Michaux State Forest, Cumberland County, PA – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined partners in a visit to Camp Michaux in the Michaux State Forest in Cumberland County to view a project to restore Tom’s Run to its historic location.
“DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry implements practices that promote the long-term health of our forests in Pennsylvania for many values, including clean water,” Dunn said. “Forests and trees play an incredible role in slowing the flow of water during storms, and removing or filtering pollutants that would end up in our waterways.”
Dunn noted that Tom’s Run is now reconnected to its historic floodplain, which lessens the impacts of heavy storm events.
Along Tom’s Run, there was a diversion channel on the waterway which took the stream flow and diverted it into an impoundment created by a dam previously used as a swimming hole.
The project involved:
- Filling in a section of the concrete diversion sluiceway, allowing the stream to continue downstream through its original location
- Native streambed material was used to line the new channel and give it an appearance of a natural stream channel
- Some fish enhancement and stream structures were included in the project
- The swimming area, which had filled up with sediment, will be allowed to convert to a wetland
“Tom’s Run is a Class A trout stream that flows into Mountain Creek. Brook trout are the official state fish, are indicators of superior water quality, and provide recreational fishing opportunities,” Dunn said. “Dams in general are barriers to aquatic organism passage, elevate water temperatures, and reduce dissolved oxygen content. By bypassing the impoundment, Tom’s Run will benefit as a cold-water fishery.”
Dunn noted that the project is included in the Wolf Administration’s clean water initiative.
The project cost amounted to around $97,000 and was supported by a DEP Growing Greener grant, The Nature Conservancy, and DCNR.
“Brook trout are one of the poster species for climate change impacts and some studies have shown that warming stream temperatures in Pennsylvania are already impacting them,” Dunn said “This project fits in with a climate change adaptation strategy to increase habitat connectivity and develop corridors that help facilitate the movement of species.”
The climate change adaptation strategy for DCNR lands will be completed by the beginning of next year.
DCNR has a goal of removing five dams on its lands by 2020 as part of its water strategic initiative. Last year, Long Run dam in Bald Eagle State Forest, and Olyphant dam #1 in Pinchot State Forest were removed. Tom’s Run and Long Run are both in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Camp Michaux has an unusual history including as a church camp; working farm; as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Great Depression; and as a secret prisoner of war interrogation camp during World War II.
Learn more in the Camp Michaux Self-Guided Walking Tour booklet (PDF) from the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Pennsylvania’s 2.2 million acres of well-managed state forest lands provide critical habitat for brook trout and thousands of stream miles. DCNR has a Brook Trout Conservation Plan (PDF) for state forest lands.
Michaux State Forest is more than 85,000 acres in the South Mountain landscape named for French botanist Andre Michaux.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, DCNR, 717.772.9101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.