A recent opportunity arose to partner with the Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT), three universities, local groups and public agencies to conserve land on Pennsylvania Mountain (13,000 feet) in northwest Park County. University research has taken place there for 40 years and public recreation is allowed in this botanically unique area that encompasses four distinct mountain communities: Alpine Tundra, Subalpine Forest, Upper Montane Forest, and Wetland/Riparian.
Numerous springs on the northeast slope of Pennsylvania Mountain support beaver ponds, wetlands and aquatic habitat. There is also a series of marshy wetlands that provide habitat for elk and other wildlife. Conservation of the property will provide an important habitat connection to hundreds of acres of national forest land that border the property.
MALT has plans to connect various parcels in this area to create the “Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area,” that will eventually encompass 493 acres. MALT is currently under contract to purchase the 92 acre “Bighorn Property,” with an expected closing during 2013. The Park County Land and Water Trust Fund is contributing $50,000 of the $140,000 purchase price for this property.