Mostly within the Chesapeake watershed lies “one of the largest expanses of green between New York City and Chicago.” The Pennsylvania Wilds, a conservation landscape launched in 2003 with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), encompasses more than two million acres of public lands. It’s a great story. Take three minutes to watch this video.
Here’s how the Wilds describes the landscape: “Once the former lumber capital of the world, the region is home to … 50 state game lands, 29 state parks, 8 state forests, 2 National Wild & Scenic Rivers, abundant wildlife, hundreds of miles of land and water trails, some of the darkest skies in the country, and the largest elk herd in the northeast,” plus “thriving local businesses, creators, makers, and artisans that celebrate and draw inspiration from the natural landscape, culture and heritage of the region.” Pretty enticing — and an important conservation landscape story as well.
Pennsylvania DCNR’s conservation landscape program addresses seven large regions around the Commonwealth “working together to drive strategic investment and actions around sustainability, conservation, community revitalization, and recreational projects.” Several of these landscapes are wholly or partly within the Chesapeake watershed, including the Wilds, South Mountain and the Susquehanna Riverlands.
Pennsylvania DCNR is a partner and contributor to the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership. Several of the conservation landscapes participate as well.