Clarion named Pa.’s River of the Year by public vote | TribLIVE.com
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Clarion named Pa.’s River of the Year by public vote

Patrick Varine
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Tribune-Review file
John Pokrifka and Larry Schweiger meet on the Clarion River in this 1997 photo. The Clarion was named Pennsylvania’s 2019 River of the Year by public vote.

The Clarion River, a tributary of the Allegheny, has been voted Pennsylvania’s 2019 River of the Year.

The public was invited to vote online, choosing from among four waterways nominated across the state. Results were announced jointly on Wednesday by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers (POWR).

Other waterways nominated were Conodoguinet Creek, Delaware River and Lackawanna River.

“Congratulations to the supporting groups who rallied around a waterway most deserving of River of the Year honors,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Beyond its Wild and Scenic River status, this icon of our Pennsylvania wilds defines a wilderness of clean water and healthy forests that draws back visitors again and again.

“This annual honor recognizes not only our state’s wealth of rivers and streams, but also the core of dedicated folks who fight to protect them,” Dunn said.

A total of 14,790 votes were cast, with the Clarion receiving 5,850; Delaware River, 4,748; Lackawanna River, 2,852; and Conodoguinet Creek, 1,340.

The Clarion runs for 110 miles from central Elk County to where it joins up with the Allegheny River, a few miles south of Emlenton. It has been designated part of the National Wild and Scenic River program.

DCNR and POWR will work with the Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs (WINs) Coalition to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Clarion River as the 2019 PA River of the Year.

As acting fiscal agent for the WINs Coalition, the Western PA Conservancy, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund a slate of year-long River of the Year activities.

The WINS Coalition is a collaborative network of 35 organizations, including members from non-profits and local watershed groups, as well as county, state, and federal agencies, all of whom will plan and coordinate the celebration events to be held throughout the year. The WINS Coalition was formed in 2007 with the goals of protecting, restoring, and improving habitat in watersheds throughout the Allegheny National Forest.

“Having just observed the 2018 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by hailing the conservation of nearly 52 miles of the Clarion River protected under that designation, we are elated to continue to honor the Clarion as the 2019 Pennsylvania River of the Year to celebrate its remarkable recovery and pay tribute to it as a treasured resource of the state,” said Kylie Maland of the Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs (WINs) Coalition.

A commemorative River of the Year sojourn is among many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year. An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers.

These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.

For more information about the sojourn program, visit the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers website.


Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.


Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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