The Ligonier Valley is an important component of WPC’s Laurel Highlands priority conservation landscape. Since 1979, WPC has been working to conserve the unique features of the valley.
WPC’s Mountain Streams project has added 9,600 acres of land to Forbes State Forest in the valley, while more than 10,000 acres of private land has been protected through conservation easements. This long history of conservation successes is the result of collaboration and a shared vision between WPC and many landowners in the valley. By using a variety of conservation techniques the program works with the local community to protect and enhance the unique natural character of the Ligonier Valley and the greater Laurel Highlands region.
Flanked by Chestnut and Laurel Ridges, the valley features two of WPC’s priority watersheds, Tubmill Creek and upper Loyalhanna Creek. The forested ridges provide habitat for several species of special concern, including Allegheny woodrat and Indiana bat. The forests of the valley provide important corridors for wildlife movement and water quality protection. WPC’s conservation efforts in the valley focus on protecting these ecologically significant features.
The Ligonier Valley is an important component of WPC’s Laurel Highlands priority conservation landscape.
Conservation Easements Key to Protecting Land
The Ligonier Valley Program protects land primarily through conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a willing landowner and WPC that places permanent limits on the future development of the property. Each easement is unique, and is written to protect the conservation values of the land. It allows the landowner to continue to own and use the land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs. The landowner can still decide who may come on the property and for what purpose. Future owners also will be bound by the easement’s terms. WPC is responsible for making sure the easement’s terms are followed. Other land protection options, including land donations and “bargain sales,” are available and can be discussed with the WPC staff.
For more information about conservation easements, please click here.