We've long thought that tourist promotion in this neck of Penn's Woods has frequently been fractured among political jurisdictions.
This is particularly true in promoting the Allegheny National Forest as an outdoor playground.
Splashed across four counties, the ANF is the only national forest land in Pennsylvania and one of the largest national forests east of the Mississippi.
Seldom do you hear people say they are going to trek through Hamilton County, N.Y. Rather, you hear them say they are going to the Adirondacks. A vacation in Nelson County, Va., could be nice, but a hike through the George Washington National Forest is what you would hear about.
Despite its multiple use as a focus of oil and gas production and timbering, the Allegheny National Forest remains Pennsylvania's best bet for secluded and semi-wild outdoor enjoyment with more than 8,000 of its nearly half-million acres as designated wilderness areas.
This month there will be meetings in two of those counties to discuss the development of the Allegheny as a "hotspot" for hiking enthusiasts.
Located almost equal distance from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo, the Allegheny is within two hours of drive time from several million people, and the mathematic certainty is that many thousands of those people would think nothing of spending a tank of gasoline to enjoy this natural resource.
The key is marketing, and experience has shown that from the Adirondacks to the Poconos, from the Everglades to the Big Sur, the draw is the natural resource and not the local political designations.