Near Wellsboro in Tioga County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Our Gift from the Past
— Pine Creek Rail Trail —
The first European settlers harvested the massive old-growth pines and floated them to far away shipbuilders for use as masts and beams. Later, in the mid 1800s, our country quickly expanded. Natural resources were mined, sawn, hunted, fished, quarried, and otherwise removed to build and fuel our new country without consideration for the future. By the end of that century, the waterways were polluted with silt and mine acid, the wildlife neared extinction and the forests stood no longer.
Thankfully, visionary Pennsylvanians saw the destruction and chose to act. They purchased the lands and passed laws to stop the pollution of water and air, protect wildlife, and regulate extraction of natural resources. The first fish, game and forest commissions were established to conserve and manage our resources for future generations.
Today these lands entrusted to us are nearing the beauty and bounty that were once
The forests grew and changed with the natural rhythms of the earth. Nature was in perfect balance. The first Americans arrived in eastern North America about 12,000 years ago and lived in relative harmony with nature.
Attracted by the prospect of a better life in the “new world,” European settlers arrived in increasing numbers and began to exploit the vast resources.
The Industrial Revolution hit full stride. The United States’ expansion reached all the way to the Pacific. The wood, coal, and other natural resources found in the Pennsylvania Wilds helped built a new nation.
Except for a few remote acres, the forests of the Pennsylvania Wilds were completely stripped of trees. The streams were polluted with mine acid and silt, and the wildlife had been market hunted to near extinction. It was the worst of times for our natural resources.
Visionary Pennsylvanians led the way to begin to repair the carnage in our ecosystems. Conservation organizations such as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission had been established, and the Civilian Conservation Corps planted millions of trees to help regrow the forests. A mighty nation had been built using Pennsylvania’s natural resources… and in 1941 our might would be tested.
The abundant habitat, created as our new forests began to grow, caused deer numbers to reach an all time high. In the post war era, Pennsylvania’s state park system grew to over 100 parks. The prosperous years following WWII left people with more free time. As a result, many people quickly began enjoying outdoor recreation in our parks and forests.
Pennsylvania’s state forests and state parks now hold over 2.1 million acres. These systems remain as a gift from our predecessors. They entrusted this legacy to us. Together, we can conserve these precious resources for future generations.
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 41° 44.167′ N, 77° 25.767′ W. Marker is near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, in Tioga County. Marker can be reached from Colton Road just west of Pine Creek Road (State Highway 362), on the right when traveling south. Marker is mounted in an interpretive kiosk beside the Pine Creek Rail Trail at the Darling Run Trailhead. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wellsboro PA 16901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pine Creek Path (approx. 0.9 miles away); William A. Stone (approx. 2.6 miles away); United States Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 2.6 miles away); Pine Creek Gorge (approx. 2.7 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 2.9 miles away); Nessmuk (approx. 3 miles away); Pine Creek (approx. 3 miles away); Tiadaghton (approx. 6.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wellsboro.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 11, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 11, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.