Pennsylvania State Forest Gains 3,000 Acres
Pennsylvania’s Tuscarora State Forest is about to grow by 3,000 acres, thanks to an agreement between the state and the Shippensburg Water Authority.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has reached a tentative agreement to buy the wooded parcel from the Shippensburg Water Authority for $1.8 million.
“This property makes an ideal acquisition for DCNR because of its location linking up with existing state forestland,” said DCNR Secretary John Oliver. “With the purchase, we can open the lands for public recreation, while continuing to protect a water supply for local communities. It’s a wonderful piece of property – virtually untouched forests with scenic views, beautiful streams and plenty of room to explore.”
DCNR and the water authority are working on the final details to continue the water agency’s ability to provide water to its customers.
Known as the Gunter Valley tract, the property adjoins the southwestern portion of Tuscarora State Forest, and is divided by the Pennsylvania Turnpike as it passes through the Blue and Kittatinny Mountains. The Turnpike Commission maintains ownership of the land over these two tunnels.
The tract contains the Trout Run watershed, including a stream and a 78 foot high dam which forms a 35 acre reservoir.
DCNR intends to add the property to Tuscarora State Forest, which now includes 91,165 acres spanning six counties. It will be managed for recreation, timber, wildlife habitat and water quality.
“We are glad to see these unspoiled lands will be protected for future generations,” said Bill Wolfe, manager of the Shippensburg Water Authority. “With these lands under DCNR management, the Trout Run Watershed will continue to receive the protection it deserves.”
The property has one road, one dam and many miles of logging roads. Once acquired, DCNR will determine what public recreation is suitable for the lands.
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.