Board Approves Land Purchases In Five Counties; Board Approves Two Land Exchanges; Game Commission Reports On Notational Vote; Game Commission Reports On Tax Sale And Auction Purchases; Board Approves Settlement Of Land Dispute

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved five agenda items that will increase the size of State Game Lands (SGLs) in Lebanon, Erie, McKean, Centre and Perry counties.

In Lebanon County, the Board approved accepting a donation of three parcels amounting to 12 acres in South Lebanon Township, adjoining SGL 156, from Gary and Kathy Andrews of Lebanon.  The three parcels are undeveloped and are forested with mixed hardwoods with mountain laurel and blackberry in the understory.

"By donating these lands to become part of an existing game lands complex, the Andrews' overwhelming generosity has immediate benefits to all area sportsmen and wildlife," said Dennis Neideigh, Real Estate Division Chief for the Commission.

In Erie County, the Board has approved the purchase of 40 acres in Springfield Township that is an interior holding within SGL 314, from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC). The price is $41,912, of which $23,000 will be paid from the Game Fund and the remainder will be paid with funds from third party commitments for compensation of habitat and recreational losses which occurred on SGLs from previously approved projects. WPC is working in conjunction with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire the property through funding available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Joint Venture Habitat Restoration Protection Grant.

About 24 acres of the property are reverting old fields with woolgrass, staghorn sumac, silky dogwood and greenbrier; 13 acres are forested with northern hardwoods, predominately oak, red maple and ash; and the remaining three acres are in agricultural fields that are tillable in drier years.

The property is within an Important Bird Area and at least three species of special concern are on or near the property. A Conrail Railroad right-of-way bisects the property. There is a small section of a tributary to Turkey Creek on the property. Access into the property is from Township Road 473 (Lynch Road).

The Game Commission and WPC have mutually agreed that no use of the surface for oil and gas exploration, production, removal or sale will be allowed on the property.

In McKean County, the Board approved the purchase of 500 acres in Liberty Township, adjoining SGL 61, from Klondike Timber Resources, Inc.  The price is $400,000, and will be paid with funds from third party commitments for compensation of habitat and recreational losses which occurred on SGLs from previously approved projects.

The property has excellent regenerating northern hardwoods forest habitat with small natural openings. All timber, except conifers, is reserved until Jan. 1, 2015, during which the holder of the timber reservation will consult with the Game Commission with regard to the placement of any new roads and log landings and will revegetate and reseed new roads and log landings per Game Commission specifications.

The headwaters of Scaffold Lick Run are on the property and there is a wetland pond in the middle of the tract. There is access to the property from a deeded right-of-way 30-foot wide from Township Road T-408 (Strang Hollow Road).

In Centre County, the Board approved the purchase of 99 acres in Howard Township, an interior holding within SGL 323, from Joshua and Vivian First. The price is $315,000, and will be paid with escrowed funds from a prior land exchange on SGL 176 with the Pennsylvania State University. The transaction requires approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The property is adjacent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Foster Joseph Sayers Dam property and near Bald Eagle State Park. The property is made up of early successional forest. Access into the property is from a 15-foot and a 50-foot width right-of-way which leads to Old Route 220 (Township Road 663).

In Perry County, the Board approved the purchase of 46 acres in Miller Township, an interior holding within SGL 281, from the Estate of Earl F. Evans for $127,000, which will be paid from the Game Fund. The tract is forested with mixed northern hardwoods and an unnamed stream runs across the northern edge of the property, onto existing State Game Land and into the Juniata River. There is access from a 50-foot wide right-of-way from Township Road T-449.

BOARD APPROVES THREE LAND EXCHANGES

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approved three land exchanges impacting State Game Lands in Cambria, Washington and Lancaster counties.

