There is a place in Pennsylvania not too far from Hickman Lumber & Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring where elk roam wild. Elk are native to PA, but they had been over hunted and extinct to the area by 1877. The Pennsylvania DCNR (Department of Conservation & Natural Resources) has Hickman Lumber harvesting this state property. This job is called “Wapiti Flats”. Wapiti is what the Native Americans called elk. The elk are all through these woods. The day I went up to visit the loggers said they were in the woods first thing in the morning, but went up to the top of the hill to soak up some of the sun and graze on the grass since the snow was just melting.
One of our foresters, Terry, took me up to Benezette and check out the elk and learn about a FSC certified property and how it was being harvested. About 8 years ago we did a shelterwood cut, Terry told me. You can learn more about that at a previous post about silviculture here. But basically it’s where they went in, cut some of the less desirable species and open up the canopy to allow regeneration of the residuals. Then years later they come back in and really open the canopy allowing the young, more desirable trees to really take off.
This time of year was great to see the plethora of white oak regeneration that was created. The white oak leaves remain on the trees until spring when the new leaves push them off. You can see from the picture how this land is incredibly full of little white oak trees! Another factor with this is that elk don’t seem to eat the baby oak trees as much as white tail deer do.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any of the Wapiti (elk) in the woods, but I did have to be careful to dodge the elk droppings while walking throughout the area. We got some cool shots of the elk up in the field though. They really are magnificent animals.
You can learn more about our timber management at our website.
Having complete control from the forest through the sawmill to manufacturing your hardwood floor allows Allegheny Mountain to provide you with the highest quality flooring you can find!