Scenic view near Lake Wallenpaupak in Pocono Mountains, Pike County PA; photo by Judy Malley on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).
Representative Soil of Pennsylvania
Each state in the U.S. has selected a representative state soil (over twenty states have adopted their representative soil as an official state symbol). All State Soils
Representing Pennsylvania is Hazleton soil (named for the city of Hazleton in east central Pennsylvania). Hazleton soils occur in half of the counties of the state (more than 1.5 million acres) in woodland, cropland, hay and pastureland. Hazleton is one of more than 1000 types of soil that are mapped in Pennsylvania. Official state fauna and flora are all found on Hazleton soils - it supports the diversity of Pennsylvania.
Hazleton Soils are found in the Ridge and Valley, Allegheny Mountain, High Plateaus, and Pittsburgh Plateaus Physiographic Provinces in Pennsylvania. Forests on Hazleton soils are mixed northern hardwoods that include white and red oak, hickory, ash, maple, and black cherry.
An Act selecting, designating and adopting the Hazleton soil series as the official soil of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by prime sponsor Representative Cox was referred to STATE GOVERNMENT, March 10, 2009 (HOUSE BILL No. 833 Session of 2009).
Excerpt from Proposed Legislation
WHEREAS, A growing number of states, having significant concerns for valuable soil resources, have each chosen a unique soil series as their official state soil; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania has a significant concern for its own soil resources and takes pride in its natural resources; and
WHEREAS, Soils serve as the foundation for Pennsylvania's forests, agriculture, pasture lands, our unique wildlife habitats, our beautiful landscapes and our homes and communities; and
WHEREAS, The Hazleton soils are named for soils located near the City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and account for over one and a half million acres of soils throughout the State; and
WHEREAS, The Hazleton soils occur in half the counties in Pennsylvania and are used for woodlands, croplands and pasture lands; and
WHEREAS, The Hazleton soils support a natural ecosystem, which is home to the State bird, tree, animal and flower; and
WHEREAS, Designating the Hazleton soil series as the State soil would recognize the importance of this soil to the natural history and economy of Penn's Woods; therefore
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Official State soil.The Hazleton soil series is hereby selected, designated and adopted as the official soil of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Section 2. Effective date.This act shall take effect immediately