Image: DCNR/Panther Hill View/Pinchot State Forest

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined The Conservation Fund in applauding the acquisition of a 528-acre tract that expands Pinchot State Forest to more than 49,635 acres.

“This invaluable addition to the state forest system comes at a time when more and more people are being drawn to these woodlands by a variety of interests and activities,” Dunn said. “The tract divides the Susquehanna and Lehigh river watersheds, bringing protection to both, and its acquisition eliminates what had been a sizeable inholding in our state forest system.”

Popularly known as the Blumer tract and located within the state forest’s Thornhurst section in Lackawanna County, the new state forestland was donated to DCNR by The Conservation Fund, which acquired the property for conservation purposes using mitigation funds provided by the William Companies.

“It was a delight to work with the Blumer family, DCNR, and the Williams Companies on the protection of this beautiful property” said Kyle Shenk, Northeast Regional Director of The Conservation Fund “Thanks to this successful public-private partnership, this legacy property will be enjoyed by visitors to the Pinchot State Forest forever.”

It is key to watershed protection for both the Watres Reservoir, a public water supply, and Buckeye Run which drains into the exceptional value waters of the Upper Lehigh River.

A core-forest area offering remote non-motorized recreation opportunities and a remote rustic wilderness experience, the tract is accessible by foot using the Pinchot Trail and Watres Loop Hiking trail or overland from Pittston Road.

Details on Pinchot State Forest and Pennsylvania’s other 19 state forest districts can be found on DCNR’s website.