
Using money and guile,
They are safe as they play,
~Emrseaching a.k.a Sarah Harkleroad (LHU English Major)
I discovered geocaching at the Grange Fair last year. An existing geocacher had put out three practice caches for the attendees to find and listed them on the Grange Fair Library website. Off I went with gps in hand to try to find these caches. I had no idea what I was looking for. I didn’t know anything about what a geocache even looked like. All over the fair I followed the coordinates until another geocacher took pity on me and showed me was supposed to be looking for, a Tupperware container with a slip of paper in it. After finding two of these three I was hooked.
Geocaching is a 21st century version of hide and seek. It combines technology with outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or boating. It can be done in rural or urban environments and can be adjusted to fit the time and activity level of each individual cacher.
My first official geocaching adventure began over Labor Day weekend 2010 when my family and I took the gps for a walk in Bald Eagle State Park. We followed trails, scared deer and learned some interesting facts along the way. The next day we followed the gps to State College and found some beautiful wooded parks and followed parts of the bikeway that runs all around the State College area.
Since last Labor Day we have tromped all over the PA State Forest and Game Lands looking for hidden caches, sometimes finding inadvertent overlooks and sudden steep rock cliffs; other times watching as fellow cachers don suba gear to look for underwater hides in the Susquehanna River. We have participated in the CITO program in which geocachers take trails into an area to find geocaches and take trash out when we leave. We’ve been to local historical sites and have spent vacation days exploring parks and recreation areas in other communities and countries as well.
The phrase that “getting there is half the fun” applies to geocaching. At home we’ve completed difficult, time-consuming puzzles and done webcam challenges for the sake of a smiley. A smiley is all you get when you find and sign a cache log; everything else that happens to be in the container is an extra bonus. We’ve called in family, friends and coworkers to help with codes we can’t break and puzzles we can’t figure out. We have been stumped by Mother Nature and devious cache owners who hide difficult containers in hard terrain. After a while it becomes an addictive game of hide and seek; a game you play by yourself on the computer and in the field where you must use logic and geo-senses to come up with the container. You compete with others to be the first to find a cache, but you compete with natural settings to find what is hidden within.
The Lock Haven area has a very active group of geocachers that come in all different shapes and sizes. We have three of the top 200 geocachers in Pennsylvania living in this area. The local caching team “the carels” lead the way with 15,324 finds and are ranked 3rd in the state. They easily put my geo-team to shame. They are known as fierce competitors who never back down from any caching experience. A local cacher that goes by “twotenderfeet” recently helped us place our first real geocache for others to find, completing a different kind of milestone.
Within 5 miles of campus there are roughly 75 active geocaches waiting to be found. Some are in urban areas, while others can turn into day long adventures that test the endurance of any geocacher. Some are located in hidden spots of untouched nature while others are hidden in plain sight along Main Street in Lock Haven. The Stevenson Library’s Media Services offers gps’s that can be checked out for three days for those who are interested in trying geocaching but do not have access to their own gps or gps enabled phone. Geocaching is a great way to explore the communities around you and discover new places.
To get started in geocaching, create an account at geocaching.com. Then enter your zip code and select a cache by clicking on its name. The only equipment that is required to get started is a gps or a gps-enabled phone. There are a variety of cache types to choose from: a traditional cache is one that consists of a container and a logbook and the coordinates listed lead to the cache’s exact location. A multi-cache involves two or more locations; the initial container leads to subsequent caches that lead to the final physical cache. A mystery or puzzle cache can involve complicated puzzles that must be solved to determine the coordinates of the final cache location.
The cache size can be an important consideration when deciding which geocache to pursue. A nano or micro cache is anything smaller than a 35mm film canister. A small container holds only a logbook. A regular cache has enough room for a logbook and small items for trade while a large container can be big enough to hold several gallons of swag as well as a logbook or other materials. Another type is an unknown size, these containers can be the most deceiving because their real size can depend on the cache location and the cache owners imagination; they maybe handmade or unique in some way. Most caches hold small items that can be traded for something of equal or greater value and must be family friendly.
