Over the last century, the forests of eastern Pennsylvania’s Poconos region have been disappearing at an alarming rate to unplanned development. One of the largest landowners of the remaining forests is the local hunting and fishing clubs, which have been operating in the region for generations.
Today, the clubs’ collective 76,000 acres are essential to filtering drinking water within the Delaware River Watershed. But as club members age, some of the properties are at risk of changing hands, and of being lost forever.
The Saving Woods for Water film details the story of three clubs that, with the help of the Open Space Institute and the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, joined together to conserve 3,600 acres in late 2019. Produced by OSI with the support of the William Penn Foundation, Saving Woods for Water captures the enthusiasm and devotion of the clubs as the hard-won properties are protected.
“You used to pass two houses on your way (to the club), now you pass hundreds. So, we see what could happen, and we have a great desire to protect this place.” – Charlie Mosser, Maskenozha Rod & Gun Club
Secured by the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, the three properties received funding from OSI’s Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, capitalized by the William Penn Foundation, and from OSI’s Resilient Landscapes Initiative, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
OSI awarded two grants to support protection of the property because the properties contain forests that filter water draining into the Delaware River Watershed, source of drinking water for more than 15 million people living in Philadelphia, PA, Trenton, NJ, and elsewhere; and, the lands include highly-resilient landscape features that facilitate the movement of wildlife in response to climate change.
The project also received funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal Land & Water Conservation Fund, the nation’s most important conservation fund, which is responsible for protecting parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational areas at the federal, state, and local levels.
Watch 'Saving Woods for Water'
Saving Woods for Water tells the story of three clubs that joined together to conserve 3,600 acres in late 2019. The film captures the enthusiasm and devotion of the clubs as the hard-won properties are protected, forever.