Groups team up to plant trees in national forest

The Warren-based non-profit organization Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) teamed up today with the U.S. Forest Service, and inmates from FCI McKean to plant 200 white pine (Pinus strobus) trees in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

Last week’s planting took place at three specific sites as part of ongoing cooperative ecological restoration work between FAW and the agency:

– At the head of an abandoned road near the North Country National Scenic Trail in the proposed Minister Valley Wilderness.

-At the head of an abandoned road leading from the Hearts Content Campground into the Hickory Creek Wilderness. FAW and the ANF have been working to restore this site since 2001.

– At the head of an abandoned road at the Hickory Creek Wilderness trailhead. FAW and the ANF have been working to restore this site since 2006.

The objective of this restoration work is ultimately to for all intents and purposes erase from the landscape all evidence that there were ever roads present, and to help prevent illegal non-conforming uses in these wild areas such as by motorized and mechanized vehicles.

FAW spokesman Kirk Johnson said the group will continue to advocate for and contribute significant staff and volunteer time, resources, and labor to road closure, obliteration, and rehabilitation at numerous sites within areas delineated in its Citizens’ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest.

The trees used in the planting were donated by the U.S. Forest Service as part of their ANF-wide reforestation program.