Otzinachson (ahtsinahkson) is a regional group of the Sierra Club and currently has approximately 800 members. The group encompasses an eleven county area of Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Northumberland, Snyder, Tioga, Union and parts of Bradford and Sullivan counties. Inspired by nature, the Otzinachson works to protect our communities and the earth through environmental advocacy and education.
An active hiking club with local, state and national environmental interests, the Otzinachson hosts a number of events that include biking, hiking, films and educational programs. Visit our Events page to see upcoming activities — all events are open to the public.
The Sierra Club is a non-profit, member-supported, public interest organization that promotes conservation of the natural environment through public education and lobbying. Otzinachson applies the principles of the national Sierra Club to the environmental issues facing Pennsylvania and beyond. Member volunteers work to affect governmental and community actions regarding those issues.
An informal hiking group existed prior to Otzinachson. The Edward Abbey Hiking Society was established about 1980. Dave Hafer selected the name in honor of this writer and novelist of the 1960’s and 1970’s, who was born in western Pennsylvania. The Edward Abbey Hiking Society was eventually absorbed into Otzinachson.
Otzinachson was formed in 1981 by Maurice Forester from South Williamsport, who also helped establish the Sierra Club PA Chapter. The Otzinachson name was decided upon by the members at one of the preliminary meetings. Otzinachson is a Native American reference to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The original Otzinachson Board consisted of Mike Molesevich, Chair; Gary Gyekis, Secretary and Newsletter Editor; Dave Hafer, Treasurer; and Roy Fontaine, Calendar Sales Coordinator. There were about 400 members formed from the Governor Pinchot Group. Subsequent Otzinachson Chairs were: Gil Black of Lewisburg, Roy Fontaine of South Williamsport, Jim Best of Sunbury, Ed Lawrence of Orangeville, Samantha Pearson of Lewisburg and currently Jack Miller of Middleburg.