Pennsylvania announces 1.9 million acre conservation designation around Fort Indiantown Gap, Letterkenny Army Depot

(WHTM) – Nearly two million acres surrounding Fort Indiantown Gap and Letterkenny Army Depot are now considered a Sentinel Landscape.

A Sentinel Landscape is an area “where conservation, working lands, and national defense interests converge” with at least one “high-value military installation or range” along with high-priority lands for multiple federal agencies.

The area, known as the Kittatinny Ride Sentinel Landscape, will now be recognized as a corridor for military readiness and biodiversity.

Most of the land is privately owned while federal, state, and local governments own about 17% of the landscape. Government and private organizations will be able to work with willing landowners and managers “to advance sustainable, mutually beneficial land-use practices around military installations.”

The DCNR says the designation will “strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources, bolster agricultural and forestry economies, increase public access to outdoor recreation, and enhance resilience to climate change”

“Fort Indiantown Gap is home to the Pennsylvania National Guard and serves as one of the most active training centers for the National Guard and our armed forces — and the Sentinel Landscape designation cements its status as a critically important area for our national security,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “My Administration is grateful for the support of our federal partners in protecting Kittatinny Ridge and the surrounding land and ensuring it will be sustained for years to come. Not only does this designation help strengthen our national defense, but it will also ensure we can continue to preserve our natural resources, encourage outdoor recreation, and support Pennsylvania farmers.”

There are now 18 Sentinel Landscapes across the country.

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