Category: News

Bradford Ranger District Accepting Comments on Project Proposals

Bradford Ranger District Accepting Comments on Project Proposals

“The USDA Forest Service – Allegheny National Forest is currently reviewing five project proposals and are accepting public comment on them.

An initial screening of these projects did not identify any significant individual or cumulative environmental impact; therefore, project impacts will likely be documented through a categorical exclusion.

Project Details:

1.    Bradford Ranger District Building Decommissioning: There are four sites that have buildings identified for demolition/decommissioning:  Hall Estate, McLaughlin Estate, Birdsall Edey and Kiasutha Recreation Area. The Hall Estate is located on SR 62, approximately three miles south of Tidioute. The site consists of vacant buildings, including a residence, garage, and other outbuildings. The McLaughlin Estate is located on SR 666 south of the Henry’s Mills Bridge. The site includes a vacant residence and an outbuilding. The former Birdsall Edey Girl Scout Camp includes abandoned pit toilets and a water building that will be decommissioned. Also included in this batch are two restrooms located in the Kiasutha Day Use Area – the restrooms have been closed for a number of years. 

2.    Morrison Trail Improvements: This project would build two new trail links on the Morrison Trail.  Link “A” is a 1.8 mile loop on the existing Rimrock Trail portion of the system. Link “B” is a 1.6 mile trail connecting Kinzua Beach to the Morrison Trail System.

3.    North Country Trail Shelter at Chappel Bay: The Allegheny Chapter of the North Country National Scenic Trail Association has proposed an Adirondack-style shelter approximately 1 mile north/west of the Chappel Bay Trailhead on State Route 321. 

4.    State Road 666 Dispersed Camping Management: This project will limit vehicle access to dispersed campsites along SR 666 near Henry’s Mill. The sites will remain open – vehicle access will be limited.  

5.    Temporary Road for Oil and Gas Well Plugging: Aiello Brothers Oil and Gas, Inc. has requested a special use permit for a temporary road to access some of their oil wells. The temporary road will utilize an existing corridor off of Forest Road 310. The road will be approximately 520 feet long with an average width of 16 feet. No merchantable timber will be cut for the temporary road’s construction. 

For projects one through four, comments are most helpful if received by June 30, 2019. 

For project five, comments are most helpful if received by May 24, 2019.

For more information on the projects or to submit a comment, please contact Bradford District Ranger Richard Hatfield at Richard.Hatfield@usda.gov or (814) 363-6098.”

Information provided by Allegheny National Forest

Loleta Camp Ground Public Water System

Loleta Camp Ground Public Water System


The public water system for the Loleta Recreation Area (campground and day use area) in the Allegheny National Forest is currently non-operational due to issues with the distribution lines. These issues were recently discovered during the annual seasonal start-up for the system.

The USDA Forest Service is in the process of contracting the work to resolve the issues with the water system. Once the water system has been repaired and service is reopened to the campground and day use area a public notice will be sent out.

The camp ground will remain open for camping and day use activities; however, the swimming area and pond are currently closed to the public until they can be dredged and reopened. We are working to resolve this issue, as well.

We will keep the public informed as these issues are resolved.”

Information provided by Allegheny National Forest

USFS Accepting Natural Resource Project Proposals for Title II Funds

USFS Accepting Natural Resource Project Proposals for Title II Funds

The USDA Forest Service is accepting proposals that are seeking funds for local natural resource projects through the Allegheny Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).

“The public is encouraged to propose projects designed to improve Forest Service-managed lands and the rural economies of local counties,” stated Designated Federal Official Rich Hatfield. 

Funding is provided for counties through Title II funds of the Secure Rural Schools Act, which was re-authorized by Congress in 2018. Approximately $200,000 of Title II funds are available for new projects in Forest County. 

For this round of projects, only proposals in Forest County will be accepted. 

To be considered for funding, completed project applications must be received by July 12, 2019.  The RAC will work closely with the Forest Service to review and recommend project proposals.

Hatfield said, “We look forward to working with the RAC to identify and implement projects that will provide long term benefits to the local communities as well as to public resources.”

Projects that benefit fish, wildlife, soils, watersheds and other resources; that maintain roads, trails, and other existing infrastructure; obliterate unneeded roads; or control noxious weeds, will be considered. To qualify for Title II funding, RAC projects must be located on National Forest System Lands in Forest County or on other nearby lands if the project will benefit the resources on the National Forest.

