March 1, 2010
By Cathy Pedler, Forest Watch Coordinator
It has been an incredible few years on the Allegheny. We have been operating in high gear, putting our resources into litigation, press releases, file reviews, public comment, and continued on-the-ground monitoring. Forest Plan Revision, assault by the oil and gas industry, the initiation of stewardship contracting, an almost complete turnover in ANF Forest Service staff (3 changes of the Forest Service Supervisor), the Forest Service’s gutting of the recreational use of the ANF, and five lawsuits have been keeping us busy. Our board of directors and, until recently, our lone staff member, Ryan Talbott, have continued to hold accountable the Forest Service, and the extractive industries the FS serves.
In the fall of 2009, we reorganized ADP making Ryan the ADP Executive Director, I left the board of directors to join Ryan on staff as the ADP Forest Watch Coordinator, and we brought on Megan Rulli, as our Outreach Coordinator. Some of you may remember Megan who served in that position a few years back before she left the region to become an organic farmer. Bill Belitskus continues to be our truly fearless leader as president of the ADP board, and has served as our primary on-the-ground monitor since 2005. Karen-Wood Campbell continues to serve on the board as treasurer and takes care of all of ADP’s financial matters. Tom Buchele, continues to serve on the ADP board sharing his invaluable legal insights. Jim Kleissler, is now on the ADP Board of Directors and serves in the PA Sierra Club Allegheny Group as Public Lands Chair. Tim Reim, remains our anchor in Erie, PA where he stays active in social and environmental justice issues. Barbara Songer, also continues on the board of directors and continues to be a consistent presence and voice at public meetings and in public comment. ADP added new board member, Randy Fransico, in the fall of 2009.