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Western PA Conservancy Protects 173 Acres Of Farmland, Forestland In Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County

The Western PA Conservancy recently announced the purchase of an easement to permanently protect and limit development on a 173-acre forested property in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County.

The property provides more than a half mile of riparian frontage along Mill Creek, a tributary to Loyalhanna Creek, and an equal amount of buffer along a feeder stream to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek is a cold-water fishery that supports natural trout reproduction, including Eastern brook trout habitat, and is stocked for trout fishing by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

While the majority of the property will remain in private ownership, 20 acres are available for public access to the creek and Laurel Highlands Trout Trail for walking, fishing and exploring.

This property hosts several wetlands, important ecosystem components that store rainwater, ultimately helping to reduce runoff and flooding. The forested land provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and approximately 60 acres will continue to be used for farming.

A conservation easement is a land protection option available to landowners who want to continue to own their property or sell it to others in the future, while preserving its conservation values forever, says Conservancy President and CEO Thomas Saunders.

A conservation easement is a recorded legal agreement that restricts future subdivision and development on land.

“For decades, we’ve worked closely with the local community and landowners in the Ligonier Valley to employ a variety of conservation techniques that protect the scenic and ecological values of the Ligonier Valley landscape,” says Saunders. “The protection of this forested area along Mill Creek with a perpetual conservation easement will safeguard scenic views, while protecting the forestland and creek, ultimately contributing to improved water quality for generations.”

Conservation of this land was made possible thanks to grants from Colcom Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation and Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. Funding was also provided by the landowner and other donations made to support land conservation in the Ligonier Valley.

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.

More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events at the Western PA Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, join them on Instagram, visit the Conservancy’s YouTube Channel or add them to your network on LinkedinClick Here to support their work.

The Conservancy has helped to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than 250,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, maintains 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 11,000 volunteers and the support of more than 9,000 members.

(Reprinted from the WeConservePA News webpage.)

Related Articles - Forests - Land Conservation:

-- DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Tina Englert, Friends Of Nolde Forest, 2019 Volunteer Of The Year

-- Bay Journal: Hope For Hemlocks: New Tactics Found To Fight Deadly Woolly Adelgid Pest

-- DCNR Good Natured Blog: Making Progress On Streamside Forests; 2021 Buffer Summit March 10-11

-- Western PA Conservancy Protects 35 Acre Wetland In French Creek Watershed, Erie County

[Posted: November 23, 2020]


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