Archive for the ‘Rim Rock’ Category

By Megan Rulli, Allegheny Defense Project Outreach Coordinator

Friends of Rimrock

The Allegheny Defense Project spent Earth Day this year with the Friends of Rimrock, Tracy Ridge Forest Watch, and Allegheny Outdoor Adventures, cleaning up Rimrock for the 2010 season. Our plan was to clear trails, pick up trash, picnic, and do some climbing and rappelling. We expected the trash scattered around – we were not prepared for the heart wrenching view afforded us at the scenic overlook.

Apparently as part of the Categorically Excluded Rimrock Overlook to Kinzua Beach Pathway Project, the Forest Service has destroyed the scenic overlook