NEWS RELEASE

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 114, Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Terry Brady
DCNR Deputy Press Secretary
(717) 772-9101

RENDELL ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $2.2 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR ATV, SNOWMOBILE OPPORTUNITIES
Acquisition of 6,000-acre parcel for multi-use, motorized recreation highlights ceremony

CHEST TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY (March 26, 2004) — Conservation and Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Richard G. Sprenkle today awarded five grants totaling $2.2 million to develop and improve riding opportunities for Pennsylvania’s registered owners of 204,900 all-terrain vehicles and 44,200 snowmobiles.

“Today is a big step forward in helping to meet the needs of those who enjoy riding ATVs and snowmobiles across the state, and we know their numbers are growing dramatically,” said Deputy Secretary Sprenkle. “Our state forestlands cannot accommodate the increasing quest for trails, but the tracts recognized in some of these grants are designed to do just that.”

At the 6,000-acre site of the former K&J Coal Co., Sprenkle presented a $2 million grant to the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority for acquisition of the property in Chest Township, Cambria County and Chest Township, Clearfield County. The tract, now known as the Rock Run Recreation Area, will be developed as a multi-use, motorized recreation and county park.

Sprenkle commended Rep. Gary Haluska, the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority, its Rock Run Advisory Board and the Allegheny Ridge Corporation for their commitment to the project. He also recognized the state Department of Environmental Protection for its work in securing $900,000 that guarantees long-term operation and maintenance of on-site waste management.

“This is an innovative approach to watershed protection," said J. Scott Roberts, DEP deputy secretary for mineral resources management. "Not only are we ensuring the perpetual treatment of polluted discharges from this former mine site, but we are also creating new economic opportunities by opening up 6,000 acres that will help to enhance Pennsylvania's reputation for outdoor recreation.”

The K & J site is part of a 12-county regional plan for motorized recreation known as Project Ridge RIDER, spearheaded by the Allegheny Ridge Corporation. The effort includes selecting former mining lands for development and conceptual planning for motorized recreational use.

In its third year, DCNR’s Snowmobile/ATV grant program can help to buy land; develop plans and surveys; construct and maintain ATV and snowmobile trails; buy equipment; and conduct training relating to ATV and snowmobile use. Grants can fund up to 80 percent of a project, except for land acquisition grants, which are limited to a 50 percent match.

Grants are made possible from changes to the Snowmobile/ATV law passed by the General Assembly in 2001. Using funds from the Snowmobile/ATV fund, DCNR can award grants each year to municipalities and profit and nonprofit organizations for trail development on county, municipal, non-profit and private lands. Previously, the law restricted the funds to be used solely on state-controlled lands.

For more information on DCNR grants, call (717) 783-2656, or visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: A list of the snowmobile and ATV grants follows:

Multiple Counties

North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, $60,000—to determine the feasibility of developing ATV trails on private lands in the six-county area represented by the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission. The study area will include Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties.

Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association, $40,000—to develop an interactive website and CD-ROM to provide snowmobilers information on trail locations, accommodations and other amenities near trail systems and driving directions to trailheads.

Cambria & Clearfield counties

Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority, $2,000,000—for acquisition of a 6,000-acre parcel in Chest Township, Cambria County and Chest Township, Clearfield County, to create a multi-use, motorized recreation area.

Erie County

ATV Traction Inc., $30,000—to acquire a 15-acre parcel in Girard Township for the purpose of developing a trailhead and educational facility.

Susquehanna and Wayne Counties

Northeast PA Sno Trails Inc., $90,000—to acquire a 13-mile section of the Ontario & Western Railbed to preserve a vital link in the 150-mile NEPAST snowmobile trail system.

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2004