View of distant mountains under a blue sky.
Brush Mountain The view from The Nature Conservancy's Brush Mountain Preserve in Pennsylvania. © The Nature Conservancy/George C. Gress

Places We Protect

Brush Mountain Preserve

Pennsylvania

Nature Conservancy staff and scientists from six states are working to save one of the Earth’s healthiest and most diverse deciduous temperate broadleaf forests.

Overlooking the town of Altoona, The Nature Conservancy’s Brush Mountain Preserve is part of a large, intact mix of oak and hickory woodlands considered to be a high priority within the Central Appalachian Mountains landscape. In fact, TNC staff and scientists from six states are working throughout this region to save one of the Earth’s healthiest, most biologically diverse, deciduous temperate broadleaf forests. The site is also noted in the Blair County Natural Heritage Inventory as a County Natural Heritage Area and a Landscape Conservation Area.

TNC is in the process of enrolling Brush Mountain into the Working Woodlands program, which provides a comprehensive property-wide forest assessment and a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forest management plan. TNC will then implement a variety of forest management activities to restore the preserve to a healthier condition. This restoration effort is necessary due to extensive high-grading, a logging practice that takes the best trees and leaves a compromised forest.

Threats

Illegal ATV use and deer overbrowse.

Milestones

TNC conducted the first prescribed burn at this property in the spring of 2016 as part of the forest management plan.

Brush Mountain serves as part of a nightly foraging area for federally endangered Indiana bats and as the largest maternity colony of little brown bats in Pennsylvania. The bat colony spends its days in Canoe Creek State Park, three miles east of Brush Mountain, earning its designation as part of the Canoe Creek Important Mammal Area. The preserve’s large, intact forest also serves as southern terminus of the Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, a significant migratory route for raptors and neotropical migrants. 

Resources

Blue skies and white clouds frame distant mountains.
Brush Mountain Preserve
The Nature Conservancy's staff and scientists from six states are working throughout this region to save one of the Earth’s healthiest, most biologically diverse, deciduous temperate broadleaf forests.

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