The Forest Service is accepting applications on behalf of the RAC. Please call (814) 363-6098, or email RAC Designated Federal Official, Rich Hatfield at Richard.Hatfield@usda.gov with questions or to have project proposal forms sent to you.

Projects can be completed by Forest Service personnel, through partnership agreements or by open-bid contracting with individuals and corporations. Project proposals not approved previously may be resubmitted.

The RAC will review projects for possible funding during a meeting in the fall of 2019. The public is welcome to attend the RAC meetings.

Additional information about the Secure Rural Schools Act Title II funds and Resource Advisory Committees may be found on the following website:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs

Proposals will only be accepted through July 12, 2019.”

Information Provided by Allegheny National Forest News Release

Apply Electronically for Goose Blind Hunts

Apply Electronically for Goose Blind Hunts

Goose hunters in the 2018-19 license year again must apply online or in person to enter the drawing to hunt from goose blinds at Middle Creek and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Areas.

Applicants can apply online by visiting the Goose Blind Application link on the Waterfowl Hunting and Conservation page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Those who do not have internet access can fill out the electronic application in person at the following locations:

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center

100 Museum Road

Stevens, PA 17578

Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest Regional Office

1509 Pittsburgh Road

Franklin, PA 16323

Pennsylvania Game Commission Headquarters

2001 Elmerton Ave.

Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797

An individual may apply to only one area per year. The electronic application must contain the applicant’s 2018-19 hunting license Customer Identification Number (CID). Applications are not accepted by telephone or through U.S. Mail.

Applications will be accepted electronically through Sept. 1.

Public drawings are scheduled to be held Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitor Center and Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area to select applicants to hunt from goose blinds in those areas.

 

This information has been provided by Pennsylvania Game Commission News Release

Army Corps of Engineers increasing water outflow

Army Corps of Engineers increasing water outflow

May 15, 2018- Due to a large amount of rain in the county over the weekend, the Kinzua Dam is increasing outflow over the next couple of days.  The outflow began to increase Monday morning at 9 a.m. and would continue until around 3 p.m.  The river level increased from 3,000 CFS (cubic feet per second) to 10,000 CFS.  One CFS is almost the volume of a basketball.  The water level is to continue for the next few days with the level possibly reaching 13,000 CFS.

Allegheny National Forest Districts to Accept Local Youth Conservation Corps Applications

Allegheny National Forest Districts to Accept Local Youth Conservation Corps Applications

Warren, Pa. (April 13, 2018) – The Allegheny National Forest is now accepting applications for the 2018 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program on the Bradford and Marienville Districts. This unique youth employment program provides an opportunity for young men and women to work and learn new skills while participating in projects that enhance the development and conservation of our nation’s natural resources.

The 2018 YCC program will tentatively begin June 11 and last for eight weeks. Applicants must be 15 to 18 years of age; enrollees must be 15 by June 11, 2018, and cannot turn 19 during the program. A total of 10 youth will be hired for two five-member crews, one for each District Office. The crews will work Monday through Friday.

Crew members will perform natural resource-based projects throughout the Allegheny National Forest. Enrollees will find the work difficult at times, but also extremely rewarding as they learn teamwork, techniques of proper hand tool use, and what it takes to be successful in the workforce.  It is also a great opportunity for the crews to learn how the Forest Service manages public lands. The enrollees will also participate in educational field trips.

Applications are available at any of the three Forest Service Offices and on the web at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/allegheny/home/?cid=FSEPRD576498.  Warren, Forest, Elk and McKean County High School Guidance Counselors should also have applications available for students. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than April 19, 2018. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Lori Elmquist at 814-728-6286.

Office Closing

Office Closing

The City of Warren Building and Permit Department will be closed all day on April 4 so staff may attend a training symposium in Pittsburgh.  The office will re-open on April 5.

Select Allegheny National Forest ATV Trails to Open February 9th

Select Allegheny National Forest ATV Trails to Open February 9th

Warren, Pa. (February 9, 2018) – The Timberline and Rocky Gap ATV/OHM trails on the Allegheny National Forest will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 9, 2018. Additionally, Allegheny Snowmobile Connector Trail #12 (McCray’s Pond) will be opened for snowmobile use only. All other motorized trails (Willow Creek and Marienville ATV/OHM trails and the Penoke Off-Highway Motorcycle trail) remain closed until Friday, May 25, 2018.

