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Lewistown, Pennsylvania

160 Acres | March 18, 1997
Bonnie and William Snedeker
Conservation Easement

The Ort Valley Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1997 when Bonnie and William Snedeker donated a conservation easement to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.  The 160-acre property is now permanently protected from expansive development and destructive logging practices.  Recreational and commercial hunting and trapping will forever be prohibited there.

Bonnie Snedeker told us, “Our corner of the world may seem of small significance to those focused on the vast problems of diminishing rainforest, endangered species, and rampant pollution, but if we are to preserve our planet, it seems that each of us must act responsibly toward this end, whether we own a modest-sized plot or a 1,000-acre tract.”  And we couldn’t agree more.

This peaceful, wooded property was rescued from almost certain development when the Snedekers purchased it over thirty years ago. They felt it should be preserved for wildlife and have done exactly that, both in treating it as a wildlife sanctuary and in ensuring its permanent protection. Throughout their long and pleasant association with the land, the Snedekers have enjoyed the comings and goings of several herds of deer.

Songbirds, raptors, black bear, and other wildlife also depend upon the Snedeker property as a safe haven. Once in a while, the Snedekers even hear a bobcat call -- a voice that habitat fragmentation has all but silenced in some areas.

Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

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