Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
BY P.J. REILLY, Staff Writer
Two tracts of state game lands in Lancaster County grew this week.
A total of about 15 acres were added by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to state game lands 156 and 46, both of which straddle the Lancaster-Lebanon county line in the Furnace Hills north of Lititz.
They might not be the largest additions that the agency has made to its network of public hunting properties across the state, but here in the densely-populated southeast, any growth is critical, according to Bruce Metz, the Game Commission's land-management supervisor for the southeast region.
"They are getting harder and harder to come by," he said.
And neither addition, which were approved by the Board of Game Commissioners at their winter meeting Tuesday, cost the Game Commission a penny.
Gary L. and Kathy S. Andrews of Lebanon donated to the agency three pieces of property totaling about 12 acres in South Lebanon Township.
The forested tracts with mixed hardwoods all sit to the west of Pumping Station Road, just north of the Lancaster County line, adjacent to State Game Land 156.
SGL 156 covers 5,195 acres in Penn and Elizabeth townships in Lancaster County, and South Lebanon and Heidelberg townships in Lebanon County.
The second addition is a 3-acre tract in Clay and Elizabeth townships, which PennDOT donated to the Game Commission.
The property sits along Seglock Road at its intersection with Laurel Drive in SGL 46, which covers 6,254 acres in Clay and West Cocalico townships in Lancaster County and in Heidelberg Township.
Metz said this acquisition was critical because it filled in a gap in the game lands boundary, and because it encompasses wetlands along Segloch Run.
Adding the tract means the Game Commission now owns all the land on the south side of Laurel Drive at Seglock Road.
"Any time we can even out our boundaries like that, it's good," Metz said. "Someone tried to put a house there a couple years ago, and, with safety zones, that could have meant a 15-acre impact to our game lands."
Hunting with firearms is not permitted within 150 yards of any occupied building in Pennsylvania -- even if the land within that safety zone is open to public hunting.
Keeping the potential for development off that property also will benefit Segloch Run, which is considered Class A wild trout water by the state Fish and Boat Commission. That's the agency's highest classification for coldwater streams, and affords them the highest level of protection from contamination.
"Protecting those wetlands along the Segloch is a huge benefit to the stream," Metz said.
Continued from 1