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EPA and American Rivers Announce Preservation of 135 Acres of Forestland in Adams County, Pa

Release Date: 04/19/2013
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith smith.bonnie@epa.gov (215) 814-5543

BIGLERVILLE, Pa. (April 19, 2013) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers today announced that the Land Conservancy of Adams County will permanently preserve 135 acres of forest through a conservation easement on lands owned by Boyer Nurseries and Orchards in Biglerville, Pa.

This land preservation was made possible through a $250,000 EPA grant with matching funds coming from the Adams County Green Space Program.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin and American Rivers Senior Vice President for Conservation Chris Williams were joined by U.S. Representative Scott Perry, Adams County Commissioners' Chairman Randy Phiel, and Land Conservancy President Norma Calhoun. The announcement was made at the Boyer Nurseries and Orchards.

"EPA is pleased to play a part in the permanent preservation of 135 acres that include the headwaters of Marsh Creek," said EPA Regional Administration Shawn M. Garvin. “Headwater streams trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide fish and wildlife habitat. This vast network of unknown, unnamed and underappreciated streams, make up the very foundation of our nation’s great rivers.”

Under a cooperative agreement with EPA, American Rivers is implementing the environmental grant program which supports local economies and quality of life improvements in the Potomac Highlands. The program also supports efforts to protect the Highlands' valuable ecosystems, some of which host the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth.

“We congratulate the Land Conservancy of Adams County on their hard work protecting the headwaters of Marsh Creek. The impact of their efforts will reach far and wide, from restoring wildlife to improving Gettysburg’s drinking water supply to reviving the health of the Potomac River downstream,” said Chris Williams, Senior Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers. “We hope this project inspires other communities and can be replicated across the region and the nation.”

The 135 acres in Adams County is located in the Marsh Creek Watershed which drains into the Monocacy River and flows into the Potomac River through the nation's capitol and into the Chesapeake Bay. The region's streams and forests are a rich habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants, many being rare and unique. The appeal of the region's beauty and character makes the Highlands an increasingly popular recreation and tourism destination.

American Rivers is a leading organization working to protect and restore the nation's rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America's Most Endangered Rivers . Headquartered in Washington, D.C., American Rivers has offices across the country.

Since 1994, the Land Conservancy of Adams County has worked to preserve land for agricultural, open space, historical, scenic, recreational, wildlife habitat, hydrologic, and ecological purposes. It currently holds 120 easements covering more than 7,000 acres.

Property owners do not give up ownership of their land. A conservation easement, which is permanent, is recorded in the Office of Recorder of Deeds and is attached to the property’s deed so that all future owners will be aware of the conditions of land use when they receive a title report.

For more information on EPA's strategy for restoration and protection of EPA Highlands Action Program, go to www.epa.gov/reg3esd1/highlands-plan.html

For more information about the grant recipients, go to www.americanrivers.org/potomachighlands.