Field Journal Friday: Logue-McMahon Conservation Easement

Nestled between Muncy Heritage Park and the West Branch Susquehanna River, sits NPC’s Logue-McMahon conservation easement. On this Field Journal Friday we’re exploring some of the conservation values that this 20-acre easement upholds.

Observation #1: History

The historic Pennsylvania canal, which operated from 1827 to 1839 is part of the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, which bisects the conservation easement. Interpretive signs can be found throughout the park, highlighting the historical and environmental significance of the area. While the easement itself is not open to the public, visitors can still enjoy the farm, wetland, and forested views of the easement from the Park’s trail.

The Logue-McMahon easement also conserves a historic farmhouse, built around 1795, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Additionally, farming continues to thrive on the property, with row crops like corn being grown on the fertile soils.

Observation #2: Wildlife Habitat

On the section of the easement east of the canal lays a large wetland that provides food and habitat for ducks, geese, fish, frogs, turtles and other wildlife.

Chokecherry can also be found throughout the easement. This native, understory tree is an important food source for wildlife in the summer, and the fragrant white flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators.

Observation #3: Susquehanna River

The forested riparian buffer helps prevent riverbank erosion and keeps nutrients from entering the West Branch Susquehanna River, contributing to the health of the river and everywhere else downstream.

Catch up on other Field Journal Friday entries:
Zaner, Overlook & Power Dam Conservation Easements
Blackwell Conservation Easement

Field Journal Friday: Zaner, Overlook & Power Dam Conservation Easements

On this Field Journal Friday edition, we’re taking a walk around the Zaner, Overlook and Power Dam conservation easements.

What ties these three properties together? They are all under the ownership of the Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association (FCSA)!

Observation #1: Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association

The FCSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining great trout fishing on Fishing Creek and several other Columbia County waterways.

In 2007, NPC collaborated with FCSA to establish easements on these collective 93-acres. These easements help to ensure public access to Fishing Creek, which remains a beloved destination for anglers and the wider community alike.

In cooperation with the PA Fish & Boat Commission, FCSA raises about 25,000 trout annually to stock these local waters and supports several community fishing derbies – including their own upcoming event on June 2, 2024.   

Observation #2: Dutchman’s Breeches

These easements contain a floodplain forest that is home to several species of spring wildflowers, including Dutchman’s Breeches. This native perennial has charming, early blooms resembling tiny pairs of pants, or breeches! While its delicate flowers might not last in a vase on your dining table (they wilt as soon as they are picked), they bring ephemeral beauty to the wilds!

Dutchman’s Breeches

Observation #3: Witch Hazel

Witch hazel, with its distinctive bright yellow, slender petals, is easily recognizable. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this versatile plant boasts numerous medicinal applications. Today, it’s a common ingredient in cosmetics and is prized for its ability to soothe skin irritations. 

Witch Hazel

Observation #4: Power Dam Remnants

The Power Dam property boasts more than 2,900 feet of creek frontage and holds the remnants of a concrete dam. This dam once served the crucial function of providing water to a millrace, which in turn supplied a small electric generating station. These remnants offer a tangible link to the area’s industrial past, highlighting the role of waterways in powering early infrastructure and development.

Remnants of a concrete dam in fishing creek.

Field Journal Fridays: Blackwell Conservation Easement

Join us every Friday for an exploration of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy’s (NPC) conservation easements. Through “Field Journal Fridays,” we invite you to discover and connect with the natural world around us. Conservation easements are essential for maintaining farms, woods and all the different types of habitats they provide.

Each week we’ll share some of the natural highlights from Land Steward Specialist, Sara Schlesinger’s, annual monitoring visits to NPC’s conservation easements. Be sure to follow along on these #FieldJournalFridays!

To kick things off we’re exploring the Blackwell conservation easement in Tioga County. Spanning nearly 8 acres, this property is framed by the Pine Creek Rail Trail to the east and Pine Creek to the west – conserving the scenic beauty of the region. Moreover, the easement offers a greenway along Pine Creek, inviting public access for anglers, birdwatchers, and strollers alike to enjoy the splendors of Pine Creek.

