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Loyalsock State Forest is a Pennsylvania State Forest in Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry District #20. On July 1, 2005, a reorganization of Pennsylvania State Forests in eastern Pennsylvania resulted in the creation of the "Loyalsock State Forest" and the elimination of the name Wyoming State Forestmarker.

The District #20 main office was located in Bloomsburgmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker in Columbia Countymarker in the United Statesmarker, and is still there as of September 2008. The office will be moved to Sullivan Countymarker, to Laporte Township. The new Resource Management Center is near completion and is anticipated to open in December 2008.


The state forests of Pennsylvania were formed as a direct result of the depletion of the forests of Pennsylvania that took place during the mid to late 1800s. Conservationists like Dr. Joseph Rothrock became concerned that the forests would not regrow if they were not managed properly. Lumber and Iron companies had harvested the old-growth forests for various reasons. The clear cut the forests and left behind nothing but dried tree tops and rotting stumps. The sparks of passing steam locomotives ignited wildfires that prevented the formation of second growth forest.

Conservationists feared that the forest would never regrow if there was not a change in the philosophy of forest management. They called for the state to purchase land from the lumber and iron companies and the lumber and iron companies were more than willing to sell their land since that had depleted the natural resources of the forests. The changes began to take place in 1895 when Dr. Rothrock was appointed the first commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, the forerunner of today's Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a piece of legislation in 1897 that authorized the purchase of "unseated lands for forest reservations." This was the beginning of the State Forest system.

The history of the state forest goes back to 1929, when the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, a precursor to the modern Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, began purchasing land devastated by logging and wild fire to create Wyoming State Forest. The state forest lands in Sullivan county (formerly the Wyoming State Forest) became part of the new Loyalsock State Forest, along with state forest lands in eastern Lycoming Countymarker (previously part of Tiadaghton State Forestmarker) and Bradford Countymarker (previously part of Tioga State Forestmarker). District #20 covers these three counties since the realignment.

Neighboring state forest districts

The U.S. state of New Yorkmarker is to the north

Nearby state parks



Natural and wild areas

  • The Devils Elbow Natural Area, with several small bogs, northern hemlock and hardwood forest
  • McIntyre Wild Area, with four streams, numerous waterfalls


  • Note: Map showing districts after the July 1, 2005 realignment

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