State Game Lands Add 260 Acres

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The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved three land management agenda items at its June meeting that will result in a gain of more than 260 acres for the agency's State Game Lands network.

"State Game Lands represent a tangible asset that hunters and trappers of this state can literally point to as a product of their license fees," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director. "In addition to the bountiful game and wildlife in our state, this is one more reason to view the price of a Pennsylvania hunting or furtaking license as a bargain."

The largest acquisition approved by the Board today was the purchase of 254 acres in Fawn Township, York County, from the Farm & Natural Land Trust of York County for $400 per acre, or a total of $101,600. The parcel will be designated State Game Land 327. Comprised mainly of forested habitat, this parcel will ensure public access to about a one-mile stretch of Muddy Creek.

"The Game Commission's ability to purchase and preserve lands for wildlife and for public hunting and trapping has always been limited by rising property values and, during certain tight financial times, the limited availability of agency funds," Ross said. "To be able to purchase this land in York County for $400 per acre is an extremely good opportunity for the Game Commission."

Also in York County, the Board approved a land exchange with Ski Roundtop Operating Corporation involving a license for an underground water line to convey water to ponds at Ski Roundtop along a boundary of State Game Land 242 in Warrington Township. There are no surface or forest damages related to the license on this strip of land amounting to 2.92 acres. Hunting and trapping will not be affected along this corridor. As a prepaid license fee for 10 years (at a rate of $600 per year), Ski Roundtop will convey a 15-acre tract to the Game Commission. The tract is comprised of wetlands and is adjacent to SGL 242, which currently contains 1,516 acres.

To improve public access to State Game Lands 71 in Union Township, Huntingdon County, the Board approved a land exchange with Anthony and Alison Alesi for one acre of SGL 71. In exchange, the Alesi's will convey to the agency a 1.6-acre parcel of land also in Union Township. The parcel includes a public access road that originally was thought to be part of the parcel of land acquired from U.S. Silica. By approving the exchange, the Board has eliminated the need to build a new access road. SGL 71 currently contains 4,122 acres.

Including today's actions, the Board has approved the acquisition of about 42,250 acres of State Game Lands since July 1, 1999, when the last license fee increase went into effect.