DCNR Designates Wild Plant Sanctuaries On Two Areas Of Lacawac Sanctuary In Poconos
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will designate two areas on the Lacawac Sanctuary in Lake Ariel, Wayne County, as Pennsylvania Wild Plant Sanctuaries. The areas include a natural boreal bog around Lake Lacawac and the Wallenpaupack Ledges Natural Area.
The ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on November 16, at the Coulter Visitors Center of Lacawac Sanctuary, 94 Sanctuary Road, in Salem Township. The public is welcome to attend.
Most of Pennsylvania's threatened and endangered plants are found on privately-owned land.
"The Wild Plant Sanctuary program is meant to encourage the conservation of natural areas and native plants, and to recognize private landowners who serve as models of good conservation and stewardship of these special resources," DCNR Secretary John Quigley said. "With strategies to conserve rare plants as part of its management plan, the Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation serves as a model for other landowners."
The natural boreal bog community surrounding Lake Lacawac is an undisturbed, relatively pollution-free wetland and is known to be habitat for at least nine plant species of concern. The 52-acre Lake Lacawac is the southernmost glacial lake in the northern hemisphere.
The Wallenpaupack Ledges Natural area is habitat for two plant species of concern and also contains some of the most spectacular lichen communities in the state.
The Ledges area was protected from development by Lacawac with the assistance of a grant through DCNR's Community Conservation Partnerships Program and with the participation of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy.
Both of these sites represent outstanding examples of the conservation of native plant communities through public awareness and stewardship.
"We are really pleased to receive this recognition today as it validates the work Lacawac does in bringing together the elements of environmental stewardship – education, research and preservation. For years we were known as an aquatic research station because of work done on Lake Lacawac, but those who visit Lacawac have long known that the terrestrial portion harbors some beautiful and exotic native plant colonies which we are pleased to protect and encompass in our education efforts," said Lacawac Executive Director Michael Peterson.
The mission of the non-profit Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation is to preserve Lake Lacawac, its watershed, the surrounding forest and historic structures, as well as to provide a venue for ecological research, scholarly interaction and the training of scientists; provide public education on environmental and conservation issues; and conserve open space in Pennsylvania.
The property is open to the public and includes educational programs, hiking trails, and historic buildings.
The Wild Plant Sanctuary Program was established through the Wild Resource Conservation Act of 1982 to establish a voluntary statewide network of native plant sanctuaries. Landowners agree to protect the area and educate others about the importance of native and wild plants and habitats. In return, they receive any needed assistance with developing a management plan and have access to technical assistance and ecological checkups.
For more information, visit DCNR's Wild Plant Sanctuary Program webpage or contact DCNR's Bureau of Forestry at 717-787-3444 or send email to: RA-PAPlandSanctuary@state.pa.us.
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