The ultimate goal of this campaign is to encourage responsible use of the ANF by educating the public on recreational opportunities and how to take advantage of them in a sustainable way. By working with local outfitters and guides, promoting forest recreation at public events and festivals and greeting folks on the trail, our Recreation campaign gets word directly to the people.
The Allegheny National Forest is the largest block of public forest land in western Pennsylvania. As such, a wide array of recreation opportunities should be emphasized to attract outdoor recreation enthusiasts while protecting soil and water resources. Unfortunately, the Forest Service's singular agenda of turning the Allegheny into a destination for ATV's ignores these other recreation opportunities in exchange for increased noise, erosion and sedimentation.
Recreation threatened by Industrial Extraction:
The ANF Forest Service recently warned the public that “those seeking a more remote and less developed recreation experience could be displaced to other State or National Forests where remote, semi-primitive settings and experiences are more readily available.” This suggests that the Forest Service does not consider the Allegheny to be a recreation forest. The Allegheny Defense Project disagrees - the ANF is within a day's drive of 1/3 of the United States population. Although the ANF is coined "The Land of Many Uses," this multiplicity has been used by the Forest Service to favor industrial extraction and environmental abuse at the expense of the passive recreational value of the forest.
It is unacceptable for the Forest Service to simply tell visitors to go somewhere else if they want a remote and less developed recreation experience. This is Pennsylvania's only national forest. The Forest Service's policy on recreation is not in concert with federal law or with Governor Rendell's Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative.
Allegheny Wild! A Citizen Vision For the Allegheny National Forest, defines a balance of priorities, values, and uses. This publically supported vision phases out industrial practices such as clearcutting and oil & gas drilling to provide improved recreation opportunities and scenic management. Allegheny Wild! Over 200 miles of new hiking, bicycle, cross-country ski and horse trails are proposed.