The PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has been awarded funding from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to assist with efforts to preserve forest lands along the Kittatinny Ridge.
The awards, announced by Gov. Tom Wolf and DCNR Secretary, Cindy Dunn, are part of a statewide initiative to create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources and help revitalize local communities.
The Kittatinny Ridge, also known as the Blue Mountain, is a globally recognized migratory corridor for birds of prey, songbirds, butterflies, and many species of mammals. And it provides many people with a visual reference, as it is the prominent mountain ridge extending 185-miles through Pennsylvania from the Delaware Water Gap to the Susquehanna River Gap and south before stretching into Maryland.
“The Nature Conservancy would like to thank DCNR and Governor Wolf for this vital funding to help the Conservancy preserve these properties along the Kittatinny Ridge,” said Bud Cook, The Conservancy’s Northeast PA Director. “These are high-priority locations that might otherwise be developed and lost forever.”
The funding will be used toward the conservation of two very different, high-priority properties along the Kittatinny Ridge in Pennsylvania.
The first is a 193-acre ridge-and-valley parcel located along Cherry Valley Road in Smithfield and Stroud Townships in Monroe County, and the second, is a 352-acre ridgetop property overlooking the Susquehanna River in Rye and Penn Townships and Marysville Borough in Perry County.
The Conservancy plans to preserve the properties for open space, habitat protection, and for passive recreation such as walking, bird watching and wildlife viewing.
“These lands provide respite for migratory species, provide clean drinking water for millions of people, and help to clean our air,” said Mari-Beth DeLucia, Pennsylvania Land Conservation Manager for the Conservancy. “Unfortunately, they are also at serious risk of development.”
The Conservancy is partnering with six Pennsylvania land trusts to increase the amount of protected land on the Kittatinny Ridge by working with landowners who are interested in conservation.
“There are many options for landowners to consider,” said DeLucia. “Conserving one’s land is the most important thing a landowner can do to protect their property for future generations, for wildlife, and to help protect the Ridge.”
The Conservancy would also like to thank Audubon Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Friends of Cherry Valley, Marysville Borough, Penn Township, Rep. Mark K. Keller (R-Perry), Senator Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin), Stroud Township, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for their support.For more information on programs, initiatives and other special events, visit the PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy website. Click Here to sign up for updates from TNC, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter and Join them on Instagram.