By BEN KLEIN
The Foundation for Sustainable Forests has purchased 85 acres of forested land along Caldwell Creek in Southwest Township.
Photo submitted for publication
Free from development
The Foundation for Sustainable Forests recently purchased 85 acres of forested land in Southwest Township, which is shown on the map outlined in yellow. The red tracts represent 700 acres of promised bequests to the FSF.
The acquisition is the second in a year for the Spartansburg-based land trust and forestry advocacy organization that purchased 50.7 acres of land in Spring Creek Township last December.
"The parcel increases the foundation's footprint along Caldwell Creek, an important and popular Class A trout fishery, to nearly 800 acres," said John Bartlett, the foundation's director. "In addition to the recent purchase, the foundation has committed bequests and/or agreements for approximately 700 acres around the stream."
Caldwell Creek is a catch and release Class A trout fishery and the purchase will ensure the area is open to the public, Bartlett said.
"Ownership of the land by the foundation ensures it will forever remain forested, free from development and managed to the highest ecological standards, thereby protecting the stream in perpetuity," Bartlett said.
"This is exciting to us," Tom Savko, president of the Caldwell Creek Chapter, Trout Unlimited, said. "This is a prime trout stream in Northwest Pennsylvania enjoyed by many and an extremely valuable resource that should be protected for future generations. It is exciting to see the foundation doing that."
The foundation's long-term goal will prevent the property from development and through proper management will ensure that future timber harvests are ecologically sound.
Bartlett said horse logging, as opposed to machinery, is typically used to remove trees from the forest during a harvest to prevent scrapping against trees and rutting the soil.
"Everything we do is to minimize impact," he said. "That's the key to really good logging practices...what remains is important if not moreso than what you are taking out."
The purchase was financed through a loan with the intention of raising funds in the community and elsewhere to take care of the debt, Bartlett said.
"In the end we will have just about 800 acres in the main Caldwell corridor forever protected and still managed as working forests," he said.