WPC Protects Ligonier Farmland and Loyalhanna Creek Watershed

Kinsey News Release

A historic 179-acre farm in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County has been permanently protected by WPC thorugh an agricultural easement.

The property, which includes approximately 2,000 feet of frontage on a tributary that drains into Upper Loyalhanna Creek, adds to the 78,000 acres already protected by WPC in the Laurel Highlands. Located near the historic Forbes Trail, this land has been farmed since the early 1800s and includes an active maple sugaring operation. The farm is adjacent to the borough of Ligonier and is owned and operated by brothers Ray, Jack and Larry Kinsey.

The agricultural easement, a voluntary agreement with the landowners, keeps the property in private hands while permanently restricting future uses to farming and timbering. WPC acquired the easement in collaboration with the Westmoreland County Agricultural Lands Preservation Board (WCALP), which will assume stewardship responsibilities for the easement.

“This easement conserves prime agricultural soils, protects water quality in the Upper Loyalhanna Creek watershed, and protects a farm that is historically and culturally significant to the Ligonier community,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

The Conservancy received funding to permanently conserve this farmland from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the program protects agricultural properties with prime soils. WPC also received funding from Westmoreland County to assist with transactional costs.

“We greatly appreciate the Kinsey family’s commitment to protecting the special character of the Ligonier Valley,” said Mike Kuzemchak, WPC’s Laurel Highlands program director. “It was a pleasure to work with the Kinsey brothers to protect this landmark property. The easement is a true legacy that will be appreciated for generations to come.”