Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced the award of $60,260 in grant funding to the Pennsylvania State University, which will be used to educate landowners on the protection of forests for future generations. The funding for the project, “Planning the Future of the Forest: Seeing Landowners Like Me,” is from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“Forestry is close to the heart of many people across our region, as a major part of our heritage, our economy and through our forests, as a major contributor to the health of our environment,” Thompson said. “I know that the researchers and educators at Penn State will put this funding to good use.”

The grant funding is intended to address forest legacy planning among private landowners, including the transfer to future generations, land protection strategies and other tools used to keep woodlands intact. The project involves landowners across the northeastern United States.

“Woodlands are at great risk for conversion and loss following land transfers,” said Dr. Allyson Muth of Penn State’s School of Forest Resources. “Funding for this project will enable us to establish resources for landowners to address forest legacy planning and ensure the continued stewardship of their woodlands. We appreciate Congressman Thompson’s and Senator Casey’s support for funding to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture that facilitates this outreach service to more than 20 states. “

“I appreciate the work of Penn State University in making people across our state aware of their options in protecting the forests of ‘Penn’s Woods’ for years to come,” Casey said. “Pennsylvania is growing older, with the average age of a forest landowner at nearly 60-years-old. For those who plan to leave that land to members of their families, this program is essential.”