FR 219 No NEPA. Area 15
It’s spring! In the Allegheny National Forest this means oil and gas drillers will continue drilling thousands more oil and gas wells, and cutting hundreds of miles of new roads into an already heavily fragmented forest. We need your help! Because of a very bad decision last December in the Federal District Court of Western Pennsylvania (Minard Run Oil Company et al. v. USFS et al.), which enjoined a settlement reached in our lawsuit (FSEEE, Sierra Club, and ADP v. USFS), this destruction is moving forward without environmental analysis or public input while we appeal the disappointing decision to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Choose a threatened area in the Allegheny National Forest to monitor:
We recommend that you choose one of the TEIS Areas listed HERE (see background below for explanation of TEIS). We also highly recommend that you first contact us with your choice (see step 2), attend a training workshop, and conduct monitoring in teams of at least two.
Map of TEIS Drilling Areas
You may choose your area based on your favorite watershed or by your least-favorite drilling company. The image on the right is a community walk map, which shows the TEIS areas. This interactive map can help you locate your area on the ground (make sure you zoom-out to see the whole map, areas listed on the left of map link to locations). We also highly recommend purchasing an Allegheny National Forest Map from one of the ANF U.S. Forest Service Offices (word of caution: these maps are out of date and do not reflect all of the roads in the forest).
2. Contact our outreach coordinator Megan Rulli with your site choice at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up for the Forest Watch Team (read more).
If you are not specifically drawn to one of the imminently threatened areas (TEIS Areas), no worries, the whole forest needs guardians and watchers.
Yellow area of ANF predicted to be in "full-mine-out" condition
The U.S. Forest Service predicts that over two-thirds of the forest is threatened by “full-mine-out” conditions by the oil and gas industry (see image on the left, yellow area is “full mine-out area”). Full-mine-out is oil and gas wells spaced every 500 feet across the landscape with associated roads, tank batteries, generators, wastewater pits etc. On top of oil and gas drilling the U.S. Forest Service continues its even-aged logging practices (clearcutting, herbiciding, and fencing for high-value species). So if you have a favorite area almost anywhere in the ANF, it needs your watchful eyes, and attention.
3. Finally, if you are able, please support our Forest Watch program and ongoing litigation efforts (including an appeal of the decision mentioned above) by donating to ADP.
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