Land Conservation

Mountain Watershed Association protects, conserves and restores land and water for the diversity of the region’s plants, animals and their ecosystems. Through science-based strategies, collaboration, leadership and recognition of the relationship between humankind and nature, MWA achieves tangible conservation outcomes for present and future generations.

MWA’s proactive outreach will be primarily in the Youghiogheny River watershed.

Priority Guidelines

Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) will acquire land and conservation easements, either through purchase or donation, to advance MWA’s strategically identified conservation priorities in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Areas which are time sensitive projects
  • Coal rights within the Youghiogheny watershed that have been historically mined
  • Areas which are being considered for development by industry
  • Riparian land, bordering a stream, within the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Areas of high biological diversity in the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Oil and gas rights within the Youghiogheny watershed where future development is anticipated
  • Headwaters in the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Restoration of abandoned mine lands within the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Enhancement to existing MWA conservation land holdings or easements
  • Wetlands in the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Forestland within the Youghiogheny watershed
  • Properties with the potential to facilitate educational opportunities, strengthen relationships & use of best practices
  • Land prioritized by partner organizations willing to properly steward the land
  • Land that has recreational, scenic or historic values and is either near protected land or in an area of particular conservation interest
  • Acreage greater than or equal to 10

Rasler Run Property

In 2023, MWA purchased a 192.6 acre property in Fayette County which borders Indian Creek, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River, and Rasler Run, a tributary to Indian Creek. Indian Creek is designated as a high quality cold water fishery, and Rasler Run is a Class A Wild Trout Stream.

Given our work to conserve the Gorge, we felt that acquiring the property served a natural extension of our work, and we agreed to pursue the necessary avenues to acquire the property.

It is critical that the property be purchased in the name of conservation, since selling the property to a private party puts it at risk of logging and industrial development such as strip mining, both of which are common land uses in the Indian Creek Valley. Such development would threaten the integrity of both the land and its neighboring tributaries, particularly Rasler Run.

MWA is designating the land as a recreational access area, similar to the status of other properties MWA owns, finally making Rasler Run accessible for fishing. The property is across from the Indian Creek Valley Trail, allowing easy access to the acquired property to those wanting to fish, explore, and recreate. Posting proper signage and a developing property map are in the works.


Donate Land or Mineral Rights

If you are interested in donating land or mineral rights to Mountain Watershed Association, please fill out this Google form. Questions and concerns can be addressed by Taylor Robbins, Conservation & Recreation Manager. Call 724-455-4200 ext. 5# or email

Land Conservation Updates

Nearly 200 Acres Along Rasler Run To Be Protected

By Taylor Robbins | March 6, 2023

MWA is proud to announce that we are now the sole owners of 186.17 acres of property in the Indian Creek Valley Gorge. The property is located in Springfield Township…

Raising Funds to Purchase Land and Protect Rasler Run

By Taylor Robbins | August 11, 2022

MWA is proposing to purchase a 192.6 acre property in Fayette County which borders Indian Creek, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River, and Rasler Run, a tributary to Indian Creek.…