Northcentral Pennsylvania is characterized by its fields and, especially, by its forests. Because they are widespread features of the landscape it may sometime be difficult to see the need to protect these vital resources. But subdivision, fragmentation and conversion to other uses continue to threaten the economic and ecological viability of our forests and agriculture and the quality of all of our lives.
Recently another portion of the region’s intact woodland was forever protected from subdivision when 155 acres in western Lycoming County were conserved by the donation of a conservation easement to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Although portions of the property had once been farmed, most of the soils are more suitable to growing trees than crops and active farming ended many years ago. Now those old fields are reverting to woodland to join the more than 100 forested acres that were not cleared for agriculture. The wooded acres are very diverse: mixed oak and hickory forests predominate, but there are also areas dominated by hemlock, white pine, birch and maple woodland.
However, it’s not just woodland that makes this property special, there’s also over 3,600 feet of Nichols Run, designated a High Quality-Cold Water Fishery. Nichols Run is a tributary of Pine Creek and flows into the larger stream just west of Jersey Shore. Special protection has been afforded to the woodland bordering the stream and its unnamed tributaries to protect water quality and the aquatic life in the waterway.
As it passes through the newly conserved property, Nichols Run Road is a very scenic drive and the woodland along over 4,000 of the road was also guaranteed special protection to protect its scenic qualities.
NPC and residents of northcentral Pennsylvania will forever be grateful to the landowners who had the foresight to protect this beautiful property that helps to filter our water, cleanse our air, provide wildlife habitat, yield forest products and enhance the beauty of our area.