"Protecting Wildlife Habitat"

Message from the President

Thomas D. Saunders

The conservation work done by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy results in protected places that people enjoy — preserved and restored lands and waters that are favorite places for all of us outdoor enthusiasts in Western Pennsylvania.

But they are important not just for people. The Conservancy’s efforts to protect and restore water quality and to conserve land benefit millions of creatures, from tiny aquatic insects to large mammals.

Fallingwater in the winter

In this issue of Conserve, we highlight some of the species that exist in WPC-conserved lands and waters, as well as those that are better understood and appreciated today as a result of our research and outreach.

We report on discoveries by WPC scientists in Erie County of plants and animals that were thought to no longer exist in Pennsylvania — and one plant species that had never before been found in the state. Heading to Fayette County, we describe the array of wildlife that may be spotted on nature walks at Bear Run. We interview a staff member who tracks populations of the rare hellbender salamander and who works to raise awareness about this unusual and often-misunderstood creature. In addition, we tag along with WPC’s senior conservation scientist Charles Bier as he encounters hummingbirds, and whose new “Field Notes” column debuts in this issue of Conserve.

As this year closes, I would like to thank the members, supporters, staff and board of the Conservancy for all you do to protect the amazing natural areas, including important habitats, in this unique region.

Thomas Saunders
Thomas Saunders