International Hardwood Buyers View College's Forestry Resources

Published 05.19.2006


An international group of hardwood buyers listens to Dennis F. Ringling, professor of forestry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, during a recent visit to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.An international delegation of hardwood buyers recently visited Pennsylvania College of Technology's Schneebeli Earth Science Center, gaining appreciation of the commonwealth's vast timber resources and how they cultivate students' forest-management skills.

The buyers, on a trade mission arranged by the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council and SEDA-Council of Governments, were given a tour of the Allenwood-area campus by Dennis F. Ringling, professor of forestry. The campus offers an outdoor laboratory for majors in the School of Natural Resources Management, and includes three miles of nature trails that affirm Pennsylvania's reputation for outdoor recreation.

"You're never more than 30 minutes from a state park," he told the group, gathered May 16 among a variety of sheltering oak, pine and hickory trees.

About 100 acres of woodlands are in implantation on the campus, Ringling explained, standing before a century-old red oak tree. Some of the timber stand is fenced to discourage destruction by deer; other areas are not enclosed, allowing students to gauge the comparative rates of natural reforestation.

Dennis F. Ringling points out a 1910-vintage red oak along one of the nature trails at the Earth Science Center."Our forest technology students grow trees from acorns and, before they graduate, they've milled a 2-by-4 or a 1-by-6," he told the group. "They'll have a true picture of what forestry's all about." Standing before a stack of highest-grade red oak, Ringling noted that the harvesting and sawmilling all was done by students "we're quite proud of that" and much of the finished lumber is used on the college's main campus by students in the School of Construction and Design Technologies.

The buyers' schedule included tours of several area sawmills and meetings with regional hardwood suppliers at the Thomas T. Taber Museum in Williamsport.

The group was composed of Stefan Miesels, Israel; Benjamin Heinz, Luxembourg; Neil Gurman and Kevin Edmunds, England; Mazin Louis Naeem, Iraq; and Ragini Jethi Singh, India. Among their guides were Barbara R. Woodson, program director, export development, for SEDA-COG; and D. Wayne Bender, PHDC hardwood development specialist.

For more about majors in the School of Natural Resources Management at Penn College, call (570) 320-8038, send e-mail or visit online.