Observation #1: Serviceberry

The native Serviceberry is one of the earliest flowering trees in the state, heralding the arrival of spring with its delicate white blossoms. This early bloomer serves as a vital nectar source for pollinators awakening from winter dormancy.

Observation #2: Bloodroot

Bloodroot is a native ephemeral wildflower – meaning it only blooms for a few days – that can be found in woodland habitats across the state. It’s one of the earliest spring blooms, and its white flowers with yellow centers provide a striking contrast against the leaf litter of the forest floor. The roots produce a blood-red sap that was used as a dye by indigenous peoples.

Observation #3: Bluets

Bluets are delicate, native wildflowers that dot meadows, fields, and woodland edges with their charming blue blooms. Typically blooming in spring and early summer, they also play a role in supporting pollinators early on.

While bluets and bloodroot are not considered rare in Pennsylvania, like many wildflowers, they may face threats from habitat loss, invasive species, and land development.

Observation #4: Dark-eyed Junco

A common site in Penn’s Woods, Dark-eyed Junco are among the most abundant forest birds of North America, ranging from Alaska and Canada, to Florida and Mexico.

Dark-eyed Junco perches on a branch at the Blackwell conservation easement.

Follow NPC on Facebook and Instagram for more behind-the-scenes updates from Sara’s conservation easement visits and other NPC happenings!

Conservation Partnerships Improve Stream Health

Thursday, 4/25/24 – It was an exciting day at Turtle Creek as the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) and the rest of the Northcentral Stream Partnership welcomed guests and dignitaries to the streambanks of Turtle Creek!  The cause for celebration:  two streams in the Turtle Creek Watershed in Union County were removed, or “delisted,” from PA’s list of impaired waters.

That’s a huge turnaround from just a decade ago, when walking along Turtle Creek you would have noticed deeply eroded streambanks, a wider stream channel, livestock trampling the stream’s edge, and shallow waters that could barely support fish and other aquatic life. 

Today a lush riparian buffer lines its banks. The plant roots strengthen the bank, holding back erosion and reducing sedimentation while mature trees provide shade, cooling the water for fish and other species.  Natural log and rock structures stabilize the bank while providing better habitat for fish and a variety of macroinvertebrates. Fencing and stream crossings help keep cattle and other livestock from compacting the stream’s edge.

Native tree plantings line the streambank on a segment of Turtle Creek.

So how did this struggling stretch of streams go from polluted and impaired to restored and serving as a healthy water resource for our communities once again?

Teamwork.

The “team” in this case, is the Northcentral Stream Partnership, a partnership consisting of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), county conservation districts, and willing landowners. The Partnership formed in 2007. Individually each “player” came with their own strengths, and when they all started working together, that is when the real magic happened…or in this case, delisting!

In attendance for the occasion were guests and representatives from each of the partnerships, including DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) Secretary Russell Redding, PFBC Executive Director Timothy Schaeffer, Senator Gene Yaw, Senator Scott Martin, and Chesapeake Conservancy Executive Director Joel Dunn.

“We are proud to showcase the significant accomplishments made to improve Turtle Creek and the surrounding watershed. Restoring water quality and habitat while maintaining the watershed as a working agricultural landscape was no small undertaking, and it is yielding incredible results. The Turtle Creek watershed is a prime example of how strong partnerships, innovation, and sustained and strategic investments have restored local streams. This success would not have been possible without our state and local agency partners, including the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and county conservation districts. Together, we’ll restore more streams and protect more watersheds across Pennsylvania.” 

DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley

The Union County Conservation District hosted the event and the Partners led attendees through an informational tour on the projects happening within the Turtle Creek watershed that led to delisting.

NPC Executive Director, Renee’ Carey, and Landowner, Josh Satteson, share about the benefits of riparian buffers and the landowner perspective.

In Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley’s opening remarks, she declared, “The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy has been an active leader in the Turtle Creek restoration efforts from the beginning, and have been the backbone of the Northcentral Stream Partnership, setting an example for others to follow.”

