Monday, August 30, 2010

Keystone Elk Country Alliance To Decide On Wednesday About Labor Day Weekend Opening

Elk Country Visitor Center: June 16, 2010-photo by W.Hill

There has been a lot of speculation as to when the Elk Country Visitors Center near Benezette, Pa. will open and today Paul Staniszewski, a Juried PA Wilds Artisan, sent the latest news concerning the center and the opening date.

Mr. Staniszewski reports, "I went up to Benezette this morning (Monday) and saw that a black iron gate like the one going to the Homestead has now been installed at the entrance to the visitors center.... Also, a cinder block base has been constructed to hold the Elk Country Visitors Center sign.... The people at the visitors center tell me that they will decide on Wednesday if they will open for Labor Day week".

The opening date will be posted on The Keystone Elk Country Alliance Website. Be sure to click on the Visitor Center tab.

Paul also reports seeing several bulls and hearing a lot of bugling on Winslow Hill as the rut gets underway.

Pennsylvania Bull Elk: photo courtesy of Paul Stanszewski-all rights reserved
Paul has also heard  that the buildings at the Gilbert Viewing Area are scheduled to be razed very soon as the reclamation project in that area comes to a close.

 Gilbert Buildings Likely Scheduled For Demolition: Photo by W.Hill-Winter 2006
I have referred to this as "The Gilbert Viewing Area" for years, but this is not the official name at present.  It was called The Gilbert Farm when I first went to Elk County in 1995 as it was owned by Kenny Gilbert who spent summers there and winters in Florida.  In 2000 the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to purchase the land.  Later stewardship of the property was transferred to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. At the time of purchase , it was simply referred to as "The Gilbert" and it seemed likely that it would be called "the Gilbert Viewing Area", yet when a sign was erected last year, it was named "The Porcupine Hollow-Winslow Hill Viewing Area".

Porcupine Run-Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area Sign: photo by W.Hill

We have no other confirmation that the demolition is scheduled, but it is consistent with Game Commission policy as in most cases he PGC does not maintain buildings on lands which it acquire, unless they are suited for a specific need.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill


V.L. Locey said...

Lovely shots as always Willard!

Brad Myers said...

I didn't know they were about to bring those buildings down. I will check out the visitors center on my next trip but as someone that wwould prefer to see few people and just be with the Elk I do not think I will be jumping for joy about it's opening.

That was my first visit to the link you provided, as always I stop by here and just keep learning.

Thanks Brad