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fish and wildlife

Management Challenge

Because of its physiographic and geologic features, the White Clay Creek watershed contains an abundance of diverse and high quality habitat types that support a wide variety of species. Other watersheds in the region once resembled the White Clay Creek watershed, but these have been irreversibly altered. Fish and wildlife are being threatened by development activity in the watershed.

Roles and Responsibilities

Most of the primary responsibility for managing fish and wildlife belongs to the states. Within the White Clay Creek watershed, the states administer a trout-stocking program, provide direct management of wildlife in the White Clay Creek Preserve and administer programs that enhance wildlife habitat. The states also inventory and monitor fish and wildlife through their Natural Heritage Inventory programs. The federal government does not directly manage any fish or wildlife resources within the watershed, but it does provide inventory and monitoring services, and it administers habitat enhancement programs that may be appropriate for the watershed. Private landowners, local governments and private organizations will play an increasingly important role in the management of the watershed's wildlife resources. As these entities acquire and improve more extensive wildlife habitat areas, they will become important managers of wildlife. In addition, they provide a volunteer workforce for the inventory and monitoring of fish and wildlife.

Goals and Key Actions


  • Protect fragile wildlife habitats including floodplains, wetlands and riparian vegetation.
  • Increase fish and wildlife diversity within the watershed.
  • Establish interconnected greenways and wildlife migrant corridors within the watershed.
  • Expand the White Clay Creek Preserve.
  • Preserve and protect mature forests within the watershed.

Key Actions

  • Establish guidelines for proper maintenance of fish and wildlife habitat, eliminate inconsistencies and recommend consistent policies at the local, county and state levels.
  • Provide technical assistance to municipalities, landowners and private organizations seeking to protect and conserve floodplains, wetlands, mature forests, meadows, riparian vegetation zones, hedgerows and other fish and wildlife habitats.
  • Develop a process involving landowners, private organizations and municipal, county and state governments to foster the creation of an interconnected system of greenways and wildlife corridors within the watershed.
  • Promote the acceptance of conservation easements by municipalities and private land trusts and conservancies in Pennsylvania.
  • Work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Natural Heritage Inventory programs to update the rare, threatened and endangered species list for the White Clay Creek watershed.
  • Work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Natural Heritage Inventory programs to develop habitat profiles for rare, threatened and endangered species.
  • Develop habitat maps for the entire White Clay Creek watershed, locating potential habitats for rare, threatened and endangered species.
  • Develop educational materials promoting the value of biodiversity and of rare, threatened and endangered species.
  • Inform communities of the existence and the significance of rare, threatened and endangered species' habitats in their municipalities.
  • Monitor development proposals within the watershed and foster advocacy for the protection of rare, threatened and endangered species' habitats during the approval process.
  • Work with Natural Resource Conservation Service on its "566 Watershed Protection Plan for the Red Clay and White Clay creeks to identify restoration projects that will benefit rare, threatened and endangered species' habitats within the watershed.
  • Work with the National Park Service to review Army Corps of Engineers water-resource permit applications for potential impacts to rare, threatened and endangered species' habitats.