Coalition seeks supporters for national forest fracking ban

Our colleagues at the Choose Clean Water Campaign have alerted us to an opportunity to show your support. You can help to show the U.S. Forest Service just how much the public supports natural resource protection on more than one million acres of public national forest lands in Virginia and West Virginia.

Ask the Forest Service to stand firm on a proposed ban on natural gas horizontal drilling (which would limit high-volume hydrofracking) in the George Washington National Forest. The ban would apply to any future federal oil and gas leases on the GW Forest.

Local residents and elected officials specifically asked the Forest Service to restrict gas drilling to protect drinking water resources for more than 260,000 Shenandoah Valley area residents, preserve fish and wildlife habitat, and retain the remote rural quality of the forest for over a million visitors each year.

But natural gas industry proponents in Congress object to any restrictions on this controversial drilling technique, which has been linked to water contamination and shortages, industrialization of rural and public lands, and an array of negative community impacts in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

File a comment on the George Washington National Forest Draft Management Plan by emailing comments-southern-georgewashington-jefferson@fs.fed.us, and be sure to send a copy to your Congressional representative.

The Forest Service needs to hear from all of us who value the integrity of our public lands.

Here’s some example text for you to consider when writing your email:

I am writing to support a ban on horizontal natural gas drilling in the George Washington National Forest, as proposed in the U.S. Forest Service “preferred alternative” draft management plan.

This sensible proposal would go far to protect drinking water resources for more than 260,000 Shenandoah Valley area residents, preserve fish and wildlife habitat, and retain the remote rural quality of the forest almost a million visitors each year.

Thank you for consideration of these comments.