Contact: Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America
BOY SCOUTS AWARDED GRANT TO PROTECT GOLDEN-WINGED
USDA Grant Creates Bird Habitat at Cradle of Liberty Council’s Resica Falls Camp
WAYNE, PA (October 8, 2013) — The Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America has been awarded a federal conservation grant through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to create and improve the habitat for the golden-winged warbler, an at-risk species, at its Resica Falls Scout Camp in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
The golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a migratory species that breeds in the Northeastern United States, preferring early successional habitats for nesting. The vast forested lands, grasslands, and forb-rich landscape of the Appalachian Mountains was once considered a population stronghold for the golden-winged warbler. Today, however, the population is at risk to be listed as an endangered species. Recently-abandoned farm fields and clear-cuts are ideal habitats; however, they do not last long, and the warbler often quickly disappears from an area.
The Cradle of Liberty Council Conservation Committee, chaired by volunteer Scouter and Eagle Scout Robert Hartman, is charged with overseeing the forestry stewardship initiatives for the council’s two camps which comprise 6,000 acres of Pennsylvania forest land. Over the last three years, the committee has been executing upon professionally prepared forestry stewardship plans designed to improve the forest growth rates and quality of the council’s woodlands. The golden-winged warbler program is a perfect fit for the Resica Falls environment. Hartman states, “Providing a natural breeding habitat for the warbler aligns with the Boy Scouts of America Outdoor Code in which every Scout and Scout leader promises to be conservation minded.”
Hartman and council executive board member Tom Leidy, along with our consulting forester Josh Flad of Woodland Management Services, Inc., applied for and received funding for this special program, which is a joint effort of the USDA-NRCS and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). The goal is to create approximately 100 acres of shrubby fields and patchy scrublands on the Resica Falls Scout Reservation.
There will be a three-year program to create this habitat for the warbler. Year one will involve cutting invasive plants, shrubs, and small less desirable trees using a specialized “forestry mower.” Year two will involve treating the heavy fern cover with herbicides. Finally, year three will be cutting the remaining pole-sized patches of trees to meet the habitat requirement.
It is hoped that this habitat will draw warblers to the property during their summer breeding period. The warbler loves insects and spiders, so for the Boy Scouts hiking the vast trails of Resica Falls Scout Reservation in the summer, the golden-winged warbler may very well help prevent one more bug bite!
ABOUT THE COLBSA: The Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America (COLBSA), serves Philadelphia, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties, providing programs for more than 17,000 youth in over 500 units. In the City of Philadelphia, the council serves nearly 5,000 youth through its traditional and outreach programs. Additionally, through the Exploring and Learning for Life programs, young men and women are provided with internships and exposed to work based opportunities to help them better prepare for college and become a successful member of the work force. For more information visit: www.colbsa.org or to join Scouting programs in your area visit www.beascout.org