Forest Service Approves Tracy Ridge Oak Ecosystem Conservation Project

Release Date: Jun 16, 2021

Contact(s): Public Affairs Officer: Christopher Leeser, (814) 723-5150

Prescribed Fire as Management Tool 

Bradford, PA, June 15, 2021— The USDA Forest Service, Allegheny National Forest, has decided to improve the sustainability of oak ecosystems on Tracy Ridge through the use of prescribed fire. The first prescribed fire is scheduled to occur spring of 2022. Additional prescribed fires will be planned based on ground conditions in the future, likely every three to five years. 

Oak ecosystems are dependent on periodic disturbances to provide oaks with a competitive advantage over other tree species. Native American use of fire, followed by logging practices in the late 1800s and early 1900s, helped oak forests thrive for hundreds of years. There has been a notable lack of natural and manmade disturbances in the area for several decades, which is one of several factors causing oaks to be replaced by other species.  

“Reintroducing periodic fires to the area will help oak seedlings outcompete other species. These seedlings will replace mature oak trees that succumb to age or other factors, helping sustain the oak forests on Tracy Ridge for future generations.”, said Bradford District Ranger Rich Hatfield. 

For additional information, please contact Rich Hatfield, Bradford District Ranger, Allegheny National Forest, 29 Forest Service Drive, Bradford, Pennsylvania, 16701. Phone: 814-363-6000. Email:

Additional information is also posted on the Allegheny National Forest website at