FTTU Receives Grant
Inside the Outdoors, April 28,
2017

The Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited (FTTU) is proud to announce it has received a 2017 Dominion Watershed Mini Grant for organizational promotion of its trout stream conservation programs and projects, and for outreach to the public through its Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Program.

Trout Unlimited (TU) is America’s largest conservation organization. Westmoreland County’s Forbes Trail Chapter has been bringing TU’s brand of watershed conservation to the Laurel Highlands for more than 40 years. Its mission is to preserve, protect and restore coldwater streams and their watersheds. Accomplishing its mission not only requires conservation projects, but engaging more and more citizens, civic groups and businesses in its mission through organization promotion and outreach.

The Laurel Highlands Trout Trail (LHTT) was created to promote tourism to the Laurel Highlands and engage Laurel Highlands residents and businesses in preserving, protecting and restoring trout streams that are so important to our quality of life and to the economic prosperity of the area’s region.

Successes of the LHTT include competitive selection of one of Eastern USA’s Ten Special Places (EUSATSP) and expansion of the Trout Trail concept statewide by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. To access the website of the EUSATSP, one may link onto: http://tu.org/special-places/laurel-highlands.

The Dominion Foundation that is dedicated to the economic, physical, provides financial support for this grant and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies.

Professional support for the grant is provided by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in commitment to its core mission of conserving Pennsylvania’s diverse ecosystems through science-based strategy, leadership and collaboration.

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From that noted website above comes this announcement. We have a threat to the Laurel Highlands. “Natural resource extraction is not new to the Laurel Highlands. Coal mining’s legacy lingers. After decades of restoration work by anglers and conservation groups, may of the region’s streams are on the road to recovery from pollution caused by coal mining. Today, the energy industry is seeking to develop gas resources that lie beneath some of the few remaining hunting and fishing lands in southwest Pennsylvania – premier recreation areas for hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

“Ohiopyle State Park, Forbes State Forest and other state parks, forests, and game lands within the Laurel Highlands region sit atop some of the southwest Pennsylvania’s shale gas areas.

“Among the many impacts of the shale gas drilling of Pennsylvania streams, impacts from road sedimentation is often the most pronounced in steep terrain, such as the Laurel Highlands. Careful planning must be required to limit the amount of forest land converted for well pads and associated infrastructure and the total miles of roads that are constructed.”


- Paul J. Volkmann
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