At Firefly Festival near Tionesta, thousands of bugs will be blinking in sync - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Warning Lights: Rare synchronous fireflies are discovered in Allegheny National Forest — a hotbed of logging and gas-drilling - Pittsburgh City Paper
Fireflies Give Brilliant Show in Allegheny National Forest - The Allegheny Front
The South Yuba River Citizen League's (SYRCL) Wild & Scenic Film Festival was made possible in Bradford by hosting organizations Allegheny Defense Project, co-hosts Pitt Bradford Environmental Studies Club and the Pitt Bradford Sustainability Committee. National partners include Patagonia, CLIF Bar, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Orion Magazine, Klean Kanteen, and Mother Jones and regional sponsors and participants include the PA Firefly Festival, Black Caddis Ranch B&B, Just Riding Along, Zippo, Case, the Sportsman’s Outlet, the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Tuna Valley Trails Association, and many more.
Short films from SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival were featured at the event. This was the eleventh year for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, which focuses on films that speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of the planet.
The event also included many regional and local vendors featuring sustainable and locally-grown food and agricultural products. Twenty-two films were on the schedule for this year’s event. Several breaks throughout the day allowed time for discussion, food, and audience interaction. There was live music provided by regional musicians Stony and Company and Reunion. Event sponsors, Just Riding Along bike shop and the Sportsman's Outlet, both of Bradford donated the grand prizes, a new mountain bike and kayak. There were other great prizes from national partners and area sponsors including Stoneman Guitars, Black Caddis Ranch B&B, Zippo and Case.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival’s themes’ of adventure, inspiration, community and conservation will take viewers on a journey that is international in scope, introducing the audience to many cultures and a range of issues. Sometimes fun, sometimes serious, always visually brilliant, these films will both entertain and empower participants.
In 2011, Allegheny Defense Project board member Cathy Pedler discovered Synchronous Fireflies (Photinus carolinus) along the Branch Creek near Kelletville, PA in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). Late that night, board president Bill Belitskus observed a unique long glowing firefly over Tionesta Creek leaving the Branch Creek site. Those discoveries and approval of Allegheny Defense Project’s grant proposal for research funding led to international firefly researchers coming to the Allegheny Forest in 2012 to conduct a survey to scientifically verify the presence of synchronous fireflies and additional habitat.
The scientific team verified 15 different species of fireflies on the Allegheny including the rare synchronous firefly and “Chinese Lanterns” observed floating across Tionesta Creek with their carnival glow reflected in the water. It also sparked local efforts to increase public awareness of these fireflies and to promote sustainable ecotourism in an area that has historically been too focused on resource extraction.
The Allegheny Defense Project has been urging the Forest Service to identify all Synchronous Firefly habitat in the ANF, educate the public about this rare and unique species, and officially designate viewing areas for the public similar to those in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the only other location in the eastern U.S. where these species are documented. We are working to bring that same kind of interest to the Allegheny National Forest.
Along with local community groups and businesses, the Allegheny Defense Project helps organize and participate in the annual PA Firefly Festival held in June in the Allegheny National Forest. Planning for the third Firefly Festival in 2015 has already started. The Allegheny Defense Project will continue to monitor synchronous fireflies at additional sites in the forest to promote awareness and conservation of this unique species in the Allegheny.
For the past 21 years, the Allegheny Defense Project has been holding it’s annual Fall Gathering in or near the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania’s only national forest.
The Allegheny Defense Project Annual Fall Gathering is a family oriented event providing time for Allegheny Defense Project supporters, friends, and “environmentally conscious” individuals to come together in celebrating our work of defending the Allegheny National Forest. Participants learn about issues impacting the Allegheny National Forest and take part in the camaraderie with fellow activists and friends while camping, hiking, participating in discussions, listening to music, eating great food, and just having fun!
The Fall Gathering’s flexible schedule enables everyone to come out and spend whatever time they have - whether it’s for one event, a,meal, any day, the whole weekend, or just stop by for the campfire in the evening.
Note: The Allegheny Defense Project is an organization,founded on principles of non-violence. We request that participants do not bring any illegal substances. Well-behaved pets are always welcome.
Allegheny Defense Project
Links: PA Firefly Festival ; PA Firefly Festival, Inc.