© Victor Motts / TNC

The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania has announced the transfer of 373 acres of land in Canadensis to Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Forestry.  That land, along with two previous transfers—of 376 and 319 acres—totals 1,068 acres that TNC and the Bureau have collaboratively protected since 2017 to expand State Forest lands in the Pocono Mountains.

“It’s a great day when more than 1,000 acres of wild, forested land are permanently protected,” said Ellen Lott, Conservation Lands Project Manager for TNC in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “We’re thrilled to transfer these properties to DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry, which manages Pennsylvania’s forests. These additions will provide new recreational opportunities while protecting wildlife habitat, sensitive wetlands and healthy waterways.”

The newly transferred plot of land contains a pristine stream—Stony Run—that flows into Brodhead Creek and eventually the Delaware River. Stony Run has been designated as an “exceptional value” stream by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is home to native trout and other important species. These forested acres protect water quality both in Stony Run and further downstream.  The land will also provide the Bureau of Forestry and firefighters with additional access points to help better control wildfires that occur in the State Forest.

“Working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy has always been a pleasure and over the past few years we have been able to protect several beautiful and valuable properties,” said Tim Dugan, District Forester with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. “Strong leadership and the commitment of their staff to conserve and protect important lands is paramount. The addition of these lands to the state forest will protect key natural resources and provide countless benefits for current and future generations to admire and enjoy. I look forward to partnering again with TNC as we work together to conserve Pennsylvania’s forests and natural resources.”

Local forestry staff will work to improve access to the site over the next year. The previous land transfers were located near the Bureau of Forestry’s Snow Hill and Thunder Swamp areas in the Delaware State Forest and can be accessed through public parking or existing trails. Additional information on the Delaware State Forest, maps and updates can be found online on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Nature Resources website.

The Bureau of Forestry provided funds for all three projects, as did the Open Space Institute (OSI) through its Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, made possible with funding from the William Penn Foundation. OSI also provided funds for the property near Thunder Swamp through its Resilient Landscapes Initiative, made possible through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provided funding for the Stony Run and Thunder Swamp properties.