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Snakes and Bats- oh my! Join Use Sunday, August 26th For Our Next Speaker Series Event!

“Fierce Friends” to be Topic of Next South Mountain Lecture Series in August

Harrisburg – Snakes and bats will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Sunday, Aug. 26, at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Carlisle.

State wildlife biologists Aura Stauffer and Jim Chestney will offer a free lecture entitled “Fierce Friends” beginning at 2 p.m. 

“Snakes and bats are a duo of mysterious, elusive creatures that are sometimes misunderstood but play an important role in the ecology of the South Mountain region,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan said. “This is the story of their beneficial relationship with humans and their fierce fight for survival.”

The biologists will describe the natural history and precarious future of these unique animals, based on a regional study of their critical habitats. 

Several native snakes, including venomous species, will be displayed during a question and answer session at the end of the program.

This is the third year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape.  Rothrock, a Pennsylvania native, was a pioneer in forest management in the United States and is often referred to as the state’s “Father of Forestry.”

This event is sponsored by DCNR, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the South Mountain Partnership. The South Mountain Partnership is a group of private citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.

The series will continue with “Keeping Fruit Healthy: Challenges to Keeping Food on Your Plate” on Sept. 8 at the Penn State Extension Biglerville Research Station in Adams County.

For more information about the speaker series, visit http://southmountainspeakers.blogspot.com/ or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Some of the earlier lectures in the speaker series can now be found on Youtube at