Alpine Property is Forever Protected

354 acres represent proposed location for controversial race track that will now never be

Alpine Property is Forever Protected

First-recorded Insect of Its Kind in PA

After the Alpine property was protected, 18-year-old Corey Husic, a Moravian Academy graduate now in his first year at Harvard, explored the area to spot resident wildlife, birds and insects.

He came upon the specimen pictured here, a Brook Snaketail dragonfly, the first ever to be documented in Pennsylvania.

brookIMG_8606

The species, found near high-quality streams, reiterates the ecological significance of the property.

Wildlands nominated Corey for the 2013 Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Emerging Environmental Leader Award and celebrated his formal receipt of this honor in October.

In May 2013, Wildlands Conservancy protected the Alpine property, one of the most significant conservation deals in our land trust’s history. The 354-acre tract of irreplaceable wildlife and wetland habitat is situated along The Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain) near the Appalachian Trail.

Over the past two years, Wildlands actively worked to purchase the property and transfer it to the Pa. Game Commission. This area is the 12-year proposed location for the controversial Alpine Rose Motorsports race track. The planned development of its three-mile course will now never be. Instead, the acquired acreage expands State Game Lands 168 and permanently preserves the conservation characteristics of this local, natural place for generations.

Dave Mitchell, land management group supervisor for the Pa. Game Commission says, “Wildlands’ role as a land trust is vital to permanently setting aside exceptional natural lands like the Alpine property. They are uniquely positioned to leverage the support needed beyond the Commission’s restricted spending. They ultimately facilitate the land’s protection, habitat for wildlife and
public usage.”

A local citizens group, catalyzed by Blue Mountain Preservation Association president Frank O’Donnell, together with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Lehigh Gap Nature
Center, championed the property’s protection for more than a decade prior and was instrumental in making the project possible.

“From the very start, we objected to the race track and it destroying our side of the mountain,” says Frank. “I wanted to call it quits many times. But in the end, thanks to the power of partnerships and Wildlands really working hard on the purchase, the land was preserved along with the pristine condition of the Aquashicola Creek that runs through it. The 12 years of hard work and many meetings have resulted in this final outcome, which is absolutely gratifying.”

Thanks to Our Project Partners

Palmerton Natural Reserve Trustee Council • Pa.Game Commission • Monroe County • Lehigh Gap Nature Center • Blue Mountain Preservation Association • Audubon Pennsylvania

Community Members Connect with What They Protect

In mid-July, to foster greater connections to our land protection work, we hosted 90+ friends, supporters and project partners for an educational hike and presentation on the newly protected Alpine property.