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Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Corridor

The Kittatinny Ridge is one of Pennsylvania’s largest Important Bird Areas and the site of a world-famous autumn raptor migration. Audubon Pennsylvania and many partner organizations have been working for years to conserve this critical landscape. A recent report details the current status of the ridge based on a series of measurements indicating some of the area’s great successes and largest remaining challenges. Click here for the report.

The Kittatinny Ridge Project, led by Audubon Pennsylvania, is a collaborative effort of local, regional, and state organizations and agencies to focus public attention on the importance of the 185-mile long forested Ridge through Pennsylvania; and to promote conservation activities to protect the Ridge from further habitat loss, fragmentation, and inappropriate land use.

The Kittatinny Ridge (also known as Blue Mountain) is a long mountain ridge that winds 185 miles through eastern and central Pennsylvania, to the Maryland line. The Ridge is a globally-significant fall migration flyway used annually by tens of thousands of raptors and vultures and millions of songbirds, and has been designated by Audubon Pennsylvania, as the largest of the state’s “Important Bird Areas.” The many rock outcroppings along the ridge also make it an excellent place to watch migrating hawks, eagles and vultures. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Audubon’s HawkWatch at Waggoner’s Gap are located along the Ridge.

Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Corridor includes 160 miles of the Appalachian Trail; and serves as a vital link in the Appalachian Forest that stretches the length of the East, providing critical, high quality interior-forest habitat for dozens of species of songbirds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The Ridge also protects important drinking water supplies and stream habitat.

Wildlands Conservancy Preserves the Hauser Tract
In March 2011, Wildlands Conservancy successfully negotiated the purchase of 172 acres of upland habitat on the north side of the Kittatinny Ridge and along the Appalachian Trail. With native grasses and state-ranked flora and fauna, the property has been a top priority of Wildlands for nearly all of the organization’s 38 years. However, it took the efforts of four separate conservation groups to really climb the summit. Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Lehigh Gap Nature Center nurtured a land ethic relationship with the owners, Dan and Susan Hauser, and when the time came, Wildlands and the PA Game Commission coordinated a speedy settlement and much needed funding to make the project work. Protection of the Kittatinny Ridge—its habitat, its views and its story—is in everyone’s best interest and it takes teamwork. Many thanks to those involved and especially Dan and Susan Hauser for considering all of us worthy of caring for their land.

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