HARRISBURG, Pa., June 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that following a public comment period, the department is designating five locations in the state forest system as Wild Areas.
Wild Areas include large expanses of relatively undisturbed forest that are set aside to protect wild character. They have very limited human disturbance, including roads and management activities such as timber removal. They are open to the public for recreation and enjoyment.
"As public lands, Pennsylvanians should feel fortunate that they own these special, remote havens for wildlife, sources of clean water, and stands of old trees away from roads and development," Dunn said. "Our Wild Areas offer the best places in our state forest system where people can experience wilderness, pursue peace and solitude, hike, watch wildlife and camp."
The newly designated Wild Areas are:
Hammersley Wild Area -- The Hammersly is about 30,000 acres in Susquehannock State Forest in Potter and Clinton counties. It is the largest roadless area in Pennsylvania, providing opportunities for primitive recreation, as well as protecting Exceptional Value streams and native brook trout habitat.
Penns Creek Wild Area -- Approximately 6,200 acres in Bald Eagle State Forest in Mifflin and Union counties, the Penns Creek Wild Area is characterized by its scenic stream corridor, riparian habitats, undeveloped nature and nationally-recognized trout stream.
Quebec Run Wild Area – Quebec Run encompasses about 6,000 acres in Forbes State Forest in Fayette County as the Quebec Run Wild Area. This area is characterized by its wild character and High Quality streams, and it is home to several rare and threatened species.
Square Timber/Big Run Wild Area -- Approximately 5,600 acres in Elk State Forest in Cameron County, this large, undeveloped area provides opportunities for primitive recreation, as well as providing key habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial organisms.
Stairway Wild Area – Stairway Wild Area is approximately 2,700 acres in Delaware State Forest in Pike County. It provides opportunities for primitive recreation, supports a unique diversity of plant and animal species, and contains Exceptional Value streams.
As proposed areas, all five of the designations have been managed as Wild Areas for some time. Prior to these additions, there were 15 Wild Areas on DCNR lands. Pennsylvania's state forest system encompasses more than 2.2 million acres.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, DCNR 717-772-9101
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources