NASF Photo Fellowship: Landowners and Forest Stewardship Properties

By Leslie Robertson
NASF Photo Fellow

Leslie on Susan Benedict's propertyAfter visiting the Penn Nursery, we headed to Susan Benedict’s Forest Stewardship Property. The property has been the Benedicts’ for generations; the family currently owns over 2000 acres of land, and many years ago they had over 5000! Susan and her family showed us around the property with the help of their Contract Forester Robert Hobbes. They had so much knowledge and an understanding of their land that I can’t quite describe.

You could easily see that living there and furthering the knowledge and conservation of forest ecosystems was their passion. We were able to see their hunting cabin as well as their future house which was currently under renovation, as well as some awe-inspiring glacial rocks that were easily 25 feet tall. An interesting aspect of the rocks was that the tops of them were unreachable by deer and therefore had different kinds of plants on top of them. Susan told us that they had found musket balls and atlatl points dated to be more than 5,000 years old nearby, showing that the area has been a popular hunting spot for quite some time.

After visiting with the Benedicts, Jeff and I drove up to Wellsboro to the Penn Wells Hotel for a Timber Tour meet and greet. Entering the historic hotel felt a little bit like going back in time and provided a great location for dinner. The informal gathering consisted of people from the forestry industry including Patterson Lumber, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry program, and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.
It was really nice meeting many of the people I will be spending the day with tomorrow and hearing about their careers. They all were very nice and seemed interested with the awesome opportunity the fellowship provided and eager to hear about what I have seen so far. I can't wait to see what the Timber Tour has in store!

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