Last year was fantastic and this year looks even better! By January 1, 2012 we had a schedule for the entire year: events, dates and everything! Scheduling for the whole year was a huge help for us last season. Everyone was able to plan for events well in advance. We’ve followed the same strategy this year with our 2013 schedule listed below and posted on-line.
Participating in outings and events in the places we care about is the bedrock of environmental advocacy. Our interaction with the places we use, enjoy, and love helps us as individuals become healthier on many levels (i.e., physically, spiritually, and emotionally), but it also helps us build and maintain our legal standing to protect our places through official comment, appeal, and litigation.
We had several new events in 2012 including, a winter backpacking camping trip in February, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in April, the Heartwood Forest Council in May, the Summer Solstice Synchronous Firefly outing in June, and the Allegheny River Tube Regatta in August. It was an extremely busy, but satisfying year! We’ll be repeating all of these events again this season along with a couple of new ones, and our annual Fall Gathering— which will celebrate its 20th year in 2013! February-March
Last year’s winter outing was beautiful, but a bit uncomfortable at 3am as the temperature dipped into the teens. We camped in a beautiful rock area near Tracy Ridge, which John Stoneman identified. The camping spot is only about a ¼ mile hike from the road and close to a high quality spring. We’ll camp in the same location this year during our March 23-24 weekend (it may be a little warmer than last year’s trip).
Last year we also conducted a natural spring identification and testing project for which we are currently seeking funding. We had an excellent turn out from Erie, Pittsburgh, Buffalo,and from the four county ANF region. The group mapped and tested eight springs during the one-day outing, finding most of the springs to be of fairly high quality (testing equipment was limited to a simple TDS meter). We initiated the testing project after efforts failed to get funding from the Allegheny National Forest Resource Advisory Committee. You can read more about the outing and the project on the ADP website.
Our first annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Earth Day 2012 was a great success last year due to the support, partnership, and work of the Pitt-Bradford Environmental Studies Club, Bradford Earth Day, Allegheny Outdoor Adventures, and all of the other national and local partners who made the event happen. Our national partners include the South Yuba River Citizens League, Patagonia, ClifBar, Sierra Nevada Beer, Osprey, and Mother Jones. This year we will hold the Bradford Film Festival on April 21st a Sunday, but also extend the event to a second day, April 22nd to share the films with area schools. You can read more about the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on-line at wildandscenicfilmfestival.org.
We are also organizing a second Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Pittsburgh with our new staff person Matt Peters taking the lead at that venue. We have yet to confirm a date, but it will likely be a summer evening event with tasty Sierra Nevada products served.
During the weekend of April 27-28, 2013 we will have a backpacking weekend on the North Country National Scenic Trail in the proposed Minister Creek Wilderness area (photo above). We will work with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) on some trail maintenance over the weekend.
Last year, ADP co-hosted the Heartwood Forest Council which was held in the Allegheny National Forest at Camp Olmsted near Warren, PA (see article by Matt Peters). This year the Heartwood Forest Council will be held over the Memorial Day weekend in western Kentucky. Mark your calendars and stay tuned to heartwood.org for details.
In June 2012, Synchronous Fireflies, Photinus carolinus, were confirmed on the Allegheny National Forest in the Kelletville area. The Fire Team, with research members from around the globe, spent two weeks in the woods, meadows, and streams of the Allegheny monitoring the beautiful late-evening firefly displays (see article by Matt Peters and download research report). This year our 2013 Solstice and Synchronous Firefly outing will be held in Kelletville during the weekend of June 21 to 23. The weekend will also initiate a new Kelletville tradition for firefly lovers, artists, local businesses, the USFS, and ANF recreationists: the first annual Firefly Festival! ADP will co-sponsor the event with other local groups. We are very excited to be part of this new celebration of our environment. Mark your calendars and stay tuned to alleghenydefense.org for details of the event.
Last year we celebrated our first annual Allegheny River Tube Regatta. (It was actually our second year for a tube regatta, but the first year became more of a hike than a float as we attempted to navigate Tionesta Creek in late summer 2011). We had a great time camping at Buckaloons and floating with about a dozen folks in various types of watercrafts. This year we are planning a two day float with an overnight camp along the way. The structure of the event will be very casual allowing for floaters to participate in one or two days, or just to join us for camping. We'll float in the Allegheny River again this year, but perhaps we'll choose a river section a bit farther downstream from Warren and its sewage treatment facility.
Last year's Annual Fall Gathering was held at the homestead of Bill and Mary Belitskus in Kane, PA. It was a different, but very successful setting for the gathering, which we typically hold in one of the ANF campgrounds. Bill and Mary's 25 acres sits near the edge of the ANF. We had a comfortable camp in the woodlot with a well-stocked bonfire, an outdoor stage with great music, and lots of speakers and discussions. We were also only a short hike away from our Forest Watch site, a Royal Dutch Shell Marcellus site in the ANF. This year will be our 20th Annual Fall Gathering! We'll hold the gathering at the Belitskus Homestead again, and look forward to the next 20 years with a focus on the restoration of our beautiful Allegheny.
Special thanks to all of our supporters (those who donate, volunteer, attend outings, and participate in on-line actions) for making our work possible! Special thanks to our organizational supporters including the Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club’s Huplits Wildlife Grants, Patagonia, Fund For Wild Nature, and Heartwood.
Spring Equinox Outing
Overnight backpacking trip in the Tracy Ridge area of the ANF
Minister Creek Backpacking and North Country National Scenic Trail Maintenance
Minister Creek Outing with Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the North Country Trail Association (NCTA). Backpacking Overnight Trail Maintenance Weekend
Heartwood Forest Council
Heartwood Forest Council in Kentucky. Workshop-Training, Forest Symposium.
Summer Solstice and Synchronous Fireflies Outing and Festival
A two day camping, hiking, and river float outing to educate volunteers on issues, enjoy the onset of Summer, and to document and celebrate Photinus carolinus and other firefly species in Kelletville and along the North Country National Scenic Trail
Second Annual Allegheny River Tube Regatta
ADP will host the second annual Inner-Tube Regatta on the Allegheny River. This year we will camp on the river during our two day sojourn.