On November 6, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the protection of 265 acres of forests and steep mountain ridgeline in Haines Township, Centre County. The property was immediately transferred to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry to become an addition to the 193,000-acre Bald Eagle State Forest.

Located an hour northeast of State College near Ingleby, this land is a key property adjacent to existing state forest and adds to the public lands in the area that include Bald Eagle State Forest and Poe Valley and Poe Paddy state parks.

The property includes nearly a mile of forested frontage on Penns Creek, a cold-water limestone wilderness stream and a tributary to the Susquehanna River. The creek is also designated a Class A Wild Trout Stream that provides anglers the opportunity to fish wild trout. In addition, a one-mile section of abandoned railroad grade running along the creek is located on this property.

Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy, says that the Conservancy is fortunate to be able to do land protection work in Centre County, with its extensive forested ridges, beautiful farming valleys and abundant ecological resources.

“We are glad to protect this exceptional property for its scenic and conservation values, and that that it is now available for hiking, hunting and fishing,” he adds.

“Bald Eagle State Forest has emerged as a true treasure chest of valued natural resources in central Pennsylvania, and the wild, clean-flowing Penns Creek is the gem that shines brightest,” says DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “This transfer of land by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to Bald Eagle should be valued by all who hike its trails, fish its waters and hunt its woodlands.”

This project was financed by grants from DCNR and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Financing Authority. Grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Hamer Foundation also supported the project’s due diligence and land acquisition costs.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands in Western Pennsylvania since 1932, of which 4,368 acres are located in Centre County. Of the Conservancy’s total acreage, more than 200,000 acres have been protected and conveyed to state parks, forests and game lands.