Photo courtesy of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Land Protected Along River

April 28, 2014

Hundreds of acres in Clinton County are open to hiking, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities now that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has permanently protected a property along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

WPC acquired 466 acres in Chapman and Grugan townships, about 20 miles north of Lock Haven, Pa., the Conservancy announced today. The property stretches along about a mile and a half of the West Branch, providing a connection from Bucktail State Park Natural Area to the river. The property will shortly be added to the natural area.

The property is a combination of steep forested slopes and low-lying land near the river; it includes a number of small, high-quality tributaries that are full of wild brook trout.

The West Branch is the largest tributary system of the Susquehanna River. The region around it is defined by vast expanses of forestland, which support a significant black bear population and nesting habitat for forest interior birds.

Bucktail State Park Natural Area stretches through the Sinnemahoning and West Branch Susquehanna valleys in Cameron and Clinton counties and follows the Bucktail Trail Scenic Byway (State Route 120) for 75 miles.

The Conservancy will convey the property to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, which will add the land to Sproul State Forest, where it will become part of the Bucktail Natural Area.

“Due to great efforts of many stakeholders, the West Branch Susquehanna, long impaired by acid mine drainage, is recovering and is becoming known as a Pennsylvania Wilds destination. We’re fortunate to have received generous support to purchase this exceptional property, which protects forest and riparian areas and provides more recreational opportunities,” said Matthew Marusiak, land protection manager at the Conservancy.

DCNR, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Trout Unlimited, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and private donors financially supported the acquisition.

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