Forest Service revising GW management plan, one decision will be whether to open GW to being leased for gas drilling and fracking.
And leasing for gas drilling
Tourism and outdoor recreation
Flowback. Surface water risks. Long term disposal difficult. Local wastewater plants can’t treat. Consumptive use.
Major industrial activity with large footprint on the land and communities. Observations from Wetzel Co. visit…industrial, construction type zone…muddy runoff from large construction sites…
Access roads for hundreds of trucks…
…associated infrastructure, like pipelines over every hill and dale…
and on surrounding farms, forestlands, and rural communities.
On the GW and in this region, impacts on the existing uses and resources on the forest...
Way back in 2011, FS put out draft plan proposing to prohibit horiz. drilling. Intended to prevent or limit shale gas drilling and fracking. Strong local public and local government support for that, as well as from others including three major metro water suppliers further downstream, both Virginia Senators, and the new Governor. Since then, FS has been “reconsidering.” Expect a decision sometime this year, hopefully this spring or early summer. Hope at a minimum FS sticks w/ prohibition on horiz. drilling. Now is important time for local governments and citizens to stay engaged and express their views and concerns to the FS.
George Washington National Forest
Sarah A. Francisco
Senior Attorney, National Forests and Parks Program Leader
Southern Environmental Law Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
GW National Forest sign
There are almost 1.1 million acres
in the George Washington National Forest.
Located entirely in the James and Potomac watersheds, the
George Washington National Forest is the largest federal
landholding in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.