Support for Pa. Wilds pays off

Matt Quesenberry, director of Elk County's planning department, presented an award Tuesday morning to the county's board of commissioners.The Pennsylvania Wilds planning team, of which Quesenberry is a member, recently received a 2012 Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence."The county has for many years been a staunch supporter of the Pennsylvania Wilds-- and within that entity we have the planning team," Quesenberry said. "When the initiative was originally kind of getting off the ground it was strongly supported in Harrisburg. At the local level, there was some concern on what the impacts were likely to be. As a response to our local communities, the county commissioners created an intergovernmental cooperative agreement amongst all boards of commissioners in the 12 counties that comprise the Pa. Wilds. "That provided a planning team that sort of acted as a liaison between the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg's initiative, and the local levels-- and the Pa. Wilds planning team got together and were comprised of mostly county planners, but we also had stakeholders from around the region, and since 2005 we've been gathering and trying to move the momentum for the initiative forward while still remaining sensitive to the needs of local communities."Officials were informed in March that the Pa. Wilds planning team would receive the prestigious accolade."That's certainly testimony to the county commissioners and their faith and vision for what this could provide," Quesenberry said. Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, May 2, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.