Conservation Science Program

Science based decision-making and collaboration are some of the core values for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. WPC’s Conservation Science Program is responsible for providing scientific support and planning for a variety of WPC initiatives. By utilizing a wealth of biodiversity data produced by the Natural Heritage Program and conservation partners, and employing concepts rooted in conservation biology, ecosystem management, and habitat restoration, the Conservation Science Program guides on the ground activities for WPC as well as assisting with other efforts, such as policy development and membership education.

Conservation Blueprint

Developed in 2006, the WPC Conservation Blueprint map is a representation of a selection of important conservation targets for protection and restoration across Pennsylvania. These targets include the following:

  • Conservation Target Streams (blue lines)
    • Flowing waters with diverse aquatic life, species of special concern, or streams of unique types
  • Potential Restoration Streams (brown lines)
    • Flowing waters which if restored would represent important ecosystems
  • Natural Heritage Areas (pink)
    • Exceptional habitats for species of special concern (endangered, etc.), habitats with exceptional diversity or with unique characteristics: wetlands, barrens, caves, etc.
  • Forest Patches (dark green)
    • Largest and most diverse forested areas
  • Landscape Blocks (light green)
    • Relatively unfragmented landscape areas harboring a priority forest patch

WPC’s work is further defined by representing the areas where we work as six Conservation Regions.  

View maps of the Conservation Blueprint and the Conservation Regions.