Allegheny National Forest
The ANF is among the most beautiful areas of Pennsylvania and has a rich and spirited history.
The Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is Pennsylvania’s only National Forest, which is located in Forest, Elk, McKean and Warren counties. The ANF is among the most beautiful areas of Pennsylvania and has a rich and spirited history. During the 19th century, a great deal of deforestation took place in the ANF. Fortunately, the ANF has been re-grown in the last 100 years and is now one of the most diverse forests in the country. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture, the forest was established in 1923 and is more than a half million acres in size.
The ANF is special for many reasons. The forest is multi-use, meaning that it successfully combines forestry, recreation, tourism, timber harvesting, and energy production. I believe that all of these attributes offer a unique setting to benefit the entire Commonwealth. In the 115th Congress, I will continue to serve as a member of both the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees, which have jurisdiction over the U.S. Forest Service and policies governing our national forests.
I believe the following points are crucial to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the ANF:
Increase Recreation and Tourism: As a former healthcare professional and Boy Scout Leader, I encourage the many benefits of outdoor recreation and physical activity. In Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District, we are blessed with an abundance of lands that can cater to some of the best outdoor experiences in the state. The ANF offers year-round activities such as camping, fishing, boating, hiking, biking, ATVing and snowmobiling. As your Member of Congress, I will continue to advocate on behalf of expanded recreation and tourism throughout our region.
Continue Energy Production: In 1859, Colonel Edwin Drake drilled the world’s first commercial oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. As a result, northwestern PA played a critical role in American industrialization and the worldwide development of the petroleum industry. Due to the region’s history, the U.S National Park Service recognizes northwestern Pennsylvania as the Oil Region National Heritage Area.
With this history in mind, oil and gas production continues to be a major economic engine in the ANF and surrounding areas. However, unlike other national forests, some 93% of the mineral rights are owned by the private sector. Pennsylvania law guarantees that mineral owners are provided “reasonable access” to their property. As such, I will continue to support production in the ANF and the rights of mineral owners to access their property.
Increase Timber Harvesting: The ANF is home to the finest hardwood trees in the world; and consequently, timber has long been an important part of the economic engine in the Fifth District. Under longtime federal law, 25% of timber revenues generated on national forests are returned to the county of origin for essential public services. I remain concerned by the decreasing amounts of board feet that have been produced in the past two decades. In the 1980s, the ANF was producing around 90 million board feet (mbf) per year, whereas today it is closer to 43 mbf annually. Over the same period, timber volume has dropped system-wide from roughly 12 billion board feet (bbf) to 2.5 bbf in 2016.
I am also a strong proponent of using wood waste for the production of woody biomass. Using dead or decaying wood in the forest not only can be used to create alternative fuels, but must be part of a balanced forest management plan. A well-managed forest is much better off than an unmanaged one. Please know that I will continue to advocate for increased timber harvesting and for the timber industry.
Support the Forest Service: The Forest Service manages the ANF and does great additional work in research and development. I believe that it is essential for the forest to receive adequate funding in order to carry out these core functions. I am a strong advocate for the Service and for appropriate funding in order to support national forest regions and carry out the agency’s mission.
For more information concerning my work and views on the ANF or Forest Issues, please contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.