Pocono Forests and Waters



A fact sheet on the Pocono Forests and Waters provides a good summary of the efforts to enhance and protect the region. A summary of 2015 accomplishments in the region is found here.


The Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape, covering two distinct areas in Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Carbon counties, has a rich and diverse past,ranging from early Colonial settlements along the rivers and valleys, industrial development and extractive uses, and outdoor leisure and vacation activities.

This landscape houses abundant natural resources, including the greatest concentration of wetlands in the state and large tracts of public and private forested lands, such as state and national forests and parks and private hunting clubs that were established in the past and still exist today.

The public benefits from these natural lands encompass a whole host of rewards, such as a sense of community, clean water, stormwater retention, clean air and an array of outdoor recreation activities.oecp-photo-cli-pocono1

This region is also home to Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the US Forest Service and one of the fathers of the conservation movement in the United States. 

The goals of this initiative are to:

  • identify and conserve important landscape areas for acquisition and easements to increase the public and private land base under conservation.
  • facilitate local government decision making to conserve land and revitalize communities.
  • engage the business sector to leverage financial resources and political will to enhance and conserve natural and recreational resources.
  • improve community awareness of and engagement in conservation and restoration of local natural resources.
  • increase cooperation among various state and local governmental agencies and private entities with an interest in conserving natural resources and sustainable development.