Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Sells Property to Fisherman's Cove Conservation Group

Mon, Jan 7th 2008, 13:26. Filed under News Releases.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) has sold 207 acres in Venango County to Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation (FCPF), an organization formed to protect the Allegheny River watershed. Conditions of the sales agreement ensure the permanent protection of this property, which has both conservation and archaeological significance. The land will be open for public recreational use.

“The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is very pleased to sell this property to the Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation, which shares our conservation goals for this natural, scenic and historic property,” said WPC President and CEO Tom Saunders. FCPF President Cathy Kentzel added, “This acquisition and partnership with WPC forms the cornerstone of our organization’s efforts to preserve the natural and historic legacy of the region.”

WPC sold the parcel for less than its market value in order to enable its purchase by Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation. Purchased by WPC from Robert and Rachel Kerr between 1973 and 1976, the property consists of a wooded plateau and a steep, tree-covered hillside facing the Allegheny River and Sandy Creek. It includes approximately 50 acres of level river frontage. The property is bounded by Sandy Creek and private lands on the west and north and on the east by the Allegheny River. Archaeological and historical studies of the property show that it was intermittently used over the past 9,000 years by the region’s indigenous American Indian populations as well as by early settlers and their descendents.

Dr. Sue Ann Curtis, an FCPF director and expert on the region’s cultural history, said, “The property provides an important record of economic, social and political change in the region over time and the adaptations made by its indigenous peoples and subsequent settlement by frontier pioneers and their successors. Preservation of this record is a key mission of the Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation.”

WPC and The Archaeological Conservancy, a national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the nation's best remaining archaeological sites, will act as co-holders of a conservation agreement on the 207-acre parcel that was jointly developed by the three conservation organizations. Paul Gardner, The Archaeological Conservancy’s Midwest regional director, said, “The Kerr site is an intriguing late prehistoric occupation site that has seen little scientific investigation. The Archaeological Conservancy is happy to play a role in permanently protecting it for future generations of Pennsylvanians.”

The conservation agreement places permanent restrictions on this land, prohibiting subdivision as well as oil and gas exploration there. A conservation agreement, also called a conservation easement, is a commonly used, effective and legally binding means to protect natural and cultural resources for the benefit of future generations. WPC holds 145 conservation agreements, protecting more than 30,000 acres in Western Pennsylvania.

About the Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation

The Fisherman’s Cove Preservation Foundation, established in 2004, is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of land, water, and cultural resources in the Allegheny River watershed and promoting public values and educational programs that recognize the interdependent relationships between people and their environment. The FCPF was founded as a community-based organization to conserve the region’s rich natural and historical legacy through the creation of protected greenways and preserves. The Foundation pursues these goals through education, research, environmental restoration, and community involvement programs and activities.

The FCPF consists of community members and professionals with long-standing ties to the land and a commitment to understanding and preserving the natural character and rich cultural legacy of the region. Plans for the Kerr Tract property include working with forestry and other specialists to restore the natural forest plant assemblage, creating habitat for indigenous animal species, protecting the riparian buffer, understanding and preserving the property’s culture-history, and using the property as an outdoor classroom to promote public awareness and understanding of the importance preserving the region’s great diversity.

About The Archaeological Conservancy

The Archaeological Conservancy, established in 1980, is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation's remaining archaeological sites. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Conservancy also operates regional offices in Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, and California.

Every day, prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in the United States are lost forever--along with the precious information they contain. Modern-day looters use backhoes and bulldozers to recover artifacts for the international market. Urban development and agricultural methods such as land leveling and topsoil mining destroy ancient sites. The Conservancy protects these sites by acquiring the land on which they rest and by establishing conservation easements, preserving them for posterity.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

To date, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has protected more than 216,000 acres of natural lands in Pennsylvania, which represent nearly half of all land protected by land trust organizations in the state. Now in its 75th year, Pennsylvania’s first conservancy continues to partner with grassroots organizations to protect land, restore watersheds and save natural habitats.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) maintains and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece home, Fallingwater®, which was designed in 1935 and entrusted to the Conservancy in 1963 by Edgar Kaufmann jr. A symbol of living in harmony with nature, Fallingwater offers a wide variety of educational programs to its more than 135,000 annual visitors.

Each year, WPC plants and maintains community gardens and greening projects throughout Western Pennsylvania. In 2007, WPC partnered with more than 5,000 volunteers and dozens of community organizations to plant 140 gardens in 19 western Pennsylvania counties.


The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.