Land Use Policy
Hollow Oak Land Trust properties are managed as conservation areas, where all plants and animals found there are protected unless specific written approval is received in advance from the organization. Management plans allow low-impact recreational uses such as hiking, biking and cross-country skiing, but not activities that could cause significant degradation, such as motorized vehicle use. One of our key goals is to provide public access to year-round recreational enjoyment and use by people of all ages, with minimum negative impact. Those on the property are asked to stay on the extensive system of trails rather than impacting undisturbed areas.
Those visiting Hollow Oak properties should be aware that these are natural areas, with all the inherent dangers of ticks, snakes, poison ivy, steep slopes, and other hazards commonly found in western Allegheny County. Hollow Oak Land Trust assumes no responsibility for any accident or illness that may result from a visit by any individual or group to our properties.
Land Management Policy
Hollow Oak Land Trust actively seeks to protect greenspace in the Pittsburgh International Airport corridor. Protection may be achieved through acquisition (purchase or donation) of title, conservation easements, or other forms of agreement with the property owner.
A property owned by Hollow Oak is designated a “conservation area,” reflecting the organization’s directives:
“To protect land from any form of alteration by man other than that required to render it accessible to study and enjoyment by the public or to the control of wildlife, both flora and fauna, from its own destruction,” and
“To engage in and to promote the study by the general public of our natural resources and wildlife of all types and species and, thereby, to encourage deep and abiding respect for and appreciation of our environment in all its many manifestations by all of the people.”
The properties owned by HOLT are managed as conservation areas:
- All plants, animals, and natural features found there are protected and will not be disturbed or removed except in the case of (4), below, or by a specific and case-by-case determination by the Board.
- Changes made to the nature of the property will be in the direction of a return to its natural condition, except where maintenance of man-made features is determined to be beneficial by the organization.
- Low-impact recreational use may be made of the property, but not activities that could cause significant degradation, such as motorized vehicles.
- Acceptable exceptional uses such as scientific studies, visits by school classes studying nature, and controlled hunting may be allowed with the written advance permission. This written permission must specifically state if any change to the existing and natural state of the property or removal of animals or plants, or their parts, will be allowed.
All conservation easements and other forms of management agreements must be approved in advance by the Board of Directors prior to acceptance of management of a property by HOLT. Management of properties acquired through conservation easements or other forms of agreements will be determined by the specific conditions defined by the owner in those easements or agreements, excepting that, in all cases in which such easement or agreement does not specifically impose a conflicting management action, the management policy stated herein will apply. HOLT assumes no responsibility for any accident or illness that may result from a visit by any individual to the area.
Hollow Oak Land Trust accommodates a wide variety of public uses including hiking, biking, birding, cross-country skiing, scientific research, and hunting. Hollow Oak views hunting primarily as a natural resource management tool and also as a recreational activity.
In order to create a safe and enjoyable environment for all visitors, hunters must review and comply with both the Pennsylvania Game Commission seasons and standards and our hunting policies and guidelines. Failure to adhere to the rules and regulations will result in suspension of hunting privileges and/or citation by local law enforcement.
Hunting for deer only is allowed by written permit on Hollow Oak Land Trust properties. This decision is consistent with the opinions of most ecologists and biologists that recognize that the deer population in Allegheny County, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, has become so great that deer are destroying the forest ecosystem in their search for food. Deer eat small trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and other vegetation, removing habitat and food needed by other species to survive. This consequence is not consistent with HOLT’s mission to protect wildlife “of all types and species.”
Hunting is allowed on the following Hollow Oak properties
- Kenmawr Conservation Area*
- Trout Run Conservation Area*
- Boggs Run Conservation Area*
- Montour Woods Conservation Area
- Fifer’s Fields Conservation Area
* Archery ONLY
If a property is not listed on this page, it is not a publicly hunted property. Hunters are responsible for knowing the property boundaries and obeying all federal, state, and local laws. Many properties have detailed boundary topographic maps on the property website. We ask that you respect the land, the animals and other property users when you hunt on Hollow Oak lands. Hollow Oak reserves the right to prohibit or promote hunting on conservation areas at any time in accordance with local, state and federal law.
As a local, non-profit organization, we ask that hunters make a donation to the land trust so that we can continue to sustainably manage our conservation lands for all recreational users. To donate, contact Hollow Oak Land Trust at 412-741-2750 or donate online here.
For additional information about hunting in Pennsylvania, please see the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website or contact their South West Regional office at 724-238-9523.
When given permission, hunters are asked to protect other wildlife and vegetation and to report any problems they may see when visiting the conservation area. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 264-5354