Stewards for Sustainable Forests

PPL Lake Wallenpaupack is a proud participant in the American Tree Farm System (ATFS).  This American Forest Foundation program works to “sustain forests, watersheds, and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship” (  PPL’s ATFS certified farm is comprised of the area that runs from Lake Wallenpaupack’s dam to the hydroelectric power plant along the Laxawaxen River near Kimbles.

PPL also manages an area called Shuman Point Natural Area, which is being maintained along the ATFS guidelines.  A blazed trail takes visitors on a 3.5 mile scenic hike through the woods and along Lake Wallenpaupack.  This natural area is currently undergoing a commercial harvest in a portion of this forest that is experiencing some tree mortality caused by gypsy moth defoliation and environmental stresses. 

In a ten acre section of this tract, visitors to Shuman Point will notice yellow and blue paint markings on certain trees.  Yellow represents healthy trees that will not to be harvested and are retained for specific seeding purposes.  Blue marked trees are in decline and will be harvested for continued sustainability and health of the forest.

Please help us in this important initiative by leaving the markers on the trees.  Shuman Point Natural Area will be preserved in a sustainable fashion for generations of visitors to enjoy.

You will find more information about the American Forest Foundation and the American Tree Farm System at the following websites.


  1. John Serfass said,

    January 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Greetings, I recently visited the Shuman Point Natural Area and walked the loop trail. It is a wonderful area with a generous stretch of relatively rare undeveloped shoreline along Lake Wallenpaupack. I have a few thoughts about the area and its management.

    In my opinion the cutting of dead and dying “hazard” trees along the trail was over-zealous. I understand managers’ responsibilities to reduce safety risks, but what I saw went beyond what is necessary, especially for a natural area. Many of the cut trees would not have reached the trail if they had rotted and fallen at their own pace. As I’m sure you realize, snags and dying trees provide a substantial benefit for a diversity of species.

    Second, I am not convinced that commercial timber harvesting with associated logging roads is appropriate for a natural area. It is natural for trees to die from stressors like insects, diseases and drought. It seems to me that allowing natural succession without human interference would provide a unique and valuable educational benefit for this area. And, it would certainly have a more natural appearance.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to refer to Shuman Point as a Conservation Area if logging will be included in its management. Or perhaps my concept of natural area goals is different from yours.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinions.

    John Serfass

    • PPL Preserves said,

      February 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Maintenance work completed along the trail at Shuman Point is mandated by insurance requirements by PPL for the safety of the public. While we recognize the value of dead wood in forests, hikers’ safety takes precedence. Only dead, dying or defective trees that would reach the trails when they fell are targeted for cutting.

      After reviewing the property, it was determined that the dead and dying trees along the trail were symptomatic of what was taking place on the entire tract. Some areas of the forest are under stress caused by defoliation by the gypsy moth caterpillar on droughty soils. In those areas, overstory has been lost and young regeneration has begun to develop on the forest floor. Regeneration is not common in much of today’s Pennsylvania forests. A commercial harvest decision was reached to provide more sunlight for the regeneration to thrive. In a ten acre area where many dominant trees are losing vigor and dying, a regeneration harvest known as “seed tree harvest” was prescribed. This will retain a large number of dominant trees of a variety of species to help maintain diversity in the new stand.

      There will be many areas on this tract that will not be treated and grow without our assistance. The section of this forest being managed will be used as an educational tool for the public to see how actively intensively managed forests differ from extensively managed tracts.

      Paul N. Kowalczyk
      Consulting Forester

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