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Friday, June 12, 2009

Forrest H. Dutlinger Natural Area To Be Dedicated On Saturday At 1:00 PM

Dutlinger Natural Area dedication Saturday

A special place and a special man will be in the spotlight Saturday (today) afternoon in a remote section of the forest near the Potter/Clinton counties’ border.

After years of discussion, planning, false starts and bureaucratic snags, the Forrest H. Dutlinger Natural Area near in the Hammersley Fork and Beech Bottom Hollow area, south of Cross Fork, will be properly dedicated in a 1 pm ceremony.

For decades, hikers, hunters, anglers and campers have marveled at the old-growth forest, dominated by majestic hemlocks, that makes up this special hilltop and plateau in the Susquehannock State Forest.

It’s a 1,500-acre preserve with a 158-acre stand of old-growth timber.

By strict definition, it’s not a “wild area” or a virgin timber stand, since scattered white pine was harvested around 1900. Conjecture over the years has been that the forest was largely bypassed during the mad rush on timber due to boundary uncertainties.

Descendants of Forrest H. Dutlinger will be attending Saturday’s ceremony, which is open to the public. Four-wheel-drive transportation will be available to those who prefer not to hike to the site. The ceremony will be highlighted by the unveiling and dedication of a memorial plaque. A reception at Kettle Creek State Park will follow.

Who was Forrest H. Dutlinger?

An outspoken and highly respected man, he served as a district forester, based in Huntingdon, for many years with the then-Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters.

He was ahead of his time in his support for more scientific management of state forests and more coordinated activities between road construction, market trends and harvesting practices.
Foresters who worked with and for Dutlinger held him in high esteem and there was widespread support for the plan to name the natural area in his honor. However, the ceremony took many years to come together.

Former Susquehannock District Forester Bob Lewis came up with the plan and will be among those attending Saturday’s event. Current and former Forestry Bureau officials and many other dignitaries will also attend.


Anonymous said...

That is a very special place in God's green earth and is cherished by many. How wonderful that Mr. Dutlinger will be remembered in such a fitting way. Thank God there still are places like this in our part of the world. We are blessed.

Unknown said...

This is a very good thing.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to Lewis!
I can just imagine him pushing this through the maze of bull---- in the state bureaucracy.
There is no more beautiful and peaceful place in the world than the Hammersley. Keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

that looks like a perfect spot for a gas well!!!