Hamer Foundation Supports Center for Private Forests

The Hamer Foundation, founded by Donald Hamer, of Bellefonte, Pa., has committed $500,000 over five years to support the Center for Private Forests housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The center uses applied research and outreach to address opportunities associated with owning and managing privately held forest. In doing this, the center seeks partnerships with and support from organizations and agencies that recognize the importance of conserving the economic, ecological, and social values derived from forests.

“About 740,000 private landowners own 71 percent of the state’s nearly 17 million forested acres,” said center director James Finley, professor of forest resources. “To ensure that we have healthy, productive forests for tomorrow, it’s essential that these landowners engage in the conservation and stewardship of their woodlands.”

Finley noted that the Hamer Foundation gift will enable the center to hire new staff to conduct research-based outreach that will help landowners implement management practices aimed at caring for their forests and making informed decisions about their legacy for future generations.