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Credit Army Corps for hearing feedback

In a win for wild places, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied plans for a proposed private resort on Hawn’s Peninsula at Raystown Lake. The final Raystown Lake Master Plan revision released on March 18 classifies Hawn’s Peninsula as an Environmentally Sensitive Area, thus leaving it wild and open to all for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation.

The Corps cited the impacts on fisheries and hunting among its reasons for preventing private commercial development of the public natural area. Additional factors included its designation as a Bat Conservation Area, its proximity to sensitive and rare shale barrens, and its designation as a Huntingdon County Natural Heritage Area with rare flora and fauna.

The Army Corps noted very strong grassroots opposition to the private resort development proposal during the year-long Master Plan comment period: “The proportion of public comments received specifically opposing the proposal to develop and/or reclassify the Hawn’s Bridge area was significant. This indicates that expressed public desires at this time do not support the reclassification to High Density Recreation.”

Many thanks to the Corps for its diligence in the extensive gathering of public input and scientific data that led to this designation.

Stan Kotala

Altoona

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