Conservation Coalition forming in Laurel Highlands

Several local and regional conservation organizations have come together to create the Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition, a four-county coalition of grass-roots conservation and environmental groups in Fayette, Westmoreland, Somerset and Cambria Counties.

The purposes of the coalition will be to support funding for conservation efforts, to provide information about and input into key issues and to network.

Organizations interested in joining the coalition have been invited to a day-long forum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Ligonier Town Hall on the Diamond in Ligonier.

The program will start with a information and discussion about the proposed purpose and goals.  Then information will be presented about efforts to renew Growing Greener as a funding source and the prospects for having a significant portion of the proposed gas-extraction tax set aside for conservation efforts.

Afternoon topics will include the Ohio River Basin, efforts to monitor impacts from Marcellus shale drilling and the potential impacts from that drilling.

Anyone who wants to participate must register by e-mailing [email protected] or calling Brad Clemenson from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council at 814.659.3465. Information is available at