WPC Acquires 2,400 Acres in Clearfield County for Permanent Conservation
Tue, Sep 29th 2009, 14:46. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – September 29, 2009 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) today acquired 2,400 acres in Clearfield County, Pa. to permanently conserve forested slopes and streams at the headwaters of Bennett Branch, a tributary to Sinnemahoning Creek.
The purchase includes six parcels that are largely adjacent to Moshannon State Forest and State Game Lands within the Pennsylvania Wilds region. Visible to motorists traveling on Route 255 to the Elk Scenic Byway, the properties offer magnificent views of forested ridges and valleys and will be open to the public. One of the parcels includes significant frontage on the Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek and continues the Conservancy’s ongoing efforts to restore and protect this important stream.
“The conservation of these beautiful lands both expands and improves connections within a mosaic of forested areas that sustain wildlife and offer a range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing and hunting,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
“In addition, these properties are located a short distance from the Bennett Branch Forest, a 5,300-acre property conserved by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in early 2008 as part of our 75th Anniversary Acquisitions.”
The $3.5 million purchase was made possible through a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The Conservancy transferred the lands upon purchase to The Conservation Fund (www.conservationfund.org), a national nonprofit conservation organization, which will manage the properties for recreation and sustainable forestry.
"This project is the result of many months of hard work by WPC,” said Todd McNew, Pennsylvania state director for The Conservation Fund. “Thanks to them and the generous support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, these lands will continue to be managed as working forest. Under The Conservation Fund's ownership, these lands will support the local economy through recreation and sustainable timber harvesting and will remain on the local tax rolls. This project fits perfectly with our dual mission of fostering conservation and economic development."
The conserved properties include:
- Bark Camp Run. Adjacent to State Game Lands #331 and Moshannon State Forest, this parcel is partially covered by wetlands and helps to protect the headwaters of the Bennett Branch watershed.
- Bennett Branch. Also adjacent to State Game Lands, this tract contains two wetlands and includes frontage on the Bennett Branch of the Sinnemahoning, helping to secure access to the stream.
- West Mountain Run and East Mountain Run. These properties join together three previously disconnected parcels of Moshannon State Forest. In addition, West Mountain Run contains a small wetland area.
- Sandy Lick Creek. This beautiful maple and oak forest includes wetlands and is located ½ mile away from Moshannon State Forest.
- Hoyt Run. Located just 1¼ miles away from State Game Lands #331, this parcel is defined by a dense maple forest.
“These are key properties that provide connections between Game Lands and the Moshannon State Forest,” said WPC Board Member Dr. Colson Blakeslee of DuBois, Pa.
The Conservancy has prioritized the conservation of these properties because they augment large blocks of forestland in the eastern portion of the Allegheny Wilds, helping to connect them to the Allegheny National Forest in the West. They also help to bridge the landscapes of the High Allegheny Plateau to the forests of the Laurel Highlands and Central Appalachians, expanding habitat for wildlife as well as recreational opportunities.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC established six state parks and has conserved more than 225,000 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 8,300 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of 9,400 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.
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