‘High quality scenery’

Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area has some good friends

Photo submitted to Times Observer Members of KTA, FAW, the Butler Outdoor Club, the Pennsylvania North Country Trail Association, and the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail Association recently teamed up in a “Trail Stewardship Blitz” in the proposed Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest. Pictured are some of the volunteers that took part in the event.

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) recently teamed up with the Harrisburg-based Keystone Trails Association (KTA) and others in a trail stewardship blitz.

The groups cleared virtually the entire hiking-only trail system in the 9,700-acre proposed Tracy Ridge Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest. This area includes more than nine miles of the widely cherished North Country National Scenic Trail.

The FAW says this was a focused event that KTA formally terms a “Trail Care Weekend,”. This was the first ever KTA Trail Care Weekend here in the Allegheny National Forest.

The Allegheny National Forest Draft Land and Resource Management Plan drafted in 2006 describes Tracy Ridge as an area of “high-quality scenery.”

“There are few places in the Forest that offer as high-quality scenery, natural integrity and wide-scale ecosystem function as Tracy Ridge,” the plan says. “The presence of a significant old tree component enhances the scenic quality of the area for potential wilderness. Tracy Ridge has high potential to provide the wilderness attributes and values appropriate for wilderness designation.”

Members of KTA, FAW, the Butler Outdoor Club, the Pennsylvania North Country Trail Association, and the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail Association all participated in the event. The event started first thing Friday morning, and the group of volunteers only grew as the weekend went on.

Freinds of the Allegheny Wilderness can be reached by email at info@pawild.org, by phone at (814) 730-3629, or online at http://www.pawild.org.

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