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Ecological Gem in Little Sugar Valley Protected Forever

On Nov. 20, ClearWater Conservancy finalized an agreement to permanently conserve a 35.46-acre property in the Roaring Run Watershed in Madisonburg, PA. The property is owned by the Snyder Family and is now permanently protected from development — even if the property is sold in the future.


The Snyders' property in Little Sugar Valley is a slice of quintessential Pennsylvania forest on the dividing ridge of Nittany Mountain, comprising high gradient clearwater creeks, mature oaks and hemlocks, and steep rocky slopes. The property is within the Roaring Run Biological Diversity Area, a designated Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Site.



Conservation of the Snyder property protects water quality of tributaries flowing into Roaring Run, a stream listed by Pennsylvania DEP as an Exceptional Value (EV) stream.


Conservation goals for the property made possible through the finalized easement include:


  • Maintaining and improving the quality of water resources, both surface and groundwater, within, around and downstream of the property

  • Protecting and improving the quality of natural habitat for animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms, particularly native species

  • Preventing the loss and depletion of soil

  • Providing numerous ecosystem services, such as stormwater and flood abatement and carbon sequestration because the property is predominately forested and undeveloped


The landowner, who routinely fishes Spring Creek and is familiar with ClearWater’s work, contacted the organization about conserving the property. Over time, the landowners and ClearWater created an agreement to ensure that, regardless of who owns the property, it will be "retained forever in its predominantly natural, scenic, and open space condition."


ClearWater Conservancy wishes to extend its thanks and gratitude to the Snyder Family for making this local conservation success possible!


Questions about conservation easements? Contact Ryan Hamilton, Land Conservation Manager: ryan@clearwaterconservancy.org

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