Rasler Run Land Preservation

MWA is fundraising 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. Indian Creek is designated as a high quality cold water fishery, and Rasler Run is a Class A Wild Trout Stream.

About the Property

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.

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Ecological Significance

Protecting the water quality of Rasler Run is of particular interest.

According to the Rasler Run Coldwater Conservation Plan (2003), this stream is one of twelve Class A wild rainbow trout fisheries in Pennsylvania. Only 5 of these fisheries occur in the southwest region of the state.

Rasler Run hosts a naturally reproducing wild rainbow trout population and a small population of naturally reproducing wild brook trout. Both species make this an invaluable coldwater fishery.

In addition to the watershed hosting this exceptional coldwater fishery, it is home to six threatened and/or endangered species of flora and fauna and boasts scenic views of the Indian Creek Gorge.

12.8% of the property has been designated as a Natural Heritage Area by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for its exceptional ecological diversity. The acquisition project is needed to conserve ecological diversity and prevent future development on the property.

Future development would increase sedimentation in the property’s neighboring streams which are currently listed as healthy and supporting aquatic life according to the 2020 Integrated Water Quality Report.

This project will not only benefit the local community but also Pennsylvania at large since it will preserve the water quality of Rasler Run, one of the few Class A Wild Rainbow Trout Fisheries in the state.

Recreation Access

Currently, there is restricted access to fishing in Rasler Run since the majority of the land bordering the creek is privately owned.

If we acquire the property, MWA will designate 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.

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