Jamestown, N.Y. – Saturday (June 2) 52 individuals had the extraordinary experience of taking guided tours of Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Warren, Pa.
Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) made this opportunity available as one of their Audubon Exclusives, and the dam tour was so exclusive that folks had to get government clearance to participate.
ACNC board member and U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist Nate Welker organized this event that was originally planned for 25 people. The response was so great that arrangements were made to double that number.
Steve Lauser of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Doris Masson with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service led the tours.
Numerous young eagles were spotted from the dam’s bird viewing platform. Following the morning tour of the dam, the group enjoyed a picnic lunch by the Big Bend Visitors Center.
After lunch participants used their own vehicles to take a rare, scenic drive across the top of Kinzua Dam and into the back gate of the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery for the afternoon tour.
Welker spoke to the group about the natural riches of the area and the importance of preserving and protecting them. Conservation efforts deserve credit for the Allegheny National Forest that did not exist 100 years ago, the flourishing rivers that were once devoid of life, and the lineage of the area deer herd.
If there is enough interest, Welker will arrange for Audubon to offer the dam and fish hatchery tours again in the fall. Information about this and other Audubon Exclusive opportunities is on the Exclusives page at auduboncnc.org.
You can learn about the many festivals, activities, and workshops Audubon presents year-round on the Programs and Events page at auduboncnc.org.
Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. The three-story Nature Center building contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Building hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. The 600-acre wetland preserve with more than five miles of hiking trails, a native tree arboretum, gardens, picnic area, natural play space, and exhibit of Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.
Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.