National wildlife refuge in the Poconos

December 24, 2008 5:36:18 AM PST
The Poconos' scenic Cherry Valley is among the most pristine natural habitats in Pennsylvania, and the federal government has taken a step to keep it that way.

Officials on Tuesday announced the creation of a $76 million, 20,466-acre national wildlife refuge in Cherry Valley in Monroe County.

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge is only the third such refuge in the state.

The designation means the region will get federal money to conserve the valley.

Cherry Valley begins at Route 33 in Saylorsburg, where streams and springs filter off the ridge to form Cherry Creek.

From there, the waters snake through southern Monroe County, supplying wetlands and small lakes before flowing into the Delaware River just north of the Delaware Water Gap.