Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape
The Kittatinny Ridge -- a critical natural asset in Pennsylvania -- extends 185 miles, marking the entrance into the Ridge and Valley region.
It is one of the most climate resilient landscapes, provides clean drinking water for thousands of people, offers extensive hunting and fishing opportunities, and shelters many endangered and threatened species.
The natural system services, recreational revenue, air filtration, and open space and water real estate values are worth billions annually to the local economies, in addition to the eco-tourism income from the many visitors to the region’s parks, trails, and game lands.
Regional assets include:
- Critical habitat linkage in the Appalachian Forest
- Global Important Bird Area for the Cerulean Warbler
- Migration corridor used by tens of thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
- 160 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Susquehanna and Delaware rivers
- Cherry Valley National Refuge
- Delaware Gap National Recreation Area
- Three military facilities: Fort Indiantown Gap, Letterkenny Army Depot, and Carlisle Army War College
Goals of the Kittatinny Ridge
Conserving and protecting natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources
Conserving native habitat that support species diversity
Promoting the scientific study of the ridge and facilitating exchange of information regarding habitats, wildlife, conservation management activities, history, and human communities
Protecting the abundant and magnificent water resources -- providing exceptional quality of life for residents, recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, unparalleled natural beauty, thriving ecosystems, agricultural prominence and economic prosperity
Informing municipal partners about the significance of the Kittatinny Ridge and how they can protect them with planning and zoning tools
- Raising awareness about the strong connections among environmental stewardship, community character, quality of life, and economic development
Areas of Focus
Most of the ridge’s critical functions and wildlife are dependent on the majority of the ridge remaining forested. Coalition partners are working toward a permanently protected greenway along the Kittatinny.
Preserving Recreational Experience
The Kittatinny Ridge is a place to reconnect with nature in all seasons. It has something for everyone and hundreds of thousands take advantage of this spectacular natural and recreational resource each year, including:
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Tuscarora Trail
- Bird watching
- Hunting and fishing
Safeguarding Military Facilities
Conserving the natural integrity of the three military facilities in the Kittatinny Ridge is critical to their respective military operations.
In addition, Fort Indiantown Gap steward their property to protect rare, threatened, and endangered species, like the Regal Fritillary butterfly.
Providing technical assistance and tools to help local government officials manage their natural assets and understand their worth is an important focus of conserving and protecting the landscape.