Riding the ATV/OHM trails requires a permit, which can be purchased at any of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) offices or any authorized vendor. The list of vendors can be found on the Allegheny’s website. The 2018 ATV/OHM and trail bike permits cost $10 for a day permit or $35 for an annual permit. Applications can be obtained at any ANF office or by going online: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/allegheny/home  and clicking on the Passes and Permits link.

The ATV/OHM trails will remain open until temperatures and/or trail conditions no longer support winter use. This includes sustained warming temperatures, evidence of damage to the trail surface, and/or unsafe icing conditions. Similarly, Allegheny Snowmobile Connector Trail #12 (McCray’s Pond) will remain open until trail conditions do not permit safe use of that segment. The ANF will evaluate the ATV/OHM and Allegheny Snowmobile Trail #12 trail conditions weekly and will send out a media release and post information on the web when access changes-please check access conditions prior to use.

Users should employ caution when on any of the trails, as many are open for multiple uses, and you may encounter vehicles, groomers, snowshoers, and skiers at any time.

For more information about recreational activities on the ANF:

Park officials suspend camping at Elk County recreation area for 2018

Park officials suspend camping at Elk County recreation area for 2018

WILCOX – Months after the sewage system at Twin Lakes Recreation Area in Elk County was shut off due to lack of funding, officials with Allegheny National Forest have announced that camping will not be available at the facility this year.

“This is not a decision to close Twin Lakes, but for 2018, the ANF does not have the funding or means to address deficiencies with the wastewater treatment system that led to the early closure of the site in September 2017, or the lingering issues with other facilities that support camping at Twin Lakes,” said Marienville District Ranger Rob Fallon.

Fallon did say that day use of the facilities will still be available.

Officials said appropriated funding has dropped over the past decade, with an additional drop of 12 percent since 2015.

The lack of funding has meant park officials don’t have the means necessary to address maintenance for facilities, and has also caused a reduction of staff. Officials said that despite the decision to close camping actives for 2018, it does not mean they will close it permanently.

Park officials will be having two open houses for the community to gather their input for the site.

The first meeting is being held Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and the second is Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. Both meetings will take place at the Jones Township Municipal Building at 320 Faries Street.

wjac.com

Tracy Ridge Shared Use Trails Project Draft Decision Withdrawn

Tracy Ridge Shared Use Trails Project Draft Decision Withdrawn

Tracy Ridge Shared Use Trails Project Draft Decision Withdrawn

Warren, Pa. (January 26, 2018) – Allegheny National Forest Supervisor Sherry Tune announced today her decision to withdraw the July 27, 2017, draft Decision Notice for the Tracy Ridge Shared Use Trails and Forest Plan Amendment Project.  The Tracy Ridge Shared Use Trails Project proposed to convert a 12.5-mile section of the 34-mile trail system from hiking only to shared-use (open to bicycles and hikers).

In withdrawing the decision, Tune said “I understand the interest in re-vitalizing the Tracy Ridge Trail System and I greatly appreciate the offer from local mountain bike groups to assist the Forest with the maintenance of this system.  At this time, I feel the best course of action for the Forest is to place a pause on the project while we gather additional input and ideas from local user groups.”  In addition, Tune said that other priorities on the Forest have come to the forefront and have stretched Forest resources, “We are being asked to focus our efforts on timber volume and the number of acres treated as national priorities.” The Forest also faces threats in the form of insects and disease, with Supervisor Tune noting the importance of focusing staff time on these emerging forest health issues. Tune added that she plans to continue engaging local user groups on the maintenance needs and opportunities for shared use of the trail system, as well as how we move forward with the project in the future.

The Tracy Ridge area of the Allegheny National Forest is located approximately 15 miles west of Bradford, PA.  The area includes 34 miles of trail (including approximately 10 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail) and a campground.

Let’s Stay in Touch!

Warren County Visitors Bureau                dave@wcvb.net
22045 Route 6
Warren, PA 16365
814-726-1222
800-624-7802

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