The newly created CVNWR has added a 90 acre tract in Ross Township, Pennsylvania. This property was purchased by US Fish & Wildlife in late 2012. It is in the valley between Blue Mountain and Chestnut Ridge. The land is a mixture of mature oak and hickory forest, with some hemlocks on a steep slope that drains into wetlands and the Aquashicola Creek. This slope is mostly free of invasive plants, and has many cold water seeps to feed the stream. The adjoining wetlands are in private ownership, and they are part of a NRCS easement for habitat restoration.
With these easements and the new CVNWR addition, nearly a mile of the stream has been given an excellent level of protection. This is part of the stream we are petitioning to redesignate to Exceptional Value (please click on Petition on our home page). The habitat restoration work is completed on some sections, and ongoing for the remaining parts.
This newest purchase is added to approximately 200 acres that is already part of the refuge. That parcel is located near Cherry Valley Winery, and there are several trails constructed for public use. US Fish and Wildlife has done some work on invasive species control, removing Japanese Knotweed and Barberry. The same sort of control is expected on the newest acquisition.As of February, 2017, an additional 250 acres has been added to the area of the Moreton Tract. A 70 acre parcel next to the Moreton property was added in late 2016, as was the former Newswanger Christmas Tree Farm at ~ 175 acres. This is a great addition to the CVNWR, as all the properties are connected. The properties run from Chestnut Ridge, across Aquashicola Creek, and continue up Kittatinny Ridge to join State Gamelands 168 and the Appalachian Trail.
More to follow soon-