TU partner the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy recently acquired 466 acres along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. The property includes Green Run, a “Class A” wild brook trout fishery and a direct tributary to the West Branch. With the Conservancy’s acquisition, nearly the entire Green Run watershed is now protected. It will be open to the public once transferred to the state as an addition to the Bucktail State Park Natural Area.
TU earned an assist during the project by making a contribution through its Coldwater Land Conservancy Fund—a grant program established in 2011 to defray the costs of acquiring lands and conservation easements that protect high quality native trout habitats. The Conservancy’s acquisition ranked high according to TU’s scoring criteria—the property contains an allopatric brook trout population (brook trout only, no browns or rainbows); is in a watershed ranked as “Best for Protection” by the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture; is adjacent to a large tract of protected public land; and will be open to the public for fishing.
It doesn’t hurt that the project also complements a longstanding TU initiative to restore brook trout habitat in the West Branch Susquehanna River watershed by remediating acid mine drainage. Helping to protect land in this watershed as streams become fishable again has become a new focus of TU’s, enabling it to offer its full “Protect, Reconnect, Restore, Sustain” menu of conservation strategies.
Congrats to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for finishing this fine project, and a special hats off to project manager Matt Marusiak, who honchoed it from start to finish and sought TU’s input early on. Matt is a proud TU member and does double duty as Vice President of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of TU.