the beauty with others in an ecologically friendly and controlled way," he continued. "We initially thought about developing it into 10- to 15-acre lots, selling it off and allowing people to have their own little paradise.

"I didn't really like that idea," he continued. "I like the idea of keeping the land in one piece."

He thought that if he developed the 426 acres into 20 to 40 parcels, at least several dozen acres of trees would be cut down to make way for houses, driveways, septic systems and roads. It could progress to an extreme, as is happening on with clear cutting at the top of Flagstaff Mountain, where large areas have been cleared to create retention ponds necessary for controlling runoff from the mountainous site.

The Dietrichs investigated various ways to protect Bear Creek Falls from development. "We are working to get a conservation easement through the Natural Resources Conservation Service," he noted.

"We looked at recreation-type businesses that would work," he continued. "We came up with the idea that a canopy tour would be a good fit." He investigated starting his own canopy tour business, but decided that he did not have the expertise.

While Dietrich was investigating the possibility of starting a canopy tour business at his Bear Creek Falls parcel, Navitat, a canopy tour business operator, was looking to start an operation in the Pocono Mountains.

(Continued next Saturday in Part 2 - Understanding Navatat)