Shippen Township, Pa. – Dec. 18, 2018 – Joseph Wolfgang has ensured that his 110-acre property in Cameron County will remain permanently forested by donating a conservation easement to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy today.
The Shippen Township property is contiguous to Elk State Forest to the northwest and has steep forested slopes along Hart Run, a high-quality tributary to West Creek. The southern portion includes additional riparian frontage along West Creek, a major tributary to Driftwood Branch Sinnemahoning Creek. The West Creek Recreational Trail, a popular rail-to-trail that extends from the communities of Emporium and St. Marys, traverses the property. Hart Run and West Creek are classified by the PA Department of Environmental Protection as High Quality Cold Water Fisheries.
Wolfgang, a lifelong advocate of nature and conservation, says that he and his wife Miranda feel that protecting this property in perpetuity is the right thing to do for themselves and all residents of Northcentral Pennsylvania. Through this easement, Wolfgang will continue owning his land while permanently limiting land uses and development in order to protect the land’s conservation values.
“I’ve always been concerned about air and water quality issues, and finding ways to improve the environment and reduce pollutants going into our waterways and groundwater,” he said. “So, I see this as my way of improving the health of local residents and nature.”
Hosting mixed hardwoods of mostly oak and maple with some birch, beech and hemlocks, the property provides scenic views of forestland from the Bucktail Scenic Byway, PA Rt. 120. This easement will not only provide viewshed protection, but keeps the forest intact so it will eventually become old-growth woodlands.
“This is a wonderful property that lies within a priority forest landscape area for the Conservancy,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy. “The amazing landscape in this area of the state, with its deep forests, wild streams, steep hills and big views, is part of what makes our state so extraordinary. We appreciate the Wolfgang family for wanting to protect their land through this generous donation of a conservation easement, which will allow the land to stay in private ownership but will protect it from development in the future, and accomplishes their intent for this beautiful property.”
The Conservancy welcomes inquiries from landowners interested in learning more about donating conservation easements or other conservation options. For more information, please contact WPC at 412-288-2777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos of the property are available for media use courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
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 to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million 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 more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.
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