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ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting
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TOPIC: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 8 months ago #42200

huh,, go figure... i'm printing it out and tossing it in my pack if ever riding down there...

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 7 months ago #42604

Editorial in today's Bumkinville Times.

www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/559484/Our-opinion--On-the-trail-of-tourism.html?nav=5008

There are those who poo-poo tourism as an economic engine because the jobs created are generally lower-paying than those, say, in manufacturing or some other service industries.

But, those nay-sayers don't consider that every dollar spent in Warren County by a tourist is a dollar that is new to the local economy. This is not to say that we as a community should eschew opportunities in other areas and put all of our development efforts into the search for tourists.

However, in most instances the development of facilities and attractions that draw tourists also benefit those who already live here. Had a rough week at work? Take a hike or ride a bike.

Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways, the group of forward-looking individuals which has already provided some worthwhile and interesting outdoor opportunities for tourists and residents alike, is embarking on a bold and expansive project to make the Allegheny National Forest a mecca for mountain bikers.

Topographically, the ANF presents an almost perfect potential venue for non-motorized trail riders. Its hillsides can be challenging, but not impossible. It's views can be spectacular, particularly on the southern slope of the Kinzua Arm of the Allegheny Reservoir, where PKP envisions a trail system of almost 55 miles.

One has only to look at the crowds during the snowy season at the Art Roscoe Cross-Country Ski Area in New York State's Allegany State Park, just to our north, to appreciate the draw of a planned and well-maintained specialty trail system. A mountain bike trail system established at Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania is already drawing thousands of cyclists and generating more than a million dollars in additional tourist income.

PKP's idea is ambitious and will not be accomplished without a significant financial commitment; estimates are as much as $3 million. The trick will be to accomplish the project with government's blessing - it is Uncle Sam's property after all - but with a minimum of government money. That means that the great bulk of financing would come from public contributions.

While the proposal was launched less than a year ago, and a public appeal for support has yet to be announced, we hope to plant a seed in the collective imagination of a community to consider the possibilities that such a trail network offers.
This post is not approved by the WNYMBA forum posting approval signoff committee. My WNYMBA socks are in the warsh.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 7 months ago #42708

Info from todays local paper:

www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/559668.html

Economic issues at the state and federal levels are impacting a project in Warren County.

Joe Colosimo, a founding member of Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways, said the group is working on moving forward with a mountain bike trail system in the Allegheny National Forest. However, it has proven difficult to secure grant funding.

Part of the problem has been the fact each grant has its own rules, which make it prohibitive for groups of volunteers like those behind PKP. Classification systems could make the process easier, Colosimo said, so they would know which funds they aren't eligible for.

"We learned the lesson to check eligibility requirements," Colosimo said.

Money can be earmarked for different purposes ranging from non-motorized trails to heritage sites. After trying to navigate the maze, Colosimo said he can understand why some organizations have full-time grant writers.

Sometimes, Colosimo said, funding gets allocated for specific purposes. That money isn't made available for others even when nobody submits a grant.

PKP recently met with Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-5) to discuss grant eligibility. With the ANF being federal land, Colosimo said a lot of opportunities at the state level can't be applied.

As someone who works at a bank and also serves as an adjunct professor of economics, Colosimo said he understands how northwestern Pennsylvania would have a hard time growing economically through manufacturing because it lacks access to interstates and labor pools.

Tourism provides a different opportunity, Colosimo said, with Warren County standing out in that regard within the region. It has history surrounding the Allegheny Reservoir as well as engineering marvels which make the Kinzua Dam possible along with biological and ecological aspects.

Famous figures with connections to the area include Eleanor Roosevelt, Johnny Cash, George Washington and John Kennedy. Nothing around Kinzua tells those stories, Colosimo said, or explains how the dam was built on evacuated towns.

In order to capitalize, Colosimo said PKP is more than just a single project. It has implemented the Rimrock trail and the mountain bike trail is next.

"Raystown Lake has shown good trails have an economic impact," Colosimo said.

Trails in McKean County, the Elk Country Visitor Center and the Kinzua Sky Walk have shown the value of investing in tourism. When mountain bikers come to towns, Colosimo said, they stay and spend money.

Already, Colosimo said, PKP has spent $100,000 on the mountain bike trail project and is now at the point of going through an ANF environmental process.

ANF doesn't have the resources of money and manpower to move the project along. It could take $300,000 to $500,00 to hire a third party for the study, Colosimo said, but PKP is also looking at the option of having university students work on it as interns.

During the construction phase, Colosimo said another $2 million to $2.5 million will be spent for a total of $3 million on future expenses. Trail Solutions designed the trails and company representatives said after working in 38 states and 13 countries they had never seen a more beautiful opportunity.

When PKP met with State Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-65), Colosimo said they emphasized the value of a $3 million investment. It could generate a return of fivefold to sevenfold.

"In the current environment, we've been frustrated," Colosimo said. "Officials point out there's no money."

Federal debt looms at $16 trillion. This has been a result of costs, Colosimo said, and not investments.

Funds have not been used properly, Colosimo said, adding that he expresses to officials how the investment would benefit the community. Partnerships on the project have been fostered with mountain bikers, local businesses, the oil and gas industry and Friends of the Allegheny Wilderness.

"There are great health aspects as well as social ones with family and friends gathering to do something," Colosimo said.

As a result of PKP's outreach, Colosimo said representatives have offered positive feedback and letters of support. Still, they have been less willing to allocate funding.

