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Friday, December 12, 2008

Allegheny National Forest Receives Friend of the Trail Award

Friend of the Trail Award Presentation
L-R:K. Klos of the NCTA chapter w/ ANF employees:
J.Langianese, R.Fallon, J.Vanselow,
L.Marten, T.Scardina, and R.Wetherell
from the USDA Forest Service "Success Stories" used with permission, by Lori Elmquist, Nov 11, 2008

The Allegheny National Forest (ANF) received a Friend of the Trail award from the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) for its leadership, partnership and staunch support of the North Country National Scenic Trail. At the annual NCTA conference Keith Klos, NCTA ANF chapter president, accepted the award on behalf of the Forest.

Klos later presented ANF Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten, Bradford District Ranger Tony Scardina and Marienville District Ranger Rob Fallon each with a clear diamond shaped award for their offices.

Karen Klos, ANF Chapter Organizer, nominated the Forest for the Friend of the Trail award.

"I nominated the ANF for the award, because of its employees' cooperative, positive and helpful attitudes, without their help we couldn't accomplish nearly as much as we have," Klos said.

The North Country Trail (NCT) is 4,600 miles long and travels through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. Of the 300 miles in Pennsylvania, approximately 96 are within the Forest boundary. The ANF Chapter, one of four NCTA Chapters in Pennsylvania, is responsible for building, maintaining and promoting the ANF section of the Trail. All of the NCT work is done by volunteers.

The ANF works closely with the Chapter to organize and provide volunteers to complete work on the Trail. This past summer, District Ranger Rob Fallon recruited a Student Conservation Association group to work on the Forest. The 10 high school students from the Pittsburgh and Boston area completed 2,791 linear feet of trail clearing, 100 feet of bench construction, 160 feet of puncheon construction and the construction of three rock culverts.

Spring fire season on the ANF turned rainy, so the Bear Paw Fire Crew from Montana that came to help with fire suppression used their time to clear almost a mile of trail.

"These men had great attitudes as well as excellent teamwork and safety standards," said Klos.

The ANF NCTA chapter also awarded a certificate of appreciation to ANF Recreation Manager Robert Wetherell for his continued sawyer training support. Wetherell initially pulled together the Trail's saw use policy. He also holds sawyer training at the NCTA's annual conference and twice throughout the year on Forest for various volunteer groups.

The Klos's said that they value the unique working relationship between their organization and the Forest.

"The ANF deserved the award, earned the award and needed the award to know how much we appreciate their help," Klos explained.

Each year the 96 miles of NCT within the Forest brings numerous visitors to the area. These visitors will continue to enjoy a premier footpath through the Allegheny National Forest thanks to the hard work and cooperation of the ANF and the ANF NCTA chapter.

1 comment:

Rj said...

Congratulations to Keith and the entire staff of the Allegheny National Forest. I appreciate the work required to maintain this trail.