An additional 766 acres of Pennsylvania elk habitat is now permanently protected and opened to public access thanks to efforts by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and a generous donor.
“This would not have happened without landowners who care about Pennsylvania and both understand and appreciate the crucial wildlife values of this area,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.
Located in Centre County, the project extends the western unit of State Game Lands 100 to the north along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. By doing so, it expands that unit to 5,272 acres in size and improves access to it while expanding the overall size of the two State Game Lands 100 units to a combined 21,069 acres.
“This critical acquisition to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s State Game Land system will not only enhance the agency’s ability to better manage the southern dispersal of its elk herd, but it will benefit all Pennsylvanians by adding an additional 766 acres,” said Bryan Burhans, PGC executive director. “We are grateful for the outstanding partnership between RMEF and the Game Commission.”
The property’s habitat includes oak and pine woodlands, meadows, grassland and key riparian habitat along 1.24 miles of the river. It is home to elk, whitetail deer, black bears, turkey, grouse and other bird and animal life.
“We are especially grateful for our long-standing partners at the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Their dedication and determination made this project possible,” added Henning.
Since 1991, RMEF and its partners completed 424 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania with a combined value of more than $24.9 million. These projects conserved or enhanced 26,874 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 9,312 acres.