On June 1, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) announced the purchase of a conservation easement to protect a 120-acre property along Brush Valley Road in Miles Township, Centre County.

This easement was tailored to meet the private landowners’ needs and conservation goals, including ensuring that the property’s 60-acre forest remains intact. It also includes specific provisions permitting WPC and its partners to conduct ecological restoration and management activities, such as riparian forest restoration and invasive species removal projects.

The conservation easement also provides protection for a forested riparian buffer along the 3,000-foot section of Elk Creek that crosses through the property. The 19-mile creek, a tributary to Penns Creek located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is designated as a high-quality cold-water fishery by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and classified as Class A Wild Trout Waters by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for its naturally reproducing population of native brook trout.

Anglers are permitted to use the property to access Elk Creek for fishing on a walk-in basis from nearby public roads and adjacent Bald Eagle State Forest. There are no public amenities available on the property, such as signage, restrooms or parking. More specific information for public access to the creek will be available in the near future at WaterLandLife.org.

“Through this conservation easement, we are able to protect forestland and riparian buffers along this spectacular section of Elk Creek in Centre County,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy.