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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.