Elk Country Visitor Center Now Open, Cogan Named President & CEO Of Keystone Elk Country Alliance

According to a report from Paul Staniszewski , yesterday September 9th was the first day that the Visitor Center was open for the public.

Paul says, "I was shocked because there was no signage indicating that it was open at the entrance and no promotion and yet there were 200 visitors cars in the parking lot and the place was packed.The center will be open 7 days a week and the hours of operation will be 8:00AM and closing will vary with darkness which is currently around8:00PM. The "official" opening is scheduled for mid October."

Paul also reports that according to Pennsylvania's leading elk photographer, Ron Saffer and PGC Elk Biologist Aide Mark Gritzer, the rut and bugling has at least two more weeks to reach the peak.

Bull During Peak Of Rut 2009
In another development the Pennsylvania DCNR announced more information about the Elk Country Visitor Center in the September 1st Issue of their newsletter "Resource" , the most important being that Rawland Cogan was named CEO of The Keystone Elk Country Alliance, also know as KECA, and KECA will operate the visitor center.

Rawland "Rawley" Cogan President And CEO of KECA:photo by W.Hill
The Following is an excerpt from the newsletter, containing the most important part of the release. For the release in its' entirety, click Here!, which will take you to the online version of the news release.

"In September 2009, DCNR entered an agreement with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation to help the department complete the Elk Center after an initial partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was concluded.
“We appreciate PPFF’s willingness to step in and ensure that the center could be completed in the original time frame,” Quigley said. “It’s a true reflection of the foundation’s commitment to support a shared goal of conservation and connecting people to nature through terrific outdoor experiences.”
“With construction nearing completion, it was clear that DCNR was in need of a new partner to operate the center,” KECA Chairman of the Board John Geissler said. “In December 2009, our organization was created for that purpose. The best part of this effort may be that all the funds we raise in Pennsylvania will remain right here in Pennsylvania’s elk range and at the Elk Center.
“Another great boost to our cause happened the day Rawley Cogan agreed to serve as President and CEO of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance,” Geissler said. “Rawley is a wildlife biologist noted for his work with Pennsylvania elk and their reintroduction into the wild landscape. Rawley played an integral part in the land acquisition and planning of the Elk Mountain Homestead and Elk Country Visitor Center from its inception.”
“I am honored to have been chosen to be the first President and CEO of the new Keystone Elk Country Alliance,” Cogan said. “As we move forward, the alliance will focus its resources in three areas — conservation education,habitat enhancement and permanent land protection. Source: September 1, 2010 PA DCNR Newsletter

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill

1 comment:

  1. I visited the center yesterday (Oct. 2). The place was packed and standing room only at some of the outside viewing areas in the early evening. I took some photos of the center and many of the elk. (posted on my blog: http://thenaturallife-donna.blogspot.com/2010/10/so-when-you-get-really-behind-whats.html) They seem to be raising money in the gift shop, thru movies and wagon rides. But no specification as to where the money is going. Lots of volunteers in the woods and parking lot- trying to keep visitors on the trails and designated viewing areas but a tough job!