Rothrock State Forest – Musser Gap Area Subject to Periodic Closures

Mar 17, 2014

The following news release is from DCNR:

An upcoming training program and hazard tree removal project at the Musser Gap area of the Rothrock State Forest (Ferguson Township, Centre County) will result in periodic closures of the area, potentially through August.

On March 20th, the Bureau of Forestry’s Recreation Section in the Division of Operations and Recreation will be conducting law enforcement scenarios at Mussers Gap for a class of 20 State Forest Officers. These members of the Bureau of Forestry are participating in a week long training to learn how to inform and enforce the State Forest Rules and Regulations. The training concludes on Friday with the trainees participating in a mock trial. Musser Gap will be closed to the public from 8 am to 2 pm on Thursday March 20th to accommodate this training.

Several harmful invasive pests have infested several different tree species at Musser Gap and caused the trees to die or show signs of severe decline. Emerald ash borer has attacked the white ash, hemlock woolley adelgid has infested the eastern hemlock and the elm has succumbed to elm yellows. Many of these trees are dead or dying and present potential safety hazards to visitors. To minimize these hazards the District has contracted with Melville Forestry Services to remove some of these trees along a 200′ corridor along the access road/trail corridor.

This project will remove a fair number of trees along the corridor but must be done to reduce potential hazards. This will be an extensive project and cutting may extend through August. When operations are active, signage will be posted at the trailhead. When posted, the area is closed for public use. This closure is necessary to ensure the safety of visitors and workers. If no signage is visible announcing active operations, then the area is open.

Thank you for your cooperation during this project.

Questions or concerns may be addressed to the District Forester by phoning 814- 643-2340, 7 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday.