Land Conservation

Land Stewardship

The Conservancy’s land stewardship program is responsible for monitoring and managing a system of 45 preserves that total more than 14,500 acres across western and central Pennsylvania. These properties are owned by the Conservancy and open to the public for recreation. In addition, the Conservancy holds conservation easements on more than 41,300 acres.

WPC Stewardship volunteers.

Property Management

Our intent is to own land that hosts examples of the highest ecological values and other important features, and provides opportunities for low-impact recreation, education and research. We have preserves located in each priority conservation region: Central Ridges and Valleys, Lake Erie, Laurel Highlands, Ohio and Lower Allegheny, Upper Allegheny (including the Clarion River and French Creek) and West Branch Susquehanna.

Management of each preserve is guided by a plan that details the conservation values recognized at the site and the associated goals/actions necessary to maintain or enhance those values. Our land stewardship staff and a team of dedicated volunteer land stewards conduct regular monitoring of the land and implement management activities. From April through November, monthly workdays are held to complete projects such as trail maintenance, tree planting, exotic invasive species control and dump removal.

Easement Monitoring and Enforcement

Stewardship of our conservation easement properties includes baseline documentation of the conservation values, annual monitoring by our staff and maintaining communication with the landowners. As an easement property changes owners, we make certain they understand the terms and intent of the easement. In the event an easement violation occurs, we take into consideration the impact to the conservation values and any mitigating circumstances, and work with the landowner to resolve the matter as amicably as possible, while ensuring there is no net loss in conservation value.

Management Activities

To effectively care for our properties, our land stewardship team undertakes a variety of activities, including:

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For More Information:

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Land Stewardship Department
800 Waterfront Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 412-288-2777
Toll-free: 866-564-6972