Friday, April 24, 2009
Community leaders from throughout the Laurel Highlands will gather this weekend to look for ways to expand the region's economy by capitalizing on its natural and cultural resources. The “Laurel Highlands Summit” is on of seven such regional summits being organized by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape Initiative includes all of Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties and parts of Cambria and Bedford counties. There are four sub-landscapes in the region: Laurel Ridge, Chestnut Ridge, the Great Allegheny Passage and the Stonycreek-Quemahoning corridor. DCNR spokesperson Chris Novak says there region has plenty to offer tourists. She says, “The region encompasses the state's highest point and two of its three deepest river gorges in the Allegheny Mountain physical region, where deep-cut hollows and rushing streams with waterfalls are carved between rolling hillsides and picturesque farmlands.” She says many of those gathering this weekend already know each other and are cooperating in various ways but the goal is to refine the focus and bring in new partners.