With the “delistings” of these 2 streams, NPC and the Northcentral Stream Partnership have demonstrated how working together we can make a difference to restore the health of our streams, instilling hope and inciting action throughout PA and the entire Chesapeake Bay.

This incredible accomplishment belongs to every single member, partner, and supporter of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. 

YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Thank you for being a part of the team and supporting these ongoing conservation efforts!

Check out what others are sharing about the work you’re helping NPC accomplish:
Dept. of Environmental Protection Press Room
WNEP Press Room
WVIA Press Room
Daily Item Press Room

“A Night for Nature” turns into a Night to Remember!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for an unforgettable evening at the inaugural benefit, “A Night for Nature,” in support of NPC’s conservation efforts in Northcentral PA! 🌳🌟

We’re still buzzing with excitement from the incredible turnout and overwhelming support from the community. A special shoutout to Turkey Hill Brewing Company for hosting us and going above and beyond to make the night truly magical. The food, beer, and atmosphere were AMAZING!

AND their generosity continues as they’ll be donating a portion of the sale from the Helles-bender beer while it remains on tap throughout the coming weeks.

To Andrew, Olivia, Alec, Jenny, Tim & the entire staff at Turkey Hill Brewing Company – THANK YOU

Thank you to our sponsors:
W&L Subaru
Native Creations Landscape Services, Inc.
C&N
Journey Bank
Woodlands Bank

Their support fuels NPC’s mission to protect the natural resources that make our region such a special place to live, work and play!

We also couldn’t have done it without our amazing event contributors and volunteers, including:
The talented musicians Darren Inman and Platinum Fairy
Wild For Salmon
Dr. Steven Rier, Professor of Biology, University of Bloomsburg
Todd Moore, Graphic Designer
The NPC Board of Directors
The Silent Auction Donors

And a heartfelt THANK YOU to Kate Pachacha, our Volunteer Event Coordinator, whose dedication and hard work were instrumental in bringing this event to life. Your passion for nature shines through in everything you do.

Stay tuned as we crunch the numbers and share the fundraising totals made possible by YOUR support!

Together, we’re making a meaningful difference for our planet and future generations.

View a photo album of the evening’s festivities!

NPC and W&L Subaru Team up to Tackle a Series of Conservation Projects

NPC and W&L Subaru work together to clean up the streambanks of Turtle Creek

In the midst of planning NPC’s recent benefit, “A Night for Nature,” we had the opportunity to collaborate with the dynamic team from W&L Subaru in Northumberland, PA. Their commitment to supporting NPC’s conservation efforts aligned perfectly with their Subaru Loves the Earth program, making them enthusiastic top-tier sponsors right from the start!

However, our partnership didn’t stop there; W&L Subaru’s dedication to the environment and their communities inspired us to explore more ways that we could work together to make a difference.

On April 16, 2024, W&L Subaru joined NPC and some of our ‘Stream Team’ partners to help clean up the streambanks of Turtle Creek. It was a warm, spring day and their crew showed up ready to WORK, helping to clear debris and remove invasive plants from the riparian buffer along the stream bank.

Riparian buffers play a vital role, acting as natural sponges that filter stormwater runoff and absorb precipitation. By anchoring the soil in place, the roots of these plants minimize erosion into the stream, contributing to cleaner, healthier water for our communities.

W&L Subaru’s proactive spring maintenance not only supports the growth of new plantings but also ensures they thrive and fulfill their ecological functions. Their involvement underscores a shared commitment to environmental stewardship, promoting the well-being of both nature and local communities.

Partnerships like these exemplify the power of collective action in driving positive change. This project is just the first of a series of conservation and enhancement projects that NPC and W&L Subaru will be tackling together throughout the year! Thank you, W&L Subaru, for your dedication and support!

P.S. Did we mention they put NPC on a car! How cool is that?! 🙂

Recycle your Eclipse Glasses with the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy

Did you know that your solar eclipse glasses can be sent to Latin America for children to enjoy the August 2024 eclipse?!

If you no longer wish to keep your eclipse glasses, please consider recycling your gently used solar glasses to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy office. We’ll package them up and send as a bulk mailing for reuse!

