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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 19-70



Acquisition of Land to be Acquired by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the Purpose of Resolving Multiple Land and Water Conservation Fund Conversions

[49 Pa.B. 284]
[Saturday, January 19, 2019]

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Department) Acquisition of Strawbridge Property

 In partnership with the Conservation Fund, the Department is planning to acquire a 987-acre property, referred to as the Strawbridge Property (Property), situated in Elk, Franklin and New London Townships, Chester County. The Strawbridge Property is comprised of seven parcels (Chester County Tax Parcel Nos. 70-5-6, 70-5-7, 70-5-8, 71-4-32.3, 72-6-1, 72-6-4 and 72-6-10). A majority of the Property is currently utilized for farming with the remainder consisting of undeveloped woodland.

 The Property is bounded by Lewisville/Strickersville Road to the south, Chesterville Road to the west, residential properties and a portion of Walker Road to the north, and agricultural land and residential properties to the east. The Property is adjacent to the Department's White Clay Creek Preserve and will provide passive recreation such as hiking, hunting and wildlife watching. The Property will be maintained by the Department's Bureau of State Parks. No recreational facilities are proposed to be developed at this time.

 Goals in acquiring the Property include the conservation of extensive and diverse critical natural resources and the resolution of multiple Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) conversions. The Property includes more than 7 miles of Big Elk Creek and its tributaries, important forested riparian buffers along them, over 353 acres of mature and young woodlands, over 145 acres of floodplain, 668 acres of prime farmland soils and soils of Statewide importance, and moderate and steep slopes. The Property also contains habitat for various threatened and endangered plant and animal species. The Property represents a critical resource in a rapidly developing area of southeastern Pennsylvania.

 The Department owns and oversees lands encumbered, in part, by the National Park Service LWCF program. In accordance with the restrictions and requirements set forth in section 200301 of the LWCF (54 U.S.C.A. § 200301(f)(3)), the Department is required to provide replacement lands for portions of formerly funded LWCF sites that are converted from recreational to nonrecreational use. The replacement land must meet or exceed both the acreage and appraised value of the land being converted.

 The National Park Service has determined that the Property is eligible for acquisition and for the potential resolution of multiple LWCF conversions throughout this Commonwealth. The Department will work with the National Park Service after the Property is acquired to complete the conversion process for the individual property conversions identified in the Environmental Assessment document which is being published for public review.

 The Department will acquire the Property from the Conservation Fund and place the LWCF restrictive covenant in the Property deed, to read as follows:

 This property, or interest in property, was acquired by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (''Department'') to comply with the conversion provisions under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, 54 U.S.C. §§ 200301 et seq. (''Act''), provided through the National Park Service. This property, or any portion of it, may not be converted to purposes other than those authorized under the Act. No change of use and no transfer of ownership, control, or interest in this property may occur, and no encumbrance may be placed on this property, without the written consent of the Department or its successor. The restriction in this paragraph applies to both the surface and subsurface of the property. This restriction has the effect of a covenant running in perpetuity with the land and is binding upon the owner(s) of the property and upon all subsequent owners, successors, and assigns. This restriction is enforceable by the Department and its successors.

 The DCNR will have five (5) consecutive years to resolve conversions with the excess value and recreational usefulness established as part of the Property acquisition.

Review and Comment:

 As part of the National Park Service requirements, an Environmental Assessment of the Property has been completed and is available for review and comment.

 The Environmental Assessment will be available for review from January 19, 2019, until March 4, 2019, at the Department's web site at

 Questions or comments on this proposal should be forwarded to Thomas Ford, Director, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, 400 Market Street, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2301 or Comments must be received within 45 days following publication of this notice.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-70. Filed for public inspection January 18, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]

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