WPC Protects Randall Reserve Forestland in the Laurel Highlands
Wed, Jun 15th 2011, 17:14. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – June 15, 2011 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) protected more than 272 acres of undeveloped forested land in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County. The property was conserved under a conservation easement that will provide Randall Reserve, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the area’s natural features, funding to continue to preserve it as a public natural area.
“The woodlands include a long stretch of undisturbed habitat – more than a mile of forest – along Four Mile Run,” said Thomas Saunders, the Conservancy president and CEO. “The conservation easement that was just completed on this property means that Randall Reserve will be protected over the generations, and will be undeveloped and open to the public in perpetuity. This property safeguards habitat, protects a special creek and creates one more place that people can go hike or explore in Ligonier Valley, knowing that they’re in a permanently protected place.”
The area hosts nine bird species that warrant special protection because they have a significant vulnerability to habitat modification, which could result in becoming threatened. The property is adjacent to Donegal Lake, a 232-acre public recreation facility. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission owns and manages the lake. Both Donegal Lake and Four Mile Run are trout-stocked fisheries.
Mary Belle Randall-Rawlings, Randall Reserve board member and the reserve’s founder, said, “It has been a pleasure working with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Their ideals are the same as those of Randall Reserve. I look forward to the wonderful protection added to these lands.”
The Conservancy purchased the easement through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between private landowners and a nonprofit organization or government entity. The easement limits future uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values.
The property will be open to the public for low-impact, non-motorized recreational activities. WPC has protected five new properties (552 acres) in the Ligonier Valley in 2011. In total, the Conservancy has protected 77,900 acres in the Laurel Highlands and 8,347 acres in Ligonier Valley.
Photos with credits have been made available for media use at: http://goo.gl/C64XG
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 has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved over 230,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. 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.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy