In conjunction with local townships and state and federal agencies, Heritage Conservancy recently facilitated the placement of a conservation easement on the 35.5-acre Seifert property, which is located on Martin’s Lane in Springfield Township, Bucks County, and Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County (the property crosses county lines). The property is located adjacent to other preserved lands within Heritage Conservancy’s Cooks Creek Lasting Landscape and is part of a larger contiguous protected viewscape.
An important distinction of the Seifert property, which made it an especially high priority for conservation, is that it contains portions of the forested headwater tributary of Cooks Creek. This is part of the Springfield Township Source Water Protection Area, which provides public drinking water directly to local residents.
The Seifert property also contains mostly mixed-age deciduous upland woodlands with an understory of both native woody and herbaceous vegetation, which provides essential habitat for wildlife to thrive. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry will hold the conservation easement. The acquisition of this conservation easement will safeguard the highly scenic forest and local drinking water sources from development. This high resource value conservation easement acquisition supports the stated goals of the Highlands Act, Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Initiative, and Bucks County Natural Areas Inventory.
Funding for this conservation easement was provided by Springfield Township and Lower Saucon Township with match funding from the Federal Highlands Conservation Act, which Congress appropriates annually under the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This federal funding indicates just how important the property’s preservation was on a national level.
David Seifert’s family has owned this property since his grandfather bought it in 1913. With so many memories, preserving it is like preserving a piece of his family’s history.
“My dad would say, ‘Are you going out back?’ And that question was literal. There is a trail that leads to the springs, which are on the edge of the property,” said Mr. Seifert. “I would walk back there and enjoy the view in any season. Walking in wintertime when the creek and waterfalls were frozen was an especially beautiful sight.”
It is an extraordinary property.
“Facilitating a conservation easement involves a great deal of navigating between agencies, and working at a national level added a layer of coordination challenges,” said Jeff Marshall, President of Heritage Conservancy. “We are proud of our dedicated staff for professionally and expertly bringing this distinguished preservation to fruition. It is truly a success for all of us to safeguard this public drinking water source.”
Mr. Seifert shared why he was happy to preserve his land. “When we see what is going on in the world with climate change, every little bit helps. I’ve been given an opportunity to make a difference, and this is something I can do for my community and for future generations.”
With David Seifert’s forward-thinking act, the local community’s drinking water source is now protected in perpetuity.