Only six volunteers make up PKP and have found raising the necessary funds alone too complex. Although elected leaders are paid to fix the deficit, Colosimo said withholding investments isn't the answer.

Everyone believes their projects are best, Colosimo said, but PKP will take even a portion of the funding. He also sees Pennsylvania benefiting the most from the project even though it's on federal land.

"Congressman Thompson said he didn't want to borrow more from the Chinese by funding the trail," Colosimo said. "I don't hear that complaint when he's being paid."

If the government isn't meeting current expenses, Colosimo said that would include payroll. Freeing up $1 million to $3 million to invest would provide educational, social and health opportunities.

After thousands of hours and dollars spent, Colosimo said PKP is at the point where it needs $3 million and support letters won't get it done. Thompson did offer to support fundraising efforts.

"I asked if he wanted to buy a $3 million raffle ticket," Colosimo said. "Unfortunately, he couldn't do that."

In lieu of getting financial support for the project, Colosimo said he would at least like to see funding for the ANF or enough personnel there to conduct the study. Regardless, PKP has meetings scheduled with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to discuss students working on it.

Neither state nor federal government is being asked to shoulder the entire load. Instead, Colosimo said it could be a joint effort.

Mountain biking could fill a gap in the area. Events like Kwik Fill Kinzua Classic and Gran Fondo of the Alleghenies promote road cycling, Colosimo said, and there is also a large bicycle motocross contingent in the area.

"This could be the two-wheel capital of Northwest Pennsylvania," Colosimo said.

PKP will be launching a formal partnership with the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry. That group's President and CEO, Jim Decker, told Colosimo he sees the trails bringing a lot of events to the area.

Surrounding communities like Toronto, Buffalo and Ohio have some of the most underserved mountain biking populations in the country. Visitors from those places may not spend a week in Warren, Colosimo said, but the trails are designed so they can't be done in one day.

"If we build it, they will come," Colosimo said.
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Last Edit: 1 year, 7 months ago by fat guy.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 7 months ago #42709

After a weekend trip to Raystown Lake-Allegrippis Trails and Rothrock State Forest I'm convinced more than ever that a similar trail system will work here. At Raystown Lake there were multiple out of state vehicles either there for the day or weekend. The trail usage numbers for Raystown are amazing. A direct usage correlation to proposed Kinzua Trails would have a great benefit to the area.
No Goal, Wide Right, I'll just go ride my bike

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 7 months ago #42749

Hey, a new date of 2015 courtesy of those hard working college kids.

Based on the $500k figure, the federally employed bird counters are bringing home some bacon.

www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/559749.html
This post is not approved by the WNYMBA forum posting approval signoff committee. My WNYMBA socks are in the warsh.
Last Edit: 1 year, 7 months ago by fat guy.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43000

Its official, the NEPA study for the Jakes Rocks MTB trail project (SAREP) is CANCELLED.

www.fs.fed.us/sopa/components/reports/sopa-110919-2012-10.pdf

The good news is that all of the oil, gas, and timber projects and their associated 60 ft wide roadways are moving forward.

More good news is there will likely be some lucrative contracts to bid on to clean up all the IMBA $70,000 trail flagging in the woods. Some was taken care of with last summers controlled burn, but there's plenty left.

Mind boggling. You would think there would be an incredible outcry not only from all the donors of the $70k, but from IMBA and all their membership. But much like Sandusky and Penn State, I guess that would be negative publicity for ongoing IMBA projects, I suggest we just keep quiet and keep selling the Raystown dream.

This concludes this IMBA non-action alert.

Over and out.
This post is not approved by the WNYMBA forum posting approval signoff committee. My WNYMBA socks are in the warsh.
Last Edit: 1 year, 6 months ago by fat guy.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43001

Saw that they had no reason given. What is thier official reasoning behind cancellation?
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Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43003

Flood Judy Moyer's office with phone calls tomorrow and ask her.

Julie Moyer
814-363-6089
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
This post is not approved by the WNYMBA forum posting approval signoff committee. My WNYMBA socks are in the warsh.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43004

too pissed to comment.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43005

Bummer!

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43006

From the Facebook from a cyclist who is also President of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry:

" I believe you have misinterpreted this report. the project is moving forward in collaboration with pitt-bradford, clarion and indiana universities...perhaps not on the list of ANF specific projects. This is a live project and will continue as such"
This post is not approved by the WNYMBA forum posting approval signoff committee. My WNYMBA socks are in the warsh.
Last Edit: 1 year, 6 months ago by fat guy.

Re: ANF Jakes Rocks Meeting 1 year, 6 months ago #43008

there is still hope,, this is what I got from Julie Moyer this am.

Even though the Southern Allegheny Reservoir Enhancement Project was cancelled (due to the sheer size of the proposed actions and the lack of Forest Service personnel to adequately plan the project), the Jakes Rocks Epic Mountain Trail Project is still active.



PKP, Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, Warren Times Observer and the Forest Service are working with University of Pittsburgh @ Bradford, Clarion and Indiana Universities to provide student interns to complete the biological, botany and archaeological surveys the field season of 2013. Once those agreements with the universities are ratified, we will place the project on the SOPA (Schedule of Proposed Actions) list. PKP is still actively trying to raise funds to support the environmental analysis (NEPA) portion of the project which will most likely be completed through a private contractor.



We are all disappointed with the project delays, but lack of government appropriated funds, makes it necessary to work through partners to get projects completed and it definitely takes time.



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