Photo credit: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the permanent protection of two forested properties totaling 152 acres in the Pennsylvania Wilds along First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek. The lands were immediately conveyed to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry to become public state forestland.

A 63-acre forest in Grove Township, Cameron County, which contains steep slopes of mostly oaks, has extensive frontage along a portion of the First Fork, which is known for stocked trout and bass fishing. The property hosts habitat for elk and other wildlife and is adjacent to Elk State Forest, where it was added.

In Summit Township, Potter County, 89 acres were added to Susquehannock State Forest. The property includes the confluence of the wild trout waters of Borie Branch and Prouty Run, which form First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek. The property has more than 3,000 feet of stream frontage and includes mature forests of hemlock along the streams and hardwoods with maple, black cherry, and yellow birch in the uplands.

Photo credit: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

First Fork is listed by the PA Fish and Boat Commission as one of the best trout fishing streams in the state and is identified as a WPC conservation priority due to its habitat, water quality and recreational value. Plus, protecting and connecting remaining undeveloped bottomland forests is crucial to protect water quality and to provide flood mitigation for downstream communities.

“These are stunningly beautiful properties and we are very glad to see them permanently protected,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “We are honored to be able to add these two properties to our state forests. These properties preserve important stretches of the First Fork, and offer everything from trout fishing to amazing vistas to important forests that are now protected.”

Conservation of this forestland was made possible thanks to grants from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation’s Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, and the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed Restoration Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.