On the weekend of September 18-20th 2009 the Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) celebrated its 16th year with our annual fall gathering at the Tracy Ridge camping area in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).
Unfortunately private companies have plans to develop “The Ridge” into an oil and gas field with a grid of roads, tank batteries, generators, and well pads with pump jacks spaced every 450 feet across the entire northeastern portion of the ANF.
Our turnout for the gathering was the best in years …55 if you count the dogs (which of course we did–there were 11). The food was fantastic! Three days of Mary’s homemade soups, salads, and baked goods, all organic and much of it homegrown, kept us warm and happy. A warm meal was much welcomed following our Saturday hikes. John Stoneman led the first hike.
We hiked on Chestnut Ridge, a proposed wilderness area, to Rock Shelters where people have camped for thousands of years. It was a long, beautiful hike.
The Saturday afternoon hike had fewer takers because we traveled down Forest Road 267 and into Kinzua Heights, the Snyder Brothers and Minard Run oil and gas destruction areas.
These devastated areas show the future currently planned for Tracy Ridge and other remnants of the Forest, including Rim Rock.
Guitars, a banjo, and harmonica filled our Saturday evening campfire after a final hike to view a spectacular star-filled sky. Sunday we explored the area around the campground to identify the wild foods and medicines growing there. We found chestnut trees everywhere.