John A. "Jack" Byerly

B.S. Forestry, 1968

John A. "Jack" Byerly completed a B. S. degree in Forestry at Penn State in 1968. He served in the U.S. Army (1968-1970) and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division during the Vietnam Conflict. While in graduate school in 1970, he was inducted into Phi Epsilon Phi, a botanical honorary fraternity.

Byerly began his forestry career with the Virginia Division of Forestry in 1971. In 1974, he joined the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management. He coordinated and assisted in managing the agency’s Bald Eagle Recovery Program, a venture that began in 1983, by traveling to Saskatchewan, Canada, to bring eagles back to Pennsylvania. The program ended in 1989 after seven years of successful captures and releases. Byerly was given the Agency’s Outstanding Employee Award in 1990.

Byerly’s other positions with the Pennsylvania Game Commission included Southeast Region Field Forester; Wildlife Impact Review Coordinator; and chief of the Division of Federal Aid.

Byerly served as the agency’s chief forester until his retirement in March 2007. In this position he was responsible for developing policy and management directives for the forest management operations on 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands, which includes both timber cover typing/classification and the commercial timber sales program. He convinced the agency to assemble a Forest Inventory and Analysis team to survey, inventory, and monitor the forest health on the State Game Lands.

Byerly also served on the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committees Joint Legislative Task Force, the Governors Blue Ribbon Task Force on Low-Value Hardwoods, and the Advisory Board for the Penn State School of Forest Resources’ Ibberson Chair, and represented the Pennsylvania Game Commission on numerous other committees.

Byerly served as a deputy wildlife conservation officer for 17 years, retiring in 1999. He has been a member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1968, and is currently serving as treasurer of the Keystone Chapter of the SAF (2001-present) and has been a certified forester since October 2002.

Byerly is a member of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association and served as the association’s treasurer from 1996 to 2000. He was elected to that position again for another term at PFA’s annual meeting in September 2006.

Byerly is a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association; a member of Tau Phi Delta Fraternity; a life member of the North American Hunting Club; a member of the National Rifle Association; and a member of the Susquehanna Orchid Society.

April 2007