The Little Juniata River Association (LJRA) is pleased to announce that the Pemberton Quarry access to the river has been reopened for use after being posted for two years by New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company.

“It was a popular place for kayaks to get in and out, and for fishing,” said LJRA president Bill Anderson. LJRA worked with New Enterprise, owner of the parcel of property, to regain access for these activities.

Discussions were successful and, at this time, a one-year lease was given for people to be able to access the river from the location, which is off of Route 453 if traveling east, and making a left hand turn onto Pemberton Road, across from the right hand turn to Kettle Road towards Arch Spring. Anderson explained that about a half mile down Pemberton Road, there is a bridge and a bit down the road from that is a parking area and bridge that “people use heavily.”

For access to this spot, LJRA will pay the one-year lease between New Enterprise and the Fish and Boat Commission for the first year, while looking for a longer-term solution that might include grants, funds from the Commission, and donations. The lease was prepared by LJRA working with the Fish and Boat Commission, and is solely for public access for fishing and boating purposes, he reiterated.

The cost will be $5,000, with LJRA writing a check to New Enterprise to cover liability insurance for the access. Reportedly, New Enterprise’s attorney claimed there was a better chance to defeat any liability suit at the site by having it posted. LJRA, however, cannot absorb the cost to pay for future years.

Other options were discussed between the entities, including a donation of the property, or entering into an easement with the Fish and Boat Commission. New Enterprise was not interested in those options, and eventually opted for the lease.

“New Enterprise didn’t have to do this — they could have said no way. Instead, they offered us an option,” said Anderson. The lease is retroactively effective until November 22, 2020.

Walk-in access will also be permitted in Birmingham at Limestone Road at the right-side pulloff (if traveling east on Route 453) with cement barriers. “The lease includes use of that road for walk-in, which was prevented the past two years,” said Anderson.

Both areas do remain New Enterprise property, but there will be signs placed this winter noting where the access and parking is located. Discussion is expected to continue over the next 11 months to find a solution for future access at these locations.

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.

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