An Environmental Stewardship Fund investment helped protect 2,500 acres of forested land in western Adams County, a region that has lost a significant amount of open space in recent years. The property, known as Glatfelter Tree Farm #1, was added to the Michaux State Forest. In addition to providing ample outdoor recreation opportunities, the forest supplies water for numerous local municipalities.
“The Glatfelter Tree Farm is a vast and wild tract in an area currently under intense development pressure from residents migrating from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.,” said Governor Ed Rendell. “The investment helped conserve the headwaters of two high quality, cold-water streams and a vast network of woodland trails, and make them available to the public for recreation and enjoyment.”
The Conservation Fund built a coalition of partners to make the work possible, including federal partners, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Adams County, townships and boroughs throughout the region, nonprofits such as the Land Conservancy of Adams County and The Nature Conservancy, and local citizens.
Current zoning for the property would have allowed 500 homes on the site if it was developed.
“This is a watershed that extends to the Chesapeake Bay, a buffer to the Appalachian Trail corridor, and a part of the 400,000-acre South Mountain landscape. It’s a fragile environment that deserves protection,” former DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “There are many partners on this project and we are happy to be able to help them meet the vision they have for their community.”
“Folks expressed interest in purchasing this property for conservation—we felt compelled to act,” said Todd McNew, Pennsylvania representative for The Conservation Fund. “This grant represents a milestone. It was the first piece of funding needed to ensure that we are able to permanently protect this land. We are deeply graceful for this investment.”