The final phase of utility land transfers from Brookfield Renewable to the Lancaster County Conservancy began in January 2018. The energy company is donating approximately 500 acres of forested land in the River Hills section of the Susquehanna Riverlands to the Conservancy; the Conservancy will leverage the donations as matches to public funding in order to preserve additional land in the Riverlands it would otherwise be unable to protect.
The Conservancy is working closely with Brookfield to subdivide the properties before they are transferred. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) boundary transects most of these properties, and Brookfield must retain the land inside the FERC boundary. Together, Brookfield and the Conservancy are trying to draw the lines in a way that allows the Conservancy to acquire as much land as possible for permanent preservation.
Known as the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape, this decade-long project was conceived by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Conservation Fund in the 1990s. The Conservancy started working with Brookfield in 2016, and the company has been an integral partner in the Conservancy’s efforts to preserve the Susquehanna Riverlands.
These properties represent some of the most beautiful acres in the Riverlands. Spread across Lancaster and York Counties, each tract contains critical water resources. Beautiful wooded streams flow through them, and recreation opportunities abound. In Lancaster, the Conestoga Trail connects many of these properties; across the river in York, the Mason Dixon Trail similarly connects the tracts.