Terrain and difficulty level are listed in a star rating system on the geocaching.com website. Both rates are listed from 1 being the easiest to 5 being the hardest. A 1/1 cache is a cache that can be found with little difficulty on a level terrain; while a 5/5 cache would require both specialized equipment and either a high degree of stealth or contains obstacles that must be overcome. Stealth is a geocacher's best weapon against being discovered and the better a cacher can become, the more caches can stay active for a longer period of time. Non-geocachers are called muggles in the geocaching community and while some muggles are interested in learning about this hobby, others will destroy or take cache containers leaving nothing behind for the next people to find.
Now that you have selected your cache, connect your gps to your computer and transfer the cache coordinates to your gps. A small bag containing swag, a pen or pencil, or other tradables is an easy way to keep track of all your geocaching supplies and can be left in your vehicle for on the go caching experiences. It’s not a necessity, but it’s always frustrating when you have to run back to your cache-mobile for something you forgot.
It is now time to abandon the computer and travel to the cache site. Your gps will get you close, but you will still need to develop a geo-sense that will enable you to find the cache. Once you have gotten to ground zero and located the cache, sign the log and return the cache to its original location. Finally, log your finds on the geocaching.com website.
I have placed 5 practice caches around the campus that do not require an account with geocaching.com. These caches are indicative of the types of caches you would find hidden around Lock Haven. They will remain active until the end of the semester. Good luck to those who seek them and if you need any hints on where these are located or if you have any questions about geocaching in general you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Henry David Thoreau loved a good bog. In Walden, he insisted upon the value of wetlands: "We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground." This hike takes you to Rosecrans Bog, a local wetland that is one of the Natural Areas of the Pennsylvania State Forest. The total hike is about 3.5 miles.
To get to the trailhead, take Rt. 220 South to Exit 107 (477 South). Turn left and follow 477 South for 9.8 miles, and then turn left onto Pine-Loganton Road. Go 1 mile. On the left is a gated gravel road with a "Do Not Block Driveway" sign. Park off to the side (straight ahead of you is Rosecrans Reservoir, one of the two reservoirs that supplies Lock Haven with water). This route might be unavailable due to a detour in Salona, but there is a faster, less-scenic alternative. Follow 220 South to Interstate 80 East. Go to Exit 185 (PA 477 North). Turn left onto 477 North, go 6/10 of a mile, and turn right onto Pine-Loganton Road. From the parking area, walk about 100 yards back up the Pine-Loganton Road. On the left, just past an open field, you'll see a red gate with a sign that reads "Dead End Road." On maps this is listed as Cranberry Road.
Follow the level trail through a tunnel of hemlocks for about 1.5 miles. After about 20 minutes of walking you'll reach an intersection. On the right is a deer fence and there are some large boulders on the trail to the left--keep going straight on Cranberry Road. About 10 minutes later, you'll see a trail going into the woods on the left. Depending on the season, you should be able to see the open area of the bog through the trees. Take this trail, and after about 50 yards, you'll reach the edge of the bog.
A bog is a freshwater wetland in a cold region. Some are formed by glaciers, but as is the case with Rosecrans, they can also be formed when a poorly-drained area fills with rainwater. The surface of a bog is typically covered with a thick mat of sphagnum moss, which bounces when you walk on it (See EPA, "Types of Wetlands"). Recently, I've been reading an excellent field guide to wetlands: John Eastman's
Swamp and Bog
According to Charles Fergus, in his book, Natural Pennsylvania, the bog's mat and the surrounding timber was flooded in the 1960s when beavers dammed Jamison Run, which drains the bog (you crossed this stream near the parking area). Fergus and Marcia Bonta ("Fool's Errand") report having seen great blue herons. I've seen geese, grouse, and various other birds on my various trips to the bog.
Rosecrans Bog is a designated Natural Area. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources defines a "Natural Area" as a place "of unique scenic, geologic or ecological value which will be maintained in a natural condition by allowing physical and biological processes to operate, usually without direct human intervention. These areas are set aside to provide locations for scientific observation of natural systems, to protect examples of typical and unique plant and animal communities and to protect outstanding examples of natural interest and beauty."
I'd like to thank Jeremiah Johnson for introducing me to Rosecrans Bog, as well as John Reid for helping me scout it for this issue.
Environmental Focus Group