The NPC office is the white farmhouse right next to Herman & Luthers. The address is 785 PA-87, Montoursville, PA.

We will be accepting glasses until June 30, 2024.

If we happen to be in the field when you drop by, there is a box on the front porch to deposit your glasses….or reach out to the NPC staff to schedule a visit!

The response from both our local and national communities has been absolutely overwhelming – and in the best possible way!

To ensure that every donated pair of glasses is thoroughly inspected and redistributed to serve the needs of others during the upcoming eclipses – this year and beyond – we’re partnering with multiple organizations. Among them are Eclipse Glasses USA, LLC and Astronomers without Borders.

Thank you for helping to share the eclipse experience with others!!

Get to know Tim Plisiewicz, Head Brewer at THBC

Tim Plisiewicz is the Head Brewer at Turkey Hill Brewing Company (THBC). He possesses a wide array of interests and knowledge ranging from brewing and bedrocks to fishing and foraging – making him just the kind of person you’d enjoy having a long chat with over a good beer!

Originally from Trevorton, Pennsylvania, Tim graduated from Bloomsburg in 2011 with a degree in Biology Natural History and a minor in Geology. A lover of learning, the natural sciences, and new experiences, he first entered the craft-brewing realm through a gifted homebrew kit.  However, it didn’t take him long to realize he had a passion and a talent for the process. 

Tim began his professional journey as an Assistant Brewer at THBC, where he had the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of the former Head Brewer, Donny Abraczinskas. Tim honed his skills and knowledge under Abraczinskas’ guidance, preparing himself to take over the helm as the Head Brewer upon Abraczinskas’ retirement.

Combining a Passion for Nature and Craft Beer

Tim’s brewing philosophy is deeply intertwined with his love for nature, often incorporating elements of the natural world into his brews. For instance, the “Red Beds Rye Saison” on tap at THBC pays homage to the red bed sedimentary rock formations found in Bloomsburg.

So, when the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and THBC came together to create ‘A Night for Nature,’ Tim was quickly inspired to craft the new ‘Helles-bender’ beer for the event. Named after the Pennsylvania state amphibian, the eastern hellbender, this brew highlights the connection between clean water, healthy streams, and quality beer. Tim emphasized the importance of water quality in brewing, stating, “If your water is flawed, your beer is flawed.”

In addition to food, live music, and a commemorative pint glass, ticketholders for ‘A Night for Nature’ will receive a free beer at the event, which Tim describes as “A very drinkable helles style lager – low hop, slightly malty, fruity and floral.”

VIP ticketholders receive additional perks such as early entry and a behind-the-scenes brewery tour led by Tim himself. Whether you’re a homebrewer, beer enthusiast, or simply curious about the brewing process, a VIP ticket offers a unique opportunity to engage with Tim and learn more about the art and science of brewing.

How to get HOOKED on fishing this year!

By Sara Schlesinger, NPC Land Steward Specialist

If you’re looking to improve your fishing skills, or even try fishing for the first time, I highly recommend checking out the programs that Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission hosts for anglers. And the best part is, these programs are all FREE!

I have been fishing since I was little, and fly fishing for about 7 years, but had never really had much guidance. Looking to improve my skill set, last summer I signed up for the Women’s Intro to Fly Fishing online program. The online learning taught me the thought process behind different leader and tippet selections, how to read the water and much more. Signing up for this course also qualified me to participate in the Women’s Intro to Steelhead Fly Fishing trips in Erie, PA.

I attended the Women’s Steelhead Fly Fishing trip last fall, where I caught my first steelhead, and I was HOOKED! I recently had the opportunity to attend this event again, where I again expanded my knowledge, improved my casting, made new friends, and danced with some chromers (steelhead) – and suckers, which fight even harder than the steelhead.

Sara and her steelhead

Not only did I catch a bunch of fish, I also landed great connections and new friendships. This program is a phenomenal opportunity for networking with like-minded people. Women from neighboring states of West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and New York were in attendance as well. The first time that I attended this event, I went completely alone, not knowing another person – each time I go, I make more friendships and connections, expanding locations for fishing opportunities via offers from other female anglers who offer open invitations to hang out and fish in their home waters.

