The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape Partnership is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded $9,928,571 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The funds will support the partnership’s work to target the long-term protection of farmland and forests in the Kittatinny Ridge landscape that falls within Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The partnership is comprised of The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Fort Indiantown Gap, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) , Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Manada Conservancy and Berks Nature.
The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape partners brought $38 million in matching contributions as part of the application for the award.
“It is so fitting that the designation of Pennsylvania’s eighth and newest conservation landscape stems from the Lenni-Lenape naming of ‘the endless mountain,’ for the value of Kittatinny Ridge is seemingly endless,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Within this truly unique landscape one can find so much: unbroken forests and other wildlife habitat; watershed protection; a major migratory flyway for hundreds of raptor and other bird species; and inclusion of an Appalachian Trail segment. All contained in the in most climate resilient landscape in Pennsylvania. Our sincere congratulations to the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape Partnership for this historic accomplishment!”
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. “This award is testament to the power of the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, said Lori Brennan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “With this significant investment in conservation along the Kittatinny Ridge, future generations will benefit from the protection of this extremely important migratory highway for birds and animals,” Brennan said.
This project will support the purchase of conservation and agricultural easements to protect farmland and forestland along the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, a 185-mile wildlife corridor.
“Species in this globally significant landscape depend on the Kittatinny Ridge’s forests and agricultural lands in the valley below for nesting, feeding, and migratory stopover habitat,” said Greg Goldman, executive director of Audubon Pennsylvania. “As the External Lead for the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, we are delighted about the infusion of RCPP funding that will help protect land that is critical for birds and other wildlife, safeguard Pennsylvania’s most climate resilient landscape, provide clean water for millions of people, and continue to draw bird watching and dark skies enthusiasts from around the world,” Goldman said.