Thursday, July 28, 2022

Western PA Conservancy Protects 110 Acres Of Forestland, Wetlands In French Creek Watershed, Erie County

On July 27, the
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the permanent protection of two forested properties with stream frontage in Erie County—a 40-acre property in Union Township and 70 acres in Venango Township. 

The lands will become new additions to two of the Conservancy’s existing nature preserves in the biodiverse French Creek watershed.

The Union Township property is a mix of forest and wetlands, and offers 635 feet of forested riparian buffer along South Branch French Creek. 

This property will become part of the now 233-acre South Branch French Creek Conservation Area, which opened to the public in 2018. 

It features a diverse mix of habitats including forest, creek frontage, wetlands, vernal pools and former agricultural fields.  The extensive forest features hard maple, soft maple, beech, cherry and large, old-growth hemlock.

With the conservation of the 70-acre property, the Conservancy will own and manage nearly three miles of stream frontage along the West Branch French Creek, a tributary to French Creek that flows into Erie County from New York. 

The property has been added to the West Branch French Creek Conservation Area, bringing it to more than 1,000 acres of contiguous forests, wetlands and streams.

Both conservation areas are owned and managed by the Conservancy and are open for free to the public for hiking, birding, wildlife watching, exploring, hunting and fishing.

“Protecting French Creek and its tributaries continues to be of great conservation importance to the Conservancy,” says Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “So, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to protect these properties that create larger contiguous protected areas along the South Branch and West Branch of French Creek.”

French Creek, Pennsylvania’s 2022 River of the Year, is known as the most biologically diverse stream of its size in Pennsylvania or any state in the northeastern United States, making its protection all the more important. 

To date, the Conservancy has protected more than 5,600 acres within the 1,250-square-mile French Creek watershed, starting with the Wattsburg Fen Natural Area in 1969.

These properties were acquired with funding from private donors, the Foundation for PA Watersheds and through the estate of Helen B. Katz.

More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events at the Western PA Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, join them on Instagram, visit the Conservancy’s YouTube Channel or add them to your network on LinkedinClick Here to support their work.

The Conservancy has helped to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than 250,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, maintains 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 11,000 volunteers and the support of more than 9,000 members.

Related Articles:

-- DCNR Celebrates French Creek As The 2022 River Of The Year At Paddle Fest Celebration

-- Giangiulio Family Partners With Natural Lands To Preserve 113 Acre Farm In Chester County  [PaEN]

[Posted: July 28, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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