Granville Township, Pa. – August 28 – Thanks to the generosity of private landowners Richard and Miriam Williams, 146 acres of scenic land atop Jacks Mountain in Granville Township, Mifflin County are now permanently protected through the donation of a conservation easement to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
The Williams amended an existing donated conservation easement on their 193-acre property, originally protected in 2009, to include 146 additional adjacent acres of land on the mountain. Jacks Mountain is one of the largest blocks of contiguous forestland in Mifflin County and provides an important corridor for wildlife, including migrating raptors and songbirds.
The Williams’ donated easements protect 339 acres that span more than a mile and a half of the mountain ridge and slopes and protect a Natural Heritage Area identified by WPC ecologists as part of the Mifflin County Natural Heritage Inventory. This important natural area of rocky talus slopes is high-quality habitat for timber rattlesnakes, a priority species for protection and the largest of the three species of venomous snakes found in Pennsylvania. The property also includes excellent habitat for many other wildlife including forest interior birds, ruffed grouse, wild turkey and black bear.
“Protecting rapidly developing land in our region is very important to us not only as concerned citizens, but as a matter of faith and being good stewards of nature,” said Richard Williams, who is also a semi-retired judge in Mifflin County. “We see the splendor of this beautiful mountain every day. We wanted to do more to help protect it and felt that amending the donated conservation easement to save more land was the best choice.”
A conservation easement is a deed-restriction agreement tailored to the needs and goals of the landowner, while permanently limiting future development and keeping land in private ownership. The Williams will continue to own, live on and use their property as they do now for recreation and forestry stewardship and can either sell it or pass it on to their heirs in the future. No matter who owns the property after the Williams, the limits on its development will remain intact in perpetuity and the land will stay in its natural state over generations.
“The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy greatly appreciates this gift of a conservation easement by the Williams family. It will protect forestland and the rocky ridgetop of Jacks Mountain. It’s a spectacular place that warrants this generous gift of a conservation easement to protect it for all time,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “We want to continue working with more landowners to establish conservation easements, as they are effective and flexible tools in planning for the future of the land they love.”
The Conservancy currently has conservation easements on nearly 36,000 acres of land, of which 10,215 acres were donated. The Conservancy welcomes inquiries from landowners interested in learning more about conservation easements. For more information, please contact WPC at 412-288-2777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 252,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 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 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of nearly 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.