Wharton Township, Pa. – Jan. 7 – Land acquired by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will be conveyed to the state to add almost 1,000 acres to Forbes State Forest, the Conservancy announced today.
The Wharton Township, Fayette County property is adjacent to Forbes State Forest and Fort Necessity National Battlefield. The battlefield, a National Park Service property, will now be linked geographically with the nearby state forest, completing the Conservancy’s goal of linking the battlefield with the adjacent state forest system so there cannot be development between the two. The Conservancy has a long legacy of acquisitions that have added land to Forbes State Forest.
The Conservancy first acquired the Forbes-Fort Necessity connector land in 2012 from Allegheny Forestlands, LLC. Big Sandy Creek, a High Quality Cold Water Fishery, runs through the property toward the Quebec Run Wild Area and the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border. The surrounding region has vast expanses of forestland that support a significant black bear population and nesting habitat for forest interior birds, among other wildlife.
The Conservancy will convey the property to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry, which will add the land to Forbes State Forest.
“This acquisition is a great addition to Forbes State Forest,” DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. “By making this investment, we are taking a positive step toward our priority of acquiring key lands that are adjacent to existing state forest lands, protecting important habitat and increasing access for recreation.”
The state invested $550,000 in Keystone Funds through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, and $495,000 from mitigation payments for rights-of-way and sale of state forest property, which is intended for the acquisition of new state forest lands, in this property.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Colcom Foundation, the Nimick Forbesway Foundation and other private donors also provided financial support for this acquisition.
A photo of the property has been made available for media at bit.ly/1ztFVRd.
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 235,000 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 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,500 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of nearly 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources