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Enhance Penn’s Woods initiative results in 1,700-acre addition to Buchanan State Forest
DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti has announced that the department will add more than 1,700 acres to Buchanan State Forest with the acquisition of the Hardwoods Trail tract in Cumberland Valley Township, Bedford County.

This project is part of Enhance Penn’s Woods—a two-year, more than $200 million initiative launched by Governor Tom Corbett to repair and improve Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.

“Hardwood Trails connects two previously disparate parcels of state forest land, providing connectivity of important ridge habitat that promotes enhanced recreational opportunities, improved public access and the conservation of important ecological features,” DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. "DCNR staff work tirelessly each day to protect our public lands and ensure our visitors have a meaningful and enjoyable experience. We thank Governor Corbett for giving us the tools to be better stewards of the parks and forested entrusted to us.”

The acquisition lies near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, and connects with Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland. It protects headwater streams and a municipal water supply.

The property is entirely forested and lies along the Evitts Mountain ridge. It is part of the watershed for Evitts Creek, Lake Gordon and Lake Koon.

The property has rocky outcrops, both gentle and steep slopes and old logging roads that can be used for hikes into the property. There are also several vernal pools on the property, which provide uncommon habitat for amphibians and host several rare plants.

The state invested about $1 million to purchase the land. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy facilitated the purchase.

DCNR compensates local governments on an annual basis as payment-in-lieu of taxes for public lands. This is meant to replace taxes that would have been generated if these land holdings were in private ownership.

For information on the Buchanan State Forest, or any of Pennsylvania’s 20 state forest districts, go here. For more information on Enhance Penn’s Woods choose the icon on the homepage.

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July 23, 2014

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