Susquehanna County

Gates

Silver Lake Twp. • 116 Acres

Bordering New York State near the community of Brackney in Susquehanna County, the Gates property consists of northern hardwood and conifer forests. The property’s topography includes stream bottomlands, gradual sloping terrains and moderately steep sloping terrains. Noteworthy natural habitat features include vernal pools, a hemlock palustrine forest, a stream, wetlands and dozens of spring seeps emanating from the mountainside, all supporting wildlife diversity of high quality flora and fauna species.

The hemlock palustrine forest along Snake Creek, for example, provides habitat for forest-dwelling mammal species such as southern flying squirrel, short-tailed shrew, black bear and mink along with bird species such as golden-crowned kinglet, yellow-bellied sapsucker, blue jay and white-breasted nuthatch. The spring seeps found along the northern slopes host beautiful springtime wildflowers that include species like round-lobed hepatica, foam flower, goldthread and northern wood sorrel. Fern species include cinnamon fern, New York fern and sensitive fern.

A very healthy hemlock palustrine forest shades the vernal pools and spring seeps and protects Snake Creek, whose cold waters drain into the Susquehanna River, the largest single source of fresh water for the Chesapeake Bay. As many as seven species of stream minnows were identified during studies, as well as three rare dragonflies.

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