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Water, Land, Life
WPC enewsletter

January 2013

Conservancy Completes Two Land Protection Efforts

Both properties

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy recently completed two projects in the northern part of the region – one involves a land acquisition near an already-protected forest, and the other the acquisition of a donated conservation easement near a popular state park.

The Conservancy recently acquired about five acres in Jay Township, Elk County. The property, containing a hemlock forest and a tributary of the Sinnemahoning River, is an addition to the Conservancy’s Bennett Branch Forest, which is already a notable conservation area.

The property will be added to land protected by WPC in 2008 in Elk and Clearfield counties – land that has been identified as having exceptional significance by Conservancy scientists and others. WPC transferred most of the property acquired at that time to the Bureau of Forestry and that part became a large addition to Moshannon State Forest.

Last month, Kathleen Kunz took the final steps toward donating a conservation easement to WPC on the other property. Kunz has owned the 41-acre wooded property in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, with her late husband for more than three decades. She made the choice to permanently conserve the parcel, which is adjacent to McConnells Mill State Park and Slippery Rock Gorge.

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between the Conservancy and a private landowner that limits future uses of the property in order to protect its conservation value while enabling the land to remain privately owned. Every easement is tailored to the property and to the interests of the landowner.

Kunz also gave a monetary gift, which will ensure the long-term stewardship of the parcel. This stewardship fund helps WPC with the annual costs of monitoring the easement, including visiting the property, writing reports and working with Kunz and future owners to ensure the property’s conservation values and intent of the easement are protected.

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