The Allegheny Valley Conservancy was formed in 2002 by a small group of conservation-minded people in Venango County. At that time, there was only one conservation easement in the area, and the group hoped to continue to protect the beautiful natural areas of the watersheds of French Creek and the Allegheny River.
The major tool of the Conservancy is the conservation easement, a voluntary legal agreement between the property owner and the Conservancy that specifies what activities may or may not occur on a particular property. These agreements may address such things as timbering, constructing buildings, drilling, farming and so on. Each property owner may make the determination about which of these rights will be placed into protection. Once a legal conservation easement has been negotiated, it is permanent and stays with the land even if it is sold.
The Allegheny Valley Conservancy will assist landowners in exploring appropriate means of preserving the natural value of their property; the land owner can retain ownership of the property but the easement will be held and enforced by the Conservancy. The Conservancy may also purchase property for its protection, or will accept ownership of the property through donation.
The Allegheny Valley Conservancy is governed by a Board of Directors, composed of regional people representing many professions, including environmental engineering, law, water quality experts, educators and leaders in trail development.
Representatives of the Allegheny Valley Conservancy will be happy to meet with interested parties in discussing the value of preserving and protecting the long-term beauty of the Allegheny Valley.