WPC Acquires Property Near Bennett Branch Forest

Fri, Dec 21st 2012, 15:07. Filed under News Releases.

Weedville, Pa. – Dec. 21 – A recently acquired property containing hemlocks and Cherry Run, a tributary of the Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek, will be an addition to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Bennett Branch Forest.

The Conservancy announced today that it acquired about five acres in Jay Township, Elk County. The property will be added to more than 6,200 acres of 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.

The Conservancy retained 1,400 acres, now called Bennett Branch Forest, as its own reserve for the public to use and enjoy. WPC manages the forest, which is located along Route 255 in Elk and Clearfield Counties, just southwest of Benezette, Pa. Bennett Branch Forest also serves as a demonstration property for sustainable forestry.

The new acquisition guarantees the existing acreage and the additional property will be permanently open to the public for hunting, fishing and low-impact recreational activities, and it serves as a key entrance area off of Route 255, to the larger acreage already protected just beyond it.

“Of the many properties the Conservancy has protected, Bennett Branch Forest is one of the largest forests that we have retained for public use and recreation. Earlier this fall, we added protected frontage nearby along Bennett Branch itself, as the stream is being cleaned up and may become a fishing destination. We are glad to have this new acreage added to Bennett Branch Forest, ensuring future generations can enjoy outdoor activities there,” said WPC President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas D. Saunders. “This is one of our four year-end acquisitions, which are all in places important to the Conservancy – Bennett Branch Forest, French Creek, McConnells Mill and Ligonier Valley.”

The project was made possible through the support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation.


WPC has offered photos for media use at http://goo.gl/jsXpH and http://goo.gl/r26dQ

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 more than 233,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 135 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 13,000 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.

Media contact:
Allison Schlesinger
412-586-2358 (office)
412-607-1945 (cell)