"Western Pennsylvania's Forests"

Message from the President

Thomas D. Saunders

This issue of Conserve focuses on Pennsylvania’s forests and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s work to protect and enhance them.

Pennsylvania’s forests are part of what make our Commonwealth special. We Western Pennsylvanians are fortunate to have such beautiful, and in some places, vast, forested places for hiking and other outdoor recreation. Our forests are significant ecologically, providing habitat of many kinds. And our forests are an important part of our economy.

In this issue, we provide an overview on our Commonwealth’s forests, and then specifics about various forest protection and management projects of the Conservancy. We highlight our efforts to enhance the biological richness and ecological stability of the Conservancy’s Bear Run Nature Reserve, and to improve our many forested trails on the reserve. And we describe our sustainable forest management initiative in Bennett Branch Forest, in Elk County, a property purchased in part with the goal of managing the forest sustainably and in support of the local economy.

This issue also describes a watershed restoration project that the Conservancy’s Watershed Conservation Program has undertaken in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania’s only national forest, building on the Conservancy’s legacy of land protection and other conservation work in the Allegheny National Forest.

This issue also highlights the Conservancy’s urban forestry legacy. Our urban forestry work began in 1940 with the organization’s first hands-on project, and has escalated in recent years, with nearly 15,000 new trees planted in the greater Pittsburgh region since 2008.

We hope that you enjoy this issue with its special focus on the Commonwealth’s forests and the efforts of WPC to protect them.

Thomas D. Saunders
Thomas Saunders
President and CEO