WPC and Landowners Partner to Conserve Tussey Mountain Forestland
Wed, Dec 29th 2010, 13:25. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – December 29, 2010 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) has permanently conserved 113 acres of forestland along Tussey Mountain in Bedford County in partnership with private landowners.
The newly conserved land, which is home to a wealth of native birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants and trees, connects to a massive forested area that encompasses more than 9,500 acres. Its permanent protection was made possible through a conservation easement donated to WPC by property owners Mike and Laura Jackson. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between the Conservancy and private landowners that limits future uses of the property, in order to protect its conservation value while also enabling the land to remain privately owned.
“This beautiful property, which is adjacent to State Game Lands 97, adds further protection to a vast forest that supports a stunning array of wildlife species,” said Michael Knoop, land protection specialist for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “We are grateful to the Jacksons for taking this important step to ensure their land will always sustain these native plants and animals.”
Committed conservationists, the Jacksons had enrolled their land in the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program in 2001 in order to manage the forest for its long-term health. They also have kept detailed records of all of the wildlife and plant species that they have identified there – including 117 bird species, 36 native mammal species, and a multitude of native trees, shrubs and forest herbs.
“Our property, which hugs the lower flank of Tussey Mountain, is similar to many forested areas in Bedford County. We have so much open space in Bedford County that it is easy to take it for granted, but we know that development pressures will continue to increase. We wanted to conserve our land, so future generations could enjoy the forest and its wildlife. We chose to donate the conservation easement to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, as this organization is committed to protecting Pennsylvania's natural areas,” the Jacksons said.
The Jacksons’ property falls within a priority conservation area for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy called the Central Valleys and Ridges region. Encompassing Pennsylvania’s Potomac River tributaries, the Juniata River basin and the Nittany Valley, this region provides a significant amount of the water that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Since the 1970s, WPC has helped to conserve more than 20,000 acres of land in this region that have become additions to state forests, state game lands and state parks.
Photos have been made available for media use at: http://goo.gl/S0GYx
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC helped to establish ten state parks and has conserved nearly 229,000 acres of natural lands and waterways. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, Pa. that symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.