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ClearWater Conservancy Purchases Musser Gap, Centre County
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The ClearWater Conservancy this week announced the purchase of the 423-acre Musser Gap for natural resource conservation from a private landowner who had planned to develop the property.

In early 2007, Musser Gap will be incorporated into Rothrock State Forest, providing public access to its impressive network of trails.

Musser Gap is part of the Tussey Mountain Important Bird Area, as designated by Pennsylvania Audubon and is adjacent to the Rothrock State Forest and Stone Mountain Important Bird Area, and is also within the one-year zone of contribution of the State College Borough Water Authority’s Harter and Thomas well fields, which supply drinking water to approximately 38,000 residents of the Centre Region.

Conserving Musser Gap protects vital water resources, important wildlife species, and treasured recreational opportunities for future generations. Mountain gaps serve as primary contributors to groundwater recharge in the Spring Creek Watershed. Additionally, any contamination introduced through these mountain gaps would quickly reach the groundwater aquifers that they feed.

Tussey Mountain is a noted flyway for spring-migrating raptors. Each year the Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch records the highest number of spring-migrating golden eagles east of the Mississippi. The mature and largely-unfragmented deciduous forest also provides important habitat for nesting forest-interior Neotropical migratory birds.

The Conservancy extended a special thanks to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the State College Borough Water Authority, the Townships of Ferguson, Harris, Patton, College, and Halfmoon, the Borough of State College, and the Huplits Foundation for the significant financial contributions that made this land acquisition project possible.

To donate ClearWater’s Land Conservation Program, which made the protection of Musser Gap a reality, the Conservancy has launched a $250,000 Campaign for Conservation.

According to Walt Ebaugh, volunteer campaign chair, “our Campaign for Conservation will raise the money we need take on the next large land conservation projects in the places that matter most in central Pennsylvania.”

Other current conservation initiatives include the Scotia Barrens, the Spring Creek corridor, and several specific conservation easements on lands with important natural resource values.

To contribute to the Campaign for Conservation, please make checks payable to ClearWater Conservancy, 2555 North Atherton Street, State College, PA 16803. Visit the ClearWater Conservancy website for more information

NewsClip: Conservancy Secures Musser Gap


8/11/2006

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