Marking another milestone in its effort to conserve key natural resource areas, the State of Delaware has completed the purchase of 339 acres of Sussex County forestland that will now be part of the 12,400-acre Redden State Forest near Georgetown.
The purchase from the Huff and Sposato families marks the latest phase of the multi-year Green Horizons Project to protect working forests, water quality, and wildlife habitat in key environmental regions on the Delmarva Peninsula. The U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program provided 75 percent of the funding and the Delaware Open Space Program contributed 25 percent.
"Preserving Delaware's open space is important to maintaining Delaware's quality of life," said Governor Jack Markell. "We are preserving precious real estate for generations to come."
"This forestland represents a permanent legacy for current and future generations of Delawareans who will enjoy free public access to its scenic natural beauty through a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and wildlife observation," said State Forestry Administrator Michael A. Valenti. "We would also like to thank the Sposato and Huff families for the willingness to offer their land to ensure the conservation of our vital forests."
"Our families are very excited that the property will become part of Redden State Forest," said Richard M. Huff, one of the family members.
Located east of U.S. 113 between Ellendale and Georgetown, the new acreage will provide a valuable wildlife corridor that connects with existing tracts of Redden State Forest. The newly-acquired land will be sustainably managed by the Delaware Forest Service for multiple objectives including wildlife habitat, timber production, and improved water quality, and will be open for recreational uses such as hunting and hiking.
"Thanks to the invaluable assistance of our partners, Delaware has reached another landmark in achieving our goal of protecting these valuable forests before they are converted to other uses," Valenti said.