Nothing Is Sacred…

Below is another article from the Sun Gazette. The author is Patrick Donlin and the topic is heated. I spend a lot of time trying to be open minded and understanding of other points of view, even if they are not my own, but sometimes I have a hard time keeping my emotions out of my logic and my over all feelings towards any gas exploration that takes place in or near the PA Grand Canyon or Pine Creek should just be completely off limits.

Is nothing worth saving anymore? It seems that there is a price to be put on everything around us. Every tree, every drop of fresh water, every field, mountain view, nesting site and migratory path can be bought with dollars. Is this our end goal? To be so greedy for money that we sell out in every way possible until we have nothing left? I feel that there are already so many people who have signed leases for their private property. How many more gas wells do we need? Must there be one every 40 acres? There are folks who are willing to give up their private land for this consumption. Why must these gas companies push their way into every valley, every ridge, every lush and healthy hollow of forest that we have left? And if it was not enough to say “Hey. This area is beautiful and is part of the earth’s ability to create and recycle clean water and clean air and healthy soils so fauna can grow”, then at least look at the other side of that thought. The PA Grand Canyon Rail Trail has made headlines in large papers. It is talked about and recommended by many travel magazines and articles. the PA state forest and Pine Creek are some of the best places to fish, hike, bike camp and hunt in the Mid Atlantic. Apparently all the money that comes from the tourism to this area, the money that keeps the small business owners in business, the restaurants, the hotels and bed and breakfasts is just not worth it. Somebody somewhere is making decisions for themselves and those outcomes are going to effect everyone in this region as well as those who travel to it from other places.

WATERVILLE – State foresters are being encouraged to ensure the environmental preservation of a patch of public land where natural gas well drilling is proposed.

Mark Murawski, county transportation planner, said Tuesday to the Pine Creek Rail Trail Advisory Committee that wells are a possibility around the southern end of Ramsey Road, Cummings Township.

A company he identified as PGE has expressed investigative in

tentions, although no representatives were at the meeting held at the Waterville fire hall.

Officials with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will decide if wells will be built at the site located just east of Waterville and known as the Ramsey Vista.

“The DCNR has jurisdiction where that site is at,” said Toner Hollick, county planning commission member and the township’s representative to the trail advisory committee.

Murawski said the county’s involvement is limited to zoning permit review, which it hasn’t approved yet.

“The county doesn’t have any jurisdiction on state forest land, other than issuing a zoning permit,” he said. “We’re reviewing it (the permit) now.”

Jerry Walls, Pennsylvania Wilds planning consultant, wants to ensure eyesores aren’t erected in the picturesque Pine Creek Valley, which has been nationally recognized as one of the best places to take a bicycle ride.

Drilling rigs and pipelines are possible if gas wells are approved.

Walls understands gas well exploration may progress, but he successfully encouraged the trail advisory committee to send correspondence to the DCNR, encouraging reasonable protection of the natural scenery.

The number of wells is unknown, as Tiadaghton state Forester Jeff Prowant said anywhere from one to 14 could be created.

The company may lose interest if ample gas isn’t present, according to Rebecca A. Burke, chairwoman of the county commissioners.

“If they do it on a couple wells and they’re not productive, they might move on,” she said.

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