Most Enduring Forest Landowners Group
Of the many private landowners’ organizations in Pennsylvania, ours, the Susquehanna Forest Landowners’ Association (SCFLOA) claims the honor of being the oldest in the Commonwealth. This worthy distinction, while supported by credible evidence, is not undisputed. Our friendly neighbors in Bradford County assert that they are equally justified in holding the distinction of seniority. The amiable controversy must remain unresolved until unassailable evidence settles the matter once and for all. In the meantime, let both organizations allow that the jury is still out, that truth shall make the final determination, and that in the meantime, both organizations are the senior forest landowners’ associations in the state of Pennsylvania.
Kessler and Thomas Spark Interest Among Woodlot Owners
SCFLOA was founded in 1978. From public agencies, Doyle Thomas, of Penn state Extension and Jim Kessler, Service Forester, provided the initial spark. Both of these men served with distinction as advisors to the organization until their retirement, respectively 1995 and 2009. Among the first 15 private landowners to sign up, the name of Tom Curly (charter president), Jerald Ely (first treasurer), Al and Eleanor Mass, and Bill Braumworth stand out. The tally of members quickly climbed to 39. This dedicated and diligent core set the course, created a table of organization, including officers and a board of directors, and laid out the program of activities, which SCFLOA has followed ever since.
Forestry, Fellowship and Friendship
The objectives and purposes of the organization have been defined and refined over time, but the initial focus was on timber marketing and woodlot management. These remain, but other goals were added as the call and rationale for them became apparent. Of these, the general enlightenment of all that is subsumed under the heading of silviculture, stands out. In addition, fellowship, friendship and mutual support among friends of the forest is the intangible, but it is arguably the most important objective of SCFLOA.
Annual Activities Provide Educational Opportunities
Over the past 30 years of its existence SCFLOA has sponsored annual series of activities. Recreation and enjoyment are reason enough to participate in these events, but they have also, each in their own way, fulfilled the goals and purposes of the organization.