June 24, 2013
The owners of Small Mountain Quarry near Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, have agreed to preserve 400 acres of land in exchange for permission to mine an additional 184 acres, Standard Speaker reported.
Pennsy Supply of Harrisburg, which owns the quarry, entered the agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and donated development rights to the North Branch Land Trust.
After discovering the endangered Indiana bat within 10 miles of the quarry, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set a requirement for the company to conserve more than 2 acres for every 1 acre mined.
Pennsy Supply agreed to conserve 100 acres around a trout stream in Dorrance and another 300 acres where the Wanamie Dam and a brook trout stream are located in Newport Township.
The company also drafted a plan to control erosion and keep land disturbances away from the trout stream.
Paul Lumia, executive director for the North Branch Land Trust, said the 300-acre piece of land contains caves that could be used as homes for the endangered bats.
The agreement allows for Small Mountain to mine a total of 316 acres, including the land it had previously been permitted to use.