Don’t be afraid of trying something new because you are alone, or afraid of not being good at it! As a female angler looking to get into the sport, or advance your skills, it is easy to be intimidated by a male dominated activity. I implore you to push past any thoughts of self-doubt or intimidation, and I promise you will be thrilled with what is waiting on the other side! That is what sets this women’s fly fishing program apart from others, the inclusivity and encouragement from a variety of mentors.

New experiences lead to newfound friendships

The group consisted of people ranging from those who have never touched a fly rod, to women who have been doing it for years, but never for steelhead, volunteers who are local guides, Fly Fishers International Certified Casting Instructors, well-known fly tiers and authors of fly fishing books. Each and every person there supported and encouraged one another, so if you arrived alone, you left with new friends and a sense of belonging.

Women’s Intro to Steelhead Fly Fishing trip in Erie, PA

We, as Pennsylvanians, are blessed to have more miles of streams than any state, other than Alaska, along with superb programming and mentorship for anglers provided by PA Fish and Boat, many active chapters of Trout Unlimited and several other groups encouraging and educating anglers. Those who actively recreate are more invested in the conservation of our natural resources.

Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy will be partnering with PA Fish and Boat to host 2 upcoming fishing programs: Introduction to Fly Fishing on May 4th at Montour Preserve, and Family Fishing Day at Rose Valley Lake on June 29th. I love learning and teaching others about fishing, whether I’m working one of these events, or you want to reach out to me directly, I’m always happy to share what knowledge I have – and there’s always more to learn!

And don’t forget, NPC is a fishing tackle loaner location. Spinning rods and fly rods are available to check-out for free so you can enjoy fishing and improving your skills without the investment.

Happy fishing,

Sara Schlesinger
Land Steward Specialist
Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy

NPC Helping to Restore the Shoreline at F. J. Sayers Reservoir

Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County features the F. J. Sayers Reservoir, a man-made lake owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). While the USACE manages water levels, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of State Parks (DCNR) oversees public access for fishing and boating at the park.

Several areas of lakeshore have erosion issues. There are two main factors leading to the erosion, a steep shoreline and wave action from the motorized boats traveling the lake.

Because of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy’s (NPC) partnership with the stream habitat section of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the lake habitat section reached out for help.

The PFBC lake crew studied F. J. Sayers Reservoir in cooperation with its partners and developed a plan to stabilize erosion in various areas and add some habitat structures for fish. They needed an additional partner, however, to help pull the funding together, manage the grants, and order some of the materials. An email and a phone call later and NPC was working to submit for grant funding.  NPC gave them the ability to be more efficient and go after funding that they previously weren’t able to go after.


Recently the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society (PALMS) awarded NPC a grant for one of the more popular areas at Sayers Reservoir/Bald Eagle State Park, Hunters Run Access.  The shoreline work will happen in late May or early June. The area first needed to be prepped for the shoreline event.  Offshore submerged habitat work was also designed for when the lake was naturally drawn down for its annual water elevation operation schedule.  The project prep and submerged offshore habitat work happened on a cold and blustery March day.

The PFBC lake crew worked to place reef balls on the lake bottom. These reef balls are made of concrete which are more or less a hollow gumdrop with holes in them. The holes on the sides allow fish to easily swim in and out for cover.

They were placed to improve the local habitat, providing better fishing for the shoreline anglers and boaters.  The reef balls can be used as a standalone structure or become more complex with felled trees. Despite the necessity to remove shoreline trees during the area’s reshaping, plans are in place to establish a new and improved riparian buffer once the project progresses further. Those felled trees, however, did not go to waste and were used to make additional excellent fish habitat! The trees, with their roots and limbs intact, will serve as a mini food web for macroinvertebrates, which intern is food for the small and young of the year fish located in the lake.  These areas then will become a perfect location for the larger sized fish that everyone enjoys catching since the area has both excellent habitat and food for them.

The next phase of the project will be in late May or early June. This project will focus on placing shoreline stone framed deflectors.  These will not only improve fish habitat and water quality but will also improve angler access.  Stay tuned for more updates!