WPC and Partners Conserve Forested Land along West Branch of French Creek
Tue, Sep 29th 2009, 16:03. Filed under News Releases.
Pittsburgh, Pa. – September 29, 2009 – Nearly a mile of frontage along the West Branch of French Creek in Erie County has been permanently conserved today through an acquisition by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the French Creek Valley Conservancy.
A globally significant stream, French Creek contains more species of fish and freshwater mussels than any similar-sized stream in the United States. The West Branch of French Creek contains even greater varieties of rare fish and mussels than the main stem. Today’s acquisition of 40 acres in Venango Township helps to protect this important waterway and the aquatic life it supports, while also conserving valuable floodplain forests. The conserved property is situated within a high-priority location in the Erie County and Northwest Pennsylvania Greenways Plans, and includes meandering woodland trails that will be open to the public.
“This important and scenic property now becomes part of a larger conservation landscape area within the West Branch of French Creek,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of WPC. “With this acquisition, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy now has conserved 547 acres within this significant watershed.”
The acquisition was made possible through one family’s generous financial contribution in memory of their son and brother, Brad Barnes. Barnes, who lived in the area, was dedicated to conservation and to protecting endangered plants and animals. His family has conserved several ecologically significant properties in northwestern Pennsylvania with WPC in his memory.
The permanent protection of this property also was supported by The Nature Conservancy. The project is the most recent completed by WPC as a partner in the French Creek Conservation Joint Venture, which also includes the French Creek Valley Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.
The newly acquired property includes .87 miles of scenic creek frontage and will be open to the public for fishing, hiking and other forms of non-motorized recreation. WPC will hold the property and will manage and steward the site as a nature reserve along with its other properties along the West Branch.
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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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