Why should you be a steward?
Michaux offers a range of hiking, biking, horse-back riding, ATV-riding, camping, hunting, fishing, and so many other recreational opportunities – plus it is home to numerous cultural resources ranging from Native American rhyolite quarries to relics of the iron industry. Like other state forests, the forests of Michaux are managed as “working forests” and provide a suite of uses and values to Pennsylvania citizens, while maintaining the forest’s wild character. In addition to recreation, Michaux State Forest is managed to support pure water, scenic beauty, plant and animal habitat, and sustainable timber activities.
The intense recreational demand is a challenge for DCNR staff that are managing multiple objectives. And, unlike the four state parks encompassed by or adjacent to the state forest, recreation in Michaux is dispersed across a large area. The Friends of Michaux resource stewardship program taps into a dispersed network of dedicated users and volunteers in order to assist DCNR with maintenance and monitoring of these resources.
What does a steward do?
For trails, state forest roads, parking lots, campsites, cultural resources, and other elements, stewards will serve as the eyes and ears and the boots on the ground to monitor and enhance recreational and cultural resources. Stewardship activities include monitoring and reporting of serious issues that can be addressed collaboratively with the Friends group and DCNR; hand clearing of brush, overhanging vegetation, invasive species, or debris (if larger tree falls or obstacles are an issue, coordinate with the Friends group and DCNR for assistance – chainsaw use by volunteers is not permitted at this time); reblazing trails; repairing or replacing signs; litter pick up and reporting of dump sites; graffiti clean up; and dispersal of unauthorized fire rings. Membership in the Friends group is not required for stewards. The Friends group and DCNR in will support stewards by providing access to equipment, materials, and coordinating work days as needed.
If you’re ready to sign up to steward recreational resources, fill out this form to let us know you’re interested and what resource you’re interested in stewarding! If you want to get involved with cultural resource stewardship, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for Stewards
- All stewards must be registered as a DCNR conservation volunteer. Please complete the conservation volunteer application before you start any stewardship work.
- Stewardship reporting form – complete this form after each site visit so we can account for your volunteer time and to alert us to any issues.
- Report large dump sites to the Michaux District Office at email@example.com or at (717) 352-2211 so that the dumping incident can be investigated and prosecuted.
- Contact the Friends group at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.