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Bald Eagle State Forest eyes potential land donation

by on April 12, 2018 9:02 AM

HAINES TOWNSHIP — The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy plans to apply for funding for a grant to purchase land in Haines Township, south of Coburn in the Village of Ingleby, so it can donate the land to the Bald Eagle State Forest. 

The land currently is owned by Ridge Construction Company. It includes a 1-mile section of the abandoned Lewisburg-to-Tyrone rail grade, which currently is a gap in the ownership of the rail corridor. 

According to Michael Knoop, of the WPC, the rail corridor is key linkage between the Centre Region and the Susquehanna Valley and will also link both regions to the Mid-State Trail. 

Centre County director of planning Robert Jacobs said the 265-acre parcel contains a key component of potential trail system in Penns Valley, so securing the section is a step toward completing that. Jacobs also noted that Penn Creek is located on the property.

“It will provide additional access to trout fishing on that stretch of the stream to the Bald Eagle State Forest,” said Jacobs.

The Centre County commissioners submitted a formal letter of support so that the group can meet the grant expectations. The grant application asks that all county and community entities are in agreement with the intended application of the grant money, and that is why the letter is needed. 

The commissioners agreed to support the grant application, even though it was asked for at the last minute, because they agreed it was a worthy cause.

“This is an absolutely gorgeous area of the county. I have hiked in that area, I have biked in that area, I have driven my car up to Penns View several times. It is an absolutely beautiful section of the county,” Commissioner Mark Higgins said in support of the grant application.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a group that works to protect and restore exceptional places to provide the region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations.

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