Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge

On December 23, 2008 Congressmen Paul Kanjorski and Charles Dent announced the establishment of the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge encompassing 20,466 acres in Monroe County. The announcement came after the completion of the Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment which was required as part of the Congressionally approved Cherry Valley National Wildlife Study Act of 2006. The legislation was enacted in response to a petition by the Friends of Cherry Valley advocating for refuge establishment and was endorsed by community leaders and local elected officials in the County.

The designation of a National Wildlife Refuge was approved by both the Regional and National Directors of the FWS and is only the third in Pennsylvania. The refuge will assist in protecting the important habitat of many species that are threatened and will also give conservation-minded landowners the additional option that has been needed to assist them in preserving their land as a legacy for future generations.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) completed the Cherry Valley study in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and many other organizations, including the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Game Commission, National Park Service, Monroe County Planning Commission, Monroe County Conservation District, Northampton Community College, East Stroudsburg University and the Pocono Avian Research Center.
The approval was a result of broad support from area residents, conservation agencies, non-profit environmental groups and political representatives. It established a boundary for the refuge, encompassing up to 20,466 acres, in which the Service may negotiate with willing sellers for purchase of habitat-rich lands or conservation easements. The establishment of a national wildlife refuge places no additional restrictions on existing landowners within or adjacent to its approved boundary. Interested, willing landowners would be eligible to sell or donate land in fee or conservation easement to the Service.