This Work Takes a Village.
The Kittatinny Coalition adopted a Strategic Plan in 2020. The Plan, with input from stakeholders across the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, includes the purpose, vision, guiding principles, goals, strategies, and desired outcomes of the Coalition’s work over the next five years.
The Kittatinny Coalition is a diverse alliance of organizations, businesses, agencies, academic institutions, and municipalities working together with one voice and one goal, to protect the globally important and locally cherished Kittatinny Ridge.
Working as a synergistic whole, the Kittatinny Coalition draws on collective strengths and broad knowledge to protect the 185-mile long Conservation Landscape that is the Kittatinny Ridge (or the KRCL). We advocate for unbroken forest to provide:
- protected headwater sources for clean and plentiful water for surrounding communities;
- a scenic Appalachian Trail system experience;
- outdoor recreational opportunities that are welcoming, safe and available to all;
- safe passage for resident and migratory wildlife; and
- natural areas and open spaces which enrich the human mind and spirit.
A naturally healthy and thriving Ridge advances the region’s economies. We aspire to have the Ridge listed as a National Heritage Area and a nationally protected corridor under the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. Because of its cooler climate, ample fresh water and abundance of other natural resources, the region has become an increasingly attractive and safe haven to live, work and play, earning designation as the nation’s first Climate Change Refuge.
The Kittatinny Coalition is the ultimate champion for the Kittatinny Ridge, leading and coordinating in the generation of funding, research, education, land acquisition, and community involvement along the Ridge. It is a powerful and inclusive alliance where all who love the Ridge gather and work together to protect it. All are welcomed to support and enjoy this national treasure.
Conserving the ecological integrity of the Kittatinny Ridge: The Kittatinny Ridge functions as a critical migratory corridor, a climate resilient landscape, and habitat for a wide array of species. Utilizing current science, advocacy, stewardship, and land protection, the Coalition works to conserve the Ridge and its ecological integrity as a large, interconnected landscape.
Serving as a voice for all communities: Communities along the Kittatinny Ridge are culturally, economically, and demographically diverse. The linear nature of the Ridge can also create a disconnect between the communities who share it. The Coalition serves as a platform for community voices and stories, bringing local perspectives to this regional landscape. As a voice for the Kittatinny Ridge, we build trust and awareness among its communities and interest groups locally (e.g. birders, hunters, watershed groups, etc.), and promote recognition of the landscape’s importance at a state and a national level.
Preserving a sense of place: The Ridge is a place to find solitude, recreate, and connect with the land. The values, cultures, history, economies, and stories of local communities – hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians strong – are tied to the Ridge and its valleys. We are committed to conserving the natural landscape for the spiritual and intellectual well-being of those who call it home.
Building success and strength through a shared vision and collaboration: The Coalition is a diverse network of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors. We are scientists, educators, land stewards, land trusts, farmers, foresters, researchers, naturalists, and members of many local municipalities, counties, and state agencies committed to protecting our natural and cultural heritage. We all bring different reasons why we work to conserve the Ridge, and we find strength, flexibility and inspiration in that diversity.
Committing to thriving, resilient communities: The KRCL includes 12 counties, 136 municipalities, and portions of the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill, and Susquehanna River watersheds. Millions of people depend on the clean air and water, timber, and agricultural products produced by the Ridge and its rural Corridor. Maintaining clean water, farmland soils, healthy forests, grasslands, and wetlands will build resiliency and enable the region to thrive economically for generations to come.
- Identify and protect biologically important land and open space to advance wildlife and water conservation along the Ridge.
- Build community identification with, and ownership in, the Kittatinny Ridge as a critical/valued natural asset.
- Collaborate with counties, municipalities, and other organizations along the Ridge to contribute to their collective understanding of the ecological, economic, recreational, and social values of protecting the Ridge and advance the adoption of land-use, sustainability and climate resiliency plans, and programs and policies which foster its natural health.
- Promote science as a basis for the Coalition’s recommendations/actions by enlisting support from academicians and scientists who generate research that is relevant to the Ridge as a Conservation Landscape and to the goals of the Coalition.