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FAQ

Are Conservancy owned properties open to the public?

Yes, properties owned in fee by the French Creek Valley Conservancy, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy are open to the public for recreational activities. Restrictions only apply when a donating landowner makes a specific request for future stewardship activities. For example, French Creek Valley Conservancy currently owns one property designated as a wildlife sanctuary where hunting is not permitted. Please call French Creek Valley Conservancy (814) 337-4321 if you have any questions about finding and using conservancy owned properties to enjoy the beauty of The French Creek Watershed. 

Does protected property mean off limits?

No! Protected simply means that the conservation values of a property will be protected in perpetuity for all to enjoy.

Can I protect my property while retaining ownership?

Yes! There are numerous options when it comes to protecting the conservation values of the places we love. Our land protection staff  will be happy to work with you to achieve your own unique goals for conserving your property.

How Can I help protect French  Creek?

Become a member of the French Creek Valley Conservancy where you'll be connected to volunteer opportunities, membership events, and conservation events throughout the Watershed. Landowners also have several options for land protection. And most important of all, enjoy the Watershed and teach others to enjoy it as well! Our vision is for the French Creek Community to be the ultimate caretakers of this incredible resource.

I own a very small piece of land, is there anything I can do to help?

Yes, there are many things that landowners can do  to have a more positive impact on the Watershed. Reducing pesticide use, planting riparian buffer zones, and choosing native plants for gardening are just some of the things that you can do as an individual. Call the Conservancy office to get connected to a backyard specialist.

Is a hellbender the same thing as a mudpuppy?

French Creek's signature salamander, the hellbender, can grow up to 30 inches long and weigh as much as 5 pounds. A mudpuppy is a different species than the hellbender. It is smaller and is distinguished by its visible external gills. However, the term 'mudpuppy' has been used by locals to describe hellbenders in the watershed for many years and the names have become somewhat interchangeable.

Where can I find information about canoeing and kayaking on French Creek?

Check out our canoeing and kayaking page to download a copy of the French Creek Water Trail Map and Guide. Call the French Creek Valley Conservancy at (814) 337-4321 with any questions you have about navigability and water conditions. 

What is a 'water trail'

The Pennsylvania Water Trails Program is a statewide partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR), Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, and the National Park Service that seeks to promote a network of water trails throughout the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania Water trails are recreational and educational corridors between specific locations that can be used for both single day and multiple day trips. They are comprised of access points, boat launches, day use sites, and — in some cases — overnight camping areas. They provide safe access to and information about Pennsylvania’s waterways while also providing connections to our diverse history, ecology, geology, heritage and wildlife.

Water Trails are also positive contributors to local communities by providing economic stimulus and protecting resources that are important to the quality of life of Pennsylvania residents.

Do you allow overnight camping at your properties?

Yes, most of our properties that we own in fee are open to overnight camping. Please call the Conservancy at (814) 337-4321 to talk about overnight camping opportunities.