East Penn Press

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Nearly 500 acres protected on Blue Mountain

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by The Press in News Briefs

WILDLANDS CONSERVANCY

Wildlands Conservancy announced Aug. 24 the permanent protection of nearly 500 acres, located on Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge) east of Bake Oven Knob in Carbon County.

Purchased from the Semmel family, the acreage closes one of the last major gaps in continuous preservation on the Kittatinny Ridge. The nearly 500-acre parcel expands public lands and natural areas like State Game Lands 217 and supports East Penn Township’s greenway development plans along Lizard Creek.

The Kittatinny Ridge has long been one of Wildlands’ priority conservation areas. A cradle for 100+ miles of Appalachian Trail and a famous flyway for millions of migratory birds, Wildlands has permanently preserved more than 13,000 of the 23,000 acres protected along the ridge in Pennsylvania.

“We protect lands like these to benefit nature and people for generations to come,” Christopher Kocher, president of Wildlands, said. “And we don’t do it alone! Our legacy land protection on Blue Mountain is all thanks to the support of our collaborative partners and our visionary giving community.”

The ridge also contains vast bands of water-cleaning forests critical for water quality and quantity both within and beyond the Lehigh River watershed.

Wildlands acknowledges the support of its giving community, especially the Appalachian Trail Conservancy through its A. T. Landscape Partnership Action Fund Grant Program, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the National Wild Turkey Federation (Walking Purchase and Jerry Zimmerman chapters) and private donations for funding the purchase of these nearly 500 acres from the Semmel family.