Photo courtesy Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Adds 109 Acres to State Game Land 197 in Columbus Twp

September 4, 2023

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced the permanent protection of 109 acres in Columbus Township along Brokenstraw Creek. The acreage was immediately conveyed to the PA Game Commission and is now an addition to State Game Land 197.

The property, which is contiguous to a 321-acre portion of State Game Land 197, features meadows, shrubland, wetlands and forested wetlands. A forested section of the property is located in the Brokenstraw Valley Seepage Flats, a Natural Heritage Area Core Habitat that supports plant species of concern, including highbush-cranberry and red currant.

Photo courtesy Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Because it is contiguous to an existing large area of protected land, protecting this property was ecologically important for many reasons, including for climate change and biodiversity, to support species’ ability to access habitat and or move to more suitable habitat if conditions change.

Located in northwestern Warren County near the New York border, State Game Land 197, consists of 1,555 acres of gently rolling hills and Tamarack Swamp, an excellent example of a kettle bog in the northwestern glaciated portion of Pennsylvania. Primary game species are deer, turkey, squirrel and grouse.

“This is a beautiful property that has so many conservation benefits, including forest connectivity, water quality protection and recreational value,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “We’re glad to continue our longstanding efforts to add land to the state’s public lands, and this property is a great addition.”

Conservation of this wetland and forestland was made possible thanks to grants from the DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation’s Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, Hillman Foundation, Babcock Charitable Trust, PA Game Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant program in partnership with Ducks Unlimited.

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