Wildlands Conservancy announced in September 2020 the permanent protection of  187 acres situated in Salisbury and Upper Saucon Townships, Lehigh County. This recent acquisition establishes a new preserve for the Lehigh Valley, the third success of its kind for the organization inside of 2019-2020.

“This latest acquisition furthers our commitment to protect the fast-disappearing wonderful natural areas and open spaces our Lehigh Valley has to offer. Successes on this scale are the result of years of work, visionary investments, and legacy partnerships.” says Christopher Kocher, president of Wildlands.

In proximity to Wildland’s sought-after South Mountain Preserve (see map, left), the permanent protection of these 187 acres promotes healthy, unfragmented forests within an ever-urbanizing landscape, supports local water quality and quantity, and protects critical habitat for species of concern.

This latest acquisition is the third over the past 12 months that the land trust is forwarding to establish a new nature preserve in the Lehigh Valley. The two prior, which were permanently protected in summer 2019 and spring 2020 and 43+ acres and 34 acres respectively, are also within the South Mountain landscape.

All three properties, while protected in perpetuity, will require extensive efforts and investments to make them fully accessible destinations for public enjoyment.

“We are thrilled with the acquisition of our 14th  nature preserve and I am sure the community will celebrate this new addition with us.  But, it’s also important to use these celebratory moments to remind the community that Wildlands is in the forever business,” says Christopher Kocher, president of Wildlands Conservancy. “We need continued and committed contributions to ensure our open spaces are not just protected, but thrive with nature and through trails and public access, giving the community the opportunity to witness the beauty and awe of the natural world first-hand.”

Wildlands acknowledges the support of private donations and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for funding the acquisition these 187 acres from and in cooperation with a private landowner.