Responsible Drilling Alliance

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22
Apr

You Can Help Keep It Wild!

In many places in PA – in fields and forests, parks and pastures – there is little or nothing we can do to stop the industrialization by the natural gas industry that is rapidly changing the culture and character of our PA lifestyle. This fact makes it all the more important to try and save a few precious natural areas of the PA Wilds for our grandchildren to experience. Will you help? The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has the legal power to keep the drilling rigs out of a beautiful section of the Loyalsock State Forest in northeast Lycoming County by refusing to sign a surface-use agreement. By virtue of the deeds, DCNR is in a unique legal position to protect 18,870 acres from development by not allowing Anadarko Petroleum, owner of the mineral rights on 6,841 acres, to develop this unique and remote forestland. The acreage in question includes the headwaters of the Exceptional Value Rock Run, the Devils Elbow Natural Area, a 27-mile circular hiking trail known as Old Loggers Path, the Masten Ghost Town and lands that drain into Pleasant Stream, Slacks Run, Salt Run, Wallis Run, and Mill Creek. Please consider writing a personal letter to DCNR Secretary Richard Allan. Keep your letter factual, making it clear that you understand the situation and choosing 1 or 2 of the talking points below.  Please blend those with your personal experiences of hunting, hiking, swimming, picnicking, and/or and fishing in the area. Here are some things to consider when you write: –  Given the ecological sensitivity and recreational significance of this area of the Loyalsock State Forest , any gas extraction or transmission operations in the forest would immediately and permanently impair pristine areas containing Exceptional Value streams and wetlands. –    The Rock Run / Masten / Old Loggers Path area is both sensitive and unique and should be protected, not exploited. –    Our state forests are a public resource and the public must be involved in the decision. –    DCNR must immediately publish maps showing the precise location of the 18,870-acre and 6,841-acre parcels in the Loyalsock State Forest and post the maps for public view on the DCNR website. –    DCNR may not grant a right-of-way unless it ensures that the surface will be protected. That mandates thorough environmental impact studies before granting any rights-of-way. Remember: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. –    DCNR must be transparent, publishing all of the environmental impact studies related to the Rock Run headwaters / Old Loggers Path / Masten area development. –    DCNR must hold public meetings on the issue to afford the stakeholders a meaningful opportunity to participate in DCNR’s decision-making. –    Before making any final development decisions, public meetings should be combined with an explanation of the alternative development options, including “no action”. –    For those who cannot attend public meetings, there should be a 60-day public comment Period. –    Anadarko should have the opportunity to present their development plans to the public. –    Anadarko will request rights-of-way across some of DCNR’s 18,870-acres in order to access portions of their 6,841-acres. DCNR should be transparent regarding this by posting the maps on its public web site. –    DCNR is legally obligated to exercise the unique control granted in the deeds in the best interests of the owners of this land: PA residents. –    Unconventional natural gas development will take place over the next century; there is no rush to exploit every area. –    Future technological development will undoubtedly result in better cementing, fewer accidents and longer laterals. These are all good reasons to be slow and deliberate in approving all natural gas development. –    DCNR must consider all options for managing these exceptional areas. This is a forest owned by the public – not just a cash cow for exploitation. –    Under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, DCNR has a legal duty to conserve and maintain State Forest lands for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians, including future generations. –    The public resources at stake are the very heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The public’s ecological, recreational, and economic interest in them is simply too important for decisions to be made without input from the public and sound science to document species at risk and harm to the environment. Please write today, keeping in mind that a letter trumps an email. This may sound a bit old-fashioned, but your letter can’t be deleted with one keystroke. A letter is already a hard copy. Address your correspondence to: Richard J. Allan, Secretary Department of Conservation & Natural Resources P.O. Box 8767 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8767 Secretary Allan’s email is: rjallan@pa.gov Please send a copy of your letter to both your PA legislators To access contact info, see upper right hand corner at: www.legis.state.pa.us Please consider sending a copy of your letter to Governor Corbett at his northeast office: Governor’s Northeast Office, Harry Forbes, Director 409 Lackawanna Avenue, Oppenheim Building, 3rd floor Scranton, PA 18503 Email for Governor Corbett is: Governor@pa.gov     Thank you for taking the time to help protect this treasured part of the PA Wilds.

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