Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Central PA Conservancy Preserves 404 Acres Of Land On Peters Mountain, Dauphin County

The Central PA Conservancy preserves 404 acres of ridge and forest land along Peters Mountain in Middle Paxton Township in Dauphin County.
The newly acquired parcel adjoins DCNR’s Joe Ibberson Conservation Area and State Gamelands #211, and it contains the historic Victoria Trail
This acquisition is intended for future transfer to adjoining public lands owned by the Game Commission (SGL #211) and the National Park Service (Appalachian National Scenic Trail Corridor). 
This project received critical financial assistance from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund
It is also funded by a generous donation in value by Flemish Down LLC, former owners committed to protecting Clarks Creek Valley and Peters Mountain.
With this project, CPC expands the protection of the Peters Mountain landscape, eliminating prospects for new development on the mountain as Dauphin County and Harrisburg continue to grow. 
It preserves views and recreational opportunities, both hiking and hunting, while protecting forestland, wildlife habitat, and water resources, including a natural spring used by hikers on the Appalachian Trail.
The popular Peters Mountain shelter is located on the ridge of the acquired property. Built in 1994, the shelter accommodates up to 20 people and replaced the original Earl Shaffer shelter, which is now in the Appalachian Trail Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. 
Earl Shaffer was the first northbound AT thru-hiker in 1948 and the first southbound thru-hiker in 1965. A natural spring providing a water source to hikers is located down a steep trail of over 300 stone steps below the shelter on the north side.
“This is CPC's second bargain sale project with landowner Flemish Down, a family committed to preserving Clark's Creek Valley for future generations,” says Anna Yelk, CPC’s executive director. 
“Our family owned and took care of this land since early in the last century. We are happy and proud that, from now on, it will be open to the public, thanks to the forward-thinking work of the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, the State Game Commission, and the National Park Service,” said Michael Blum, Manager, Flemish Down, LLC.  “We hope hunters, hikers, nature lovers and bird watchers flock to this land, forever enjoying the beauty of the forest and the majestic views it affords of both Clarks Valley and Powells Valley.”
“I know my parents would have been delighted by this project. From my father laying out maps of Peters mountain on a table, to my mother leading groups of Girl Scouts on the Appalachian Trail, to a family story of my grandmother handing out snake-bite kits to workers up on the mountain, our property on Peters Mountain has been important to my family,” said Annette Alger Cameron Blum, Member, Flemish Down, LLC.  “Now it can be enjoyed by all for many years to come.”
The first project with Flemish Down was the 27-acre Bailey’s Grove Fishing Access and Natural Area. Initially donated by Flemish Down in 2010, CPC transferred the property to the Fish & Boat Commission. 
That project opened up one mile of public access to Clarks Creek, a designated High Quality Coldwater Fishery and popular site among anglers and kayakers. Barely 3 miles away lies the current Peters Mountain parcel. 
Rising 1,000 feet above Clarks Creek, this acquisition will open up 404 acres for public use in perpetuity.
For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Central PA Conservancy website.
Ironmaster’s Challenge Sept. 26
The Central PA Conservancy will hold its annual Ironmaster’s Challenge 15K run on September 26 through Pine Grove Furnace State Park and Michaux State Forest in Cumberland County.

(Reprinted from the September 2020 Central PA Conservancy newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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[Posted: Sept. 15, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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