Landowner Margaret Burgwin donates land to protect brook trout

ClearWater Conservancy helps landowner keep 60 acres in its natural state
State College, PA –A conservation easement finalized today will ensure that Buck Run’s brook trout population will be protected, thanks to the combined conservation efforts of ClearWater Conservancy and local property owner Margaret Burgwin.
                “Everyone’s all smiles at the closing of easements,” said conservation easement manager Bill Hilshey. “I am always delighted to see the landowner satisfied that they did something good for their property.”
Ms. Burgwin’s property is unique in that it contains the only brook trout stream in the Deer Creek sub-watershed. The good quality of the water of Buck Run caught the attention of Trout Unlimited, a national organization that works to conserve North America’s coldwater fisheries.
“Buck Run is one of the last remaining brook trout streams in the area that has not been damaged by abandoned mine drainage,” said Rachel Kester, Project Coordinator for the Eastern Abandoned Mine Program at Trout Unlimited. “We were very happy for the opportunity to help protect this coldwater stream.”
Abandoned mine drainage is considered the largest threat to the Appalachian environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kester believes that as water quality improves in other portions of the sub-watershed, preservation of the water quality of Buck Run is even more important as Buck Run will serve as the only natural source of brook trout re-colonizers.
Ms. Burgwin’s property is made up of 60 acres located in Clearfield County and is part of the Moshannon State Forest Landscape Conservation Area. She approached ClearWater Conservancy last February at the suggestion of her estate planner, Attorney Amos Goodall. She wanted to maintain her property, which she inherited from her husband Lane Carpenter, in its natural state. The land is used for hiking, camping and simply enjoying wildlife. 
“This is Lane’s vision and legacy,” said Margaret Burgwin at the conservation easement closing.  The land had been logged prior to their purchasing it in 1995, and “we just wanted to watch it grow.”
 When a landowner grants a conservation easement to an organization such as ClearWater Conservancy, the landowner retains ownership of the property while agreeing to limit certain activities that may be harmful to the resources of the property. The landowner and ClearWater Conservancy work together to determine which restricted and permitted land uses best accommodate the needs of both parties. 
The conservation easement will stay with the land, regardless of any ownership changes of Ms. Burgwin’s land in the future. This will provide permanent protection of the property’s conservation values. 
This is the 13th conservation easement ClearWater Conservancy holds. McNees, Wallace and Nurick LLC donated their attorney services to assist with the legal aspects of the conservation easement.
Landowners who would like information about conservation options for their property are encouraged to contact ClearWater Conservancy’s conservation easement manager, Bill Hilshey, at (814) 237-0400 or [email protected]
ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), Centre County based land trust and environmental conservation organization formed in 1980 with the mission of promoting the conservation and restoration of natural resources in central Pennsylvania through land conservation, water resource protection, and environmental outreach to the community.  For more information about ClearWater Conservancy’s conservation, restoration, or education projects or to view an upcoming schedule of events, visit

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