Casey Urges Forest Service to Solve Snowmobile Trail Dispute in Allegheny National Forest

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on the United States Forest Service to continue seeking solutions to a right-of-way dispute that will leave a 23 mile section of the Allegheny Snowmobile Loop (ASL) off limits when the trails open on December 17.

“My constituents have expressed concern that businesses in the affected area which depend upon the patronage of snowmobile enthusiasts will suffer due to this closure,” Senator Casey wrote in a letter to the United States Forest Service. “Due to these potential negative effects, I request that the Forest Service examine other possible route alternatives that might currently exist and continue such alternative-seeking efforts in the future.”

In the letter sent today to Allegheny National Forest Supervisor Leanne Marten, Senator Casey thanks the Forest Service for their efforts to resolve the issue, which is expected to keep the section of the ASL, known as the Marshburg trail, closed. Senator Casey noted that the trail closure will eliminate cross border snowmobile traffic between Allegheny National Forest and Allegany State Part in New York state, adversely impacting tourism to hotels, restaurants and retail stores in Warren, McKean, Elk and Forest counties.


A copy of the letter is below:

Dear Ms. Marten,

I have been informed that when the Allegheny Snowmobile Loop (ASL) in the Allegheny National Forest opens for the season on December 17, 2010, a 23 mile section on the northern section of this trail, referred to as the Marshburg Trail, will remain closed due to a rights-of-way issue with a private landowner.      

I understand that the Forest Service has dedicated significant time and resources to resolve this impasse and keep open the Marshburg Trail.  I appreciate these efforts.  However, my constituents have expressed concern that businesses in the affected area which depend upon the patronage of snowmobile enthusiasts will suffer due to this closure.  In addition, I am informed that the closure will eliminate cross border snowmobile traffic between the Forest and Allegany State Park in New York state, adversely impacting tourism to hotels, restaurants, and retail stores in Warren, McKean, Elk, and Forest counties. Due to these potential negative effects, I request that the Forest Service examine other possible route alternatives that might currently exist and continue such alternative-seeking efforts in the future.   

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this matter.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly or have your staff contact my office.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Robert P. Casey, Jr.
                                                            United States Senate


                                                                        
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