Pennsylvania Game Commission Northeast Region Land Management Supervisor Peter Sussenbach recently was honored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partners with an Environmental Partnership Award, which is presented to individuals and organizations that have achieved environmental protection or conservation through working with others in pursuit of their accomplishments.
Sussenbach received the award for making significant contributions to wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania. The award was presented to Sussenbach by Environmental Partner committee member Alex Fried, at the 22nd Annual Evening for Northeast Pennsylvania's Environment event, held at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre.
Sussenbach has been instrumental in forming partnerships with private organizations and other government agencies, including the Nature Conservancy, Bethlehem Authority, PA DCNR, Natural Lands Trust, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pheasants Forever, and the National Park Service, in support of the Game Commission's mission of managing wildlife and it's habitat for current and future generations.
Sussenbach recognizes prescribed fire as a valuable wildlife habitat tool and is credited with initiating the Game Commission Prescribed Fire Program in the Northeast. Prescribed fire promotes diverse plant communities, provides improved food resources, and establishes protective cover for numerous wildlife species. Sussenbach led Game Commission Northeast Region staff in improving habitat through prescribed burns on more than 550 acres of State Game Lands and 600 acres of public access property managed by The Nature Conservancy.
Units treated in previous years are currently yielding growth that will improve food and cover, while increasing biodiversity. Since the inception of the Northeast Prescribed Burn Program in 2008, this habitat improvement method has been employed on game lands and public access properties in Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Monroe, Luzerne, and Pike Counties.
Pete's commitment to habitat improvement in the Northeast is producing positive results that will benefit wildlife, habitat, and people for generations to come, said Daniel Figured, Game Commission Northeast Region director. His partnering with other state and federal agencies, and private organizations, are making these results possible.