Monday, November 21, 2022

Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness: The End Of An Era: The Forest Press Closes Its Doors

Tionesta, Pennsylvania’s most famous native son, [federal] Wilderness Act of 1964 author Howard Zahniser’s first job as a teen was putting away the old-fashioned handset type every day at The Forest Press newspaper in town, which by then had already been publishing continuously for some fifty years [in Forest County]. 

Ed Zahniser, Howard Zahniser’s son, wrote in 2001 that-- “I believe it was his work as a youth at The Forest Press that put the printers ink in his blood and set him on the career path that led to his wilderness conservation work.”

Zahnie then worked at the Pittsburgh Press, and the Greenville Advocate newspapers while in college. 

While attending Greenville College, he was the editor of the college newspaper, The Papyrus, and he later went on to edit the Living Wilderness — the journal of The Wilderness Society.

Unfortunately, like a lot of small-town newspapers in today’s milieu of online communications, the beloved by many Forest Press has now been forced to close its doors. 

The lead headline in the Wednesday, November 16, 2022 edition read “End of an Era: Forest Press to Stop Publication.” The article goes on to say--

“The Forest Press weekly newspaper, which has provided local news coverage to Forest County since 1867, is ending publication effective today. This edition will be the paper’s last. Every business has its complications, and The Forest Press ownership has agreed the challenges the paper faced...were becoming too difficult to overcome....It’s no secret that newspapers have to contend with social media and the free online advertising of today.”

This is a sad occasion on many levels, and we would like to recognize The Forest Press not only for being an important community newspaper for more than 150 years.

[FAW would] also, of course, like [to recognize] some of the fine coverage they have provided over the years of our efforts to advance hometown hero Howard Zahniser’s legendary vision for permanently protecting from all forms of development all qualifying portions of federal public lands as wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act here in the Allegheny National Forest — a national forest established right outside Zahnie’s backdoor the year before he graduated from Tionesta High School in 1924.

Here is a selection of links to wilderness and Howard Zahniser-related Forest Press articles from through the years--

-- “My father thought the world of Tionesta,” by Ed Zahniser

-- Champion of American Wilderness to be Honored With Historical Marker

-- PA Chapter of Trout Unlimited Endorses Citizens’ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest

-- FAW Honors Earth Day

-- Wilderness at 50: Photographic Reflections on Legacy of Tionesta Visionary Howard Zahniser

-- “Tracy Ridge is one of those places we should protect forever from development of any kind,” by Bert Nemcik

-- Howard Zahniser’s 1937 Allegheny River Journal Now Available

-- Home of the Wolves, by Helen Zahniser Snyder

-- Biking on Hiking Trails: Group Files Formal Objection to ANF's Proposal

-- Group Joins Stand Against Mountain Bikes

-- FAW Petitions Allegheny National Forest  to Prohibit Mountain Biking on all Non-Motorized Trail

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events, and how you can get involved, visit the Friends Of Allegheny Wilderness website.  Follow them on Facebook.   Click Here to sign up for regular email updates.

Friends seeks to foster an appreciation of wilderness values and benefits, and to work with local communities to ensure that increased wilderness protection is a priority of the stewardship of the Allegheny National Forest in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties.

[Posted: November 21, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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