Sunday, June 3, 2018

32,000 acres of forestland purchased by nonprofit in Pa.

A vast swath of Penn’s Woods in Elk and McKean Counties will be conserved, thanks to a Virginia-based nonprofit.

The Conservation Fund, in a news release, said the Clarion Junction Forest consists of 32,598 acres of “sustainable timberland” around the city of Johnsonburg, Elk County, in the Pennsylvania Wilds,” just under 300 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It may be the largest conservation acquisition by a nonprofit in Pennsylvania history, a spokeswoman said.

In a deal finalized Wednesday, the Conservation Fund said its purchase will bridge Pennsylvania Game Commission lands and the Allegheny National Forest, while also securing the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Clarion River.

“We are in an entirely new era of private forest ownership in America,” Brian Dangler, vice president and director of the Conservation Fund’s Working Forest Fund, said in the news release. “The transfer of large, industrial-size forests is happening so quickly, we only have a very short window to protect these forested landscapes to ensure their ecological benefits and that they can remain the backbone of rural economies and traditional uses nationwide.”

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