Quehanna Wild Area is an extensive forest area set aside to maintain the undeveloped character of the forest environment. The tract was originally state forest land that was sold and leased to the Curtis Wright Corp. for jet engine and nuclear research in 1955. It was returned to the Commonwealth in 1966. The forest has been influenced by Oak Leaf Roller and Gypsy Moth and experienced tornado damage in 1985. Timber rattlesnake, Black Bear, and elk rely on the varying forest types and low human density for prime habitat. Wykof Run Natural Area supports stands of pines and hemlock that add to the diversity of vegetation and birds.
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This site holds long-term value of supporting diverse species associated with different forest types. Deciduous woods provide habitat for breeding Cerulean and Prairie warblers. A pair of Golden Eagles has wintered in the area for
the past 15 years. Other species include Whip-poor-will, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Eastern Towhee.
Threats to the area include over-grazing by deer and natural pests like the Gypsy Moth. The area contains part of the popular Quehanna Trail and is used by hikers and backpackers. Designated by DCNR as a Wild Area - set aside to maintain the undeveloped character of the forest environment. There is restricted land use: no new public access roads, no off-road motorized vehicles, no commercial harvests, no new camps allowed. salvage logging is still permitted. DCNR maintains fix-up areas with insect mortaility, regenerates areas to higher quality canopy forest, maintains deer fencing, and conducts elk studies.