In Cambria County, the Board has agreed to a land exchange with B & A Development Company to construct a road and parking lot for hunters and trappers on SGL 79 in Cambria Township, Cambria County. In the exchange, B & A Development Company acquires a 0.43 acre parcel from SGL 79 to increase the area behind their property and the Game Commission gains a 0.43 acre parcel from B & A Development Company to include road frontage along Township Road 450 (Allie Buck Road). This land exchange will allow for much needed access into a portion of SGL 79, which presently is inaccessible.

In Washington County, the Board has agreed to a land exchange with Williams Ohio Valley Midstream, LLC.  In the exchange, the Game Commission will receive 167 acres near SGL 302, West Finley Township, in lieu of habitat and surface damages for a right-of-way license that will allow Williams Ohio Valley Midstream the privilege of constructing a 12-inch gas pipeline across SGL 245, West Finley Township, Washington County. The property is forested with mixed hardwoods, and access is from Jackson Road. The pipeline will be on a right-of-way 75-foot wide with an additional 25-foot width for temporary construction area and will traverse about 5,340-foot through SGL 245 along with the use of a 4,500-foot existing roadway needed to construct and maintain the pipeline.

In Lancaster County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has agreed to transfer exclusive jurisdiction and control of a 2.688 acre indenture into SGL 46, in Elizabeth and Clay townships, Lancaster County. In exchange, PennDOT is proposing the creation of a State Game Land Bank for their District 8-0 service area to offset permanent impacts to existing SGLs from future highway projects. The property is forested with mixed hardwoods and Seglock Run flows the length of the property. Access is from both Laurel Drive to the north and Seglock Road.

GAME COMMISSION REPORTS ON NOTATIONAL VOTE

On Nov. 21, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners cast a 7-0 notational vote to purchase three tracts of land, totaling 3,031 acres in Elk and Cameron counties, from Carl and Estelle Clark and Harold and Connie Wolfinger, for $3 million  

Two tracts, a 982-acre tract and a 997.2-acre tract are in the City of Saint Marys, Elk County, and adjoin State Game Land (SGL) 293. The third, a 1,052-acre tract in Shippen Township, Cameron County, adjoins Elk State Forest. The $3 million purchase price was paid with funds from third party commitments for compensation of habitat and recreational losses which occurred on SGLs from previously approved projects.

The property is predominately forested with mixed hardwoods and harbors Little Clear Creek, Seeley Hollow Run, and several other clean water tributaries and associated riparian corridors. The sellers are reserving on the Cameron County 1,052-acre tract, all timber, not to include conifers, birch and beech upon the land with the right to cut and remove said timber until Jan. 1, 2019.

In order to secure this acquisition, the purchase had to be finalized before Dec. 31, which required a notational vote.

GAME COMMISSION REPORTS ON TAX SALE AND AUCTION PURCHASES

Utilizing authority given by the Board of Game Commissioners to protect the integrity of State Game Lands (SGLs), Pennsylvania Game Commission staff recently acquired the mineral rights on two tracts within SGL 108 in Reade and Dean townships, Cambria County.

On August 17, the Game Commission was the successful bidder at a tax sale held at the Cambria County Courthouse, and purchased 104 acres of "C" coal seam for $5,000 (parcel number 04-049-034.000); and 240 acres of all minerals except the "C" coal seam for $1,200 (parcel number 09-020-002.000).

BOARD APPROVES SETTLEMENT OF LAND DISPUTE

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved a proposed settlement of a dispute with Michael Endress.  As part of the settlement, the Game Commission will quitclaim 17 acres, to Mr. Endress in return for a quitclaim from Mr. Endress with regard to 190 acres in Reade Township, Cambria County, which is an interior holding within SGL 158. 

A Quiet Title action has been filed by the Game Commission against Mr. Endress. Mr. Endress has proposed a land exchange to settle the dispute and vest full title in 190 acres of land to the Game Commission. This settlement will entail the granting to Mr. Endress of 17 acres.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to: PGCNews@pa.gov

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission



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http://www.pgc.state.pa.us

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