The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

February 17, 2013

Bringing out best of the Que

CSA willing to work with others on recreation

— Piece by piece, recreational opportunities continue to grow at the Quemahoning Reservoir and on the 2,800 acres of land surrounding it.  

We applaud the Cambria Somerset Authority for listening to fresh, ambitious ideas and for working with organizations offering to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for area residents and visitors alike.

After taking over the Que more than 12 years ago, CSA announced that part of its mission would be to create a playground of sorts for a public hungry for more recreation. It has kept its promises.

The latest addition, as reported by our David Hurst, will benefit mountain bikers.

CSA has given the go-ahead to Laurel Highlands Off Road Bicycling Association to build up to 17 miles of mountain bike trails.

“If all goes well, there could be bikes on it this summer,” CSA Chairman Jim Greco said, adding that the cycling association’s large pool of volunteers might be able to tackle the project in a few weeks’ time.

As described by Greco, plans include areas for both beginners and more-experienced riders.

He also noted that future plans include a rails-to-trails-type path for walkers and flat-land cyclists.

Through the years, CSA has worked with several outdoors organizations, including the well-established Summer’s Best Two Weeks camp. Among the Que offerings today are swimming, picnicking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, horseshoe pits and soccer fields.

The Boswell area complex also hosts the annual fall Conemaugh Que Classic run/walk, which quickly has grown to be perhaps the second largest area run behind the Somerset Daily American 10K/5K.

CSA properties have been updated through work by volunteer groups such as the Jerome Sportsmen’s Association, which has greatly improved habitat for wildlife at the Que.    

The CSA was formed in 1999 in anticipation of acquiring water interests and related land properties of Manufacturers Water Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corp. It now owns and manages the Wilmore, Hinckston Run and South Fork dams in Cambria County, and Border Dam and the Quemahoning, both in Somerset County.

Its work in overseeing our water resources and expanding our recreational opportunities continues to win well-deserved praise.

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