23rd Rivers Conservation Camp Concludes

The 23rd Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp concluded at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg yesterday. The students, staff and the folks at Messiah did an outstanding job in bringing about the success of the camp. For an overview of the camp please view the slide show prepared by staff member Kelsey Miller at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFnUuw0Ppk0&t=5s

PA Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp

This week is the 23rd Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp. Our venue this year is at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg.

We have a great group of students and they are learning a lot. For many it is their first experience at what college life might be like. What a great group to work with.  They are learning the sciences behind coldwater conservation, doing habitat repair, learning to tie flies and so much more. As I type this they are learning advanced fishing techniques. For more information go to http://www.riverscamp.com

The Pennsylvania camp is the oldest in the nation and now there are 22 modeled after this one.

Be Safe and Wear Your Life Vest

It seems over the past few months every time I pick up a newspaper, watch the TV news, or read the news online, somebody, somewhere is drowning. Sometimes it is the person not knowing the dangers of the water, sometimes it is experienced people testing their limits, and, sometimes, not surprisingly, it is “Hold my beer and watch this!” that causes the accident.

I just finished the book, A Speck In The Sea. This is a true story of two experienced watermen, and is a riveting account of what a lapse in judgement for just a moment, can cause. Toward the end, one of the watermen tells of throwing a bait box overboard and in just 17 seconds it disappeared from sight. 17 seconds!

The Ocean’s your mother, your bitch and your lover

And nobody gets to ride free

It’s a roll of the dice if she’ll let your survive, bow

down, boys to the Queen.

                                      The Tale of Johnny Load, by The Nancy Atlas Project

After reading the tale of what happened on the Anna Mary, if nothing else you will remember to wear your life vest. I highly recommend this book for any angler, or person who spends any time on the water – whether it is the ocean, the bay, a lake or a small mountain stream.

A Speck in the Sea

John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski

Weinstein Books, New York, NY, 2017

Legislation That Created the Allegheny National Forest and Strengthened Forest Fire Protection in Pennsylvania

On March 1, 1911, President Taft signed the Weeks Act into law. The Weeks Act authorized the federal government to create national forests on lands within watersheds of navigable streams or rivers. These new public lands would be used to regulate stream flow and revitalize the forests. They would be under the control of the U.S. Forest Service, but the location had to be agreed upon by federal, state, and local governing bodies. They could not be taken by condemnation, but had to come from a willing seller. This was the act that would allow for the eventual creation of the Allegheny National Forest.

Ninety-three years ago today, on June 7, 1924 the Clark-McNary Act was signed into law by President Coolidge. The federal law allowed the Secretary of Agriculture to cooperate with states for forest fire protection and prevention. It was the beginning of the cooperative arrangements between the states and federal government to share resources. In addition the act strengthened the Weeks Act passed in 1911 to allow the federal government to acquire any lands capable of producing forest products, rather than just headwaters of navigable rivers. This greatly expanded the role of the U.S. Forest Service in the East.

Two years later one of the worst fires to ever strike the ANF would happen at a place called Owls Nest.