FTTU Vital Now More Than Ever
Inside the Outdoors, February 22
, 2013

Hurricane Sandy’s recent visit reminds us that volunteer sportsmen’s conservation organizations are needed now as much as ever. Many of us remember the devastation Hurricane Agnes caused back in 1973, destroying homes and leaving a path of destruction all along the Loyalhanna Creek. That happened 40 years ago this year, coincidentally the 40th anniversary of the founding of Westmoreland County’s Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited. It was the reason the chapter was formed.

In their first decade in action, its members restored the creek as a trout fishery by protecting miles of stream banks from storm water erosion. They created the special Catch and Release Delayed Harvest section for the public to enjoy. Thankfully, a new generation of Trout Unlimited continually seems to step up to the plate. Today’s men and women from all over the county have joined forces to see to it that there is attention given to conservation watershed, making streams livable for aquatic life.

In order to carry out the various projects, funding is at a premium. Costs are soaring and financial needs become more and more outstanding each year. Thus, the organization depends on the up-and-coming-once-a-year campaign to provide subsidy for the 2013 projects lined up for the immediate future.

This year will be its 40th Anniversary Banquet held on Saturday, March 2, at the American Legion, Latrobe. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. General and bucket raffles will be available which will feature high quality prizes including framed art prints, rods, tackle and other outdoor items.

FTTU still offers the lowest admission costs to get in, $30. Tickets are available only at: The Angler’s Room, 333 Route 217, Latrobe, (724-537-0683); Ligonier Mountain Outfitters, 127 W. Main St., Ligonier, (724-238-4900); by mail to Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited – Attention Secretary, P.O. Box 370, Youngstown, PA 15696; or by attending the meeting, February 20, in the lower level of the Winnie Palmer Nature Center Reserve. Vice-President Scott Minster will be on hand to sell tickets. Checks should be made payable to: Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited.

Ticket deadline is Feb. 24. No tickets will be sold at the door. All proceeds will go toward conservation, restoration of resources and education, particularly of youth.

Make sure when ordering tickets, either in person or by mail, to specify whether one wants either stuffed chicken breast, or stuffed pork chop.

Right now, to put it mildly, help is needed, is a vital statement. Renovation and reconstruction of streams and their tributaries depends on public giving. To admire the beauty of the Laurel Highlands without supporting this very worthwhile organization of unselfish volunteers is allowing the environment to decay beyond further repair. If this is what one desires, so be it.

On the other hand, if conservation and restoration of resources is high on the list of priorities, then this is the time to act. Buy a ticket today and come to the American Legion, Ligonier St., Latrobe, knowing that one’s investment will go to a good cause and one’s conscience will be at peace.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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