Pittsburgh, Pa. December 21, 2023 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced today the purchase of conservation easements to permanently protect and limit development on two forested properties, totaling 163 acres, within the Ligonier Valley of Westmoreland County.

WPC Conservation Easements Protect Forestland, Streams in Westmoreland CountyOne of the easements is on approximately 33 acres in Cook Township and now a new addition to an existing 289-acre property the Conservancy protected in 2022 along headwater streams within the Fourmile Run watershed. The property is located within the Campbelle Run Natural Heritage Area, which is an area of high biodiversity and hosts important native habitats that support species of special concern.

The other easement protects a 130-acre woodland property in Unity Township that provides a forested buffer along an unnamed tributary to Ninemile Run.

Both properties further enhance forest connectivity, safeguard water quality and shield wildlife habitat, and are surrounded by other large tracts of forestland along Chestnut Ridge. The streams the properties protect are located within the larger watershed of Loyalhanna Creek, a 50-mile-long wild trout stream and tributary to the Kiski River.

“This project is a continuation of efforts by the Conservancy to further protect priority riparian lands, streams and wildlife habitat corridors within the Laurel Highlands,” says Conservancy President and CEO Tom Saunders. “These conservation easements ensure that this land in private ownership will remain natural and forested for generations to come.”

Conservation of these properties was made possible, thanks to grants from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Hillman Foundation, Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation and Babcock Charitable Trust.

To date, the Conservancy has permanently protected nearly 27,000 acres of land in the Ligonier Valley, of which more than 10,000 are through conservation easements.

Conservation easements are permanent deed restrictions available to conservation-minded landowners who want to limit future development on land so that it remains natural. For more information about easements or other conservation options, please contact the Conservancy at 724-238-2492 or laurelhighlands@paconserve.org.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and assessed thousands of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and 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 and thousands of trees that are planted with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers. The work of the Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.

Media Contact:
Carmen Bray
Senior Director of Communications
412-586-2358, work