(The Center Square) — Pennsylvania has grown its state forest land again with the addition of 2,500 acres to Pinchot State Forest in Wyoming County.
The property, called Miller Mountain, is the first forest land in the county follows last year’s creation of Vosburg Neck State Park, the county’s first state park.
“We are excited to finally be able to add state forestland to the region, and once again announce a first for Wyoming County as we did with Vosburg Neck last year,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn said in a press release. “I cannot wait to view the area from the top of Miller Mountain and take in the beautiful sights provided from its vistas. Thank you to The Conservation Fund for the tireless work on this project and for conservation efforts across the nation.”
The Miller Mountain property is open to the public as DCNR assesses it for public access and recreational uses; birds, black bears, deer, and bobcats have been seen on the property.
The money to buy the property came from the Keystone Fund, which is used to expand parks and historical preservation, along with the Williams Companies as part of its construction of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline.
“Environmental stewardship is core to our values at Williams,” Chad Teply, senior vice president of Williams’ Transmission and Gulf of Mexico Operating Area, said. “This was an incredible opportunity to help the state secure this magnificent mountain forestland for public use, creating access opportunities that our employees, their families and neighbors will enjoy.”
The agency plans to open the 50,000-acre Pinchot State Forest for outdoor recreation and timber harvesting, with trail signs going up as workers rehabilitate existing trails. Less than 200 acres will be available for harvesting initially, though one timber company holds timber reservation rights on 25,000 acres until 2028 and is actively harvesting timber.
DCNR preserves land by creating and expanding state parks and forests, as well as awarding grants for local governments, greenways, conservation easements, and other efforts. It manages 2.2 million acres of state forest land.