GOWANDA, N.Y. (AP) — A land preservation group has acquired 612 acres of forest in the Zoar Valley, an area of deep gorges in southwestern New York.

The Nature Conservancy says the purchase was made possible through a collaboration between a private landowner, the conservancy and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Zoar Valley, 40 miles from Buffalo, features old growth forest, streams and cliffs rising 400 feet from the gorge floor. It's a popular recreation area for hiking, canoeing and steelhead fishing.

The newly acquired property was sold by Herbert Darling Jr. to the conservancy last month. It's adjacent to Nature Conservancy protected lands and the state-owned Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area and East Otto State Forest.

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