South Mountain Partnership- Regional Capacity Building Initiative

Project Title: South Mountain Partnership- Regional Capacity Building Initiative
Timeline: January 2016 – present
Funding Source: Chesapeake Bay Trust


The South Mountain Region connects portions of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties in south central Pennsylvania. It covers approximately half a million acres from a forested upland ridgeline to fertile agricultural valleys. The South Mountain Partnership is a regional, landscape-scale conservation project in one of seven Conservation Landscapes identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The Chesapeake Bay Trust recently selected the South Mountain Region to participate in a capacity building program. The 12 Core Partners below are working to decide on the group’s goals and priorities and create a governance structure in order to apply for funding over the next 2-3 years of this project.

  • Audubon Pennsylvania
  • Cumberland Area Economic Development/Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau
  • Capital Resource Conservation & Development
  • Cumberland County Planning Department
  • Dickinson College
  • Franklin County Planning Department
  • Franklin County Visitors Bureau
  • Partnership For Better Health
  • Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Wilson College
  • York County Planning Commission

2017 Minigrant Awards

The CLUS was awarded two minigrants from the South Mountain Partnership in 2017:

Michaux State Forest Archaeological Predictive Model project: This project will attempt to use field and remote sensing data to predict the locations of prehistoric archaeological sites (primarily rhyolite tool-making quarries) in Michaux State Forest.

Visualizing regional investments: A story map of South Mountain Mini-grants: This is a GIS project to develop an on-line map that tells the story of the projects that have been funded by the South Mountain Partnership since 2009.

We are seeking student research assistants- learn more!

Affiliated Scientists:

Claire Jantz, Ph.D. – Director

Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

Project Lead: Delaware River Basin

B.A. in College Scholars from University of Tennessee
M.A. in Geography from University of Maryland
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Maryland

Dr. Claire Jantz is the Director of the CLUS. She has extensive expertise in land use and land cover change analysis and modeling, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Jantz has particular expertise within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Delaware River Basin, and the Delmarva Peninsula. She has participated in several collaborative research efforts funded by NASA, Maryland SeaGrant, NPS, and the William Penn Foundation.