The Master Plan for Salisbury Walking Purchase Park (referred to as Lehigh Mountain Park in the report, and may be the park's future name?) has been in development for several years. Throughout that time the Master Plan was never fully completed or approved for a variety of reasons. Recently the Master Plan was brought back to life and has been updated by Wildlands Conservancy, Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, PA DCNR, and others. VMB's understanding is that the report is essentially complete at this time, and is in Wildlands Conservancy's hands - whatever that means. We also understand that public hearings on the Master Plan should be occurring in the near future, and following public input it will be put up for approval. We do not have more specific details at this time in terms of the Master Plan's status.
VMB was recently given a copy of the latest Master Plan from Salisbury Township. It is attached (all the pictures had to be removed so I could get the file size within our website's limit - sorry) Lehigh Mountain Park Master Plan - CONDENSED.doc (505 KB). The Sals Trail Committee reviewed the report and sent comments back on portions of the report that affect the existing, and potential future, trails in the park. Attached is a copy of the comments we sent to the government and land management officials that have been involved in the Master Plan Lehigh Mountain Park Master Plan Reply.pdf (152.95 KB).
There are some issues identified in the report that MAY require VMB to modify some of the trails in the park. The two biggest issues for our trails are: private property encroachment, and trails crossing through an area of seeps. The attached map sals trails.jpg (187.29 KB) shows both of those issues and the report explains the importance of the seeps much better than I can summarize here. I want to stress that VMB has a very positive relationship with Cynthia Sopka (Salisbury Township Zoning and Planning) and Tom Gettings (Wildlands Conservancy), and many other officials. The issues identified in the Master Plan will require VMB to continue working with government and land management officials to fully clarify where the issues are and what the potential solutions are.
We feel it is important for all VMB members to be aware of this since Sals is so important to our membership. Updates on the Master Plan’s status, and our discussions with the park officials will continue to be posted on the website as we go forward.