BENEZETTE – The Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA), a non-profit wildlife conservation organization whose mission is to conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s elk country for future generations, has joined the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA), a broad-based coalition of labor, agriculture, manufacturing and other business interests that support private investment in pipeline and energy infrastructure developments.
“Pennsylvania’s elk country provides residents and visitors a unique opportunity to observe the state’s wild elk population in a natural setting, and our goal is to protect and enhance that experience,” KECA President and Chief Executive Officer Rawley Cogan said.
“We joined PEIA so we could work with other members to ensure that pipeline development in Pennsylvania will deliver a conservation benefit while still meeting or exceeding all federal regulations for safe development and operation of these energy arteries.
“Pipelines not only are job producers for local communities, but they can also become linear food plots for small and large wildlife species, specifically providing early succession habitat for bird populations as well,” Rawley said.
“Working as a partner can truly be a win-win in mature forests that are starved of adequate habitat for game.”
Rawley noted that KECA recently formalized its “Fueling Habitat” initiatives, and numerous partners have joined KECA to enhance its habitat development initiatives.
“Elk sightings are part of life in many rural communities in northcentral Pennsylvania — a direct result of decades of dedicated conversation efforts and the use of considerable resources to restore our native elk herd to their current grandeur,” KECA Board Chairman John Geissler said.
“KECA supports efforts to build a modern, safe energy transportation infrastructure that also enhances the food supply for game in Pennsylvania’s forests. These critical initiatives help KECA to conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s elk country for future generations.”
KECA, a non-profit wildlife conservation organization is partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to conserve, protect and enhance Pennsylvania’s elk country.
KECA also operates the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette in partnership with DCNR, a diamond in the heart of the elk range that is a successful demonstration of a true public/private partnership.
The Elk Country Visitor Center is a premier conservation education facility that is a “must see.” The facility features a story theater focusing on the extraordinary conservation efforts underway to grow Pennsylvania’s wild elk populations, and the center serves as both an indoor and outdoor classroom for students of all ages.
The center is a LEED-certified eco-friendly building that provides elk viewing webcam opportunities; has a world-class story theater and food plots; and features walking trails and exhibits in the direct vicinity of the center to witness the natural experience.
The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance is proud to welcome KECA to our Alliance. This Alliance was launched June 8 by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Laborers International Union of North America and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66. There are nearly two dozen PEIA members today, all focused on the safe development of our state’s infrastructure.
Visit www.paallianceforenergy.com for more information, or on Twitter @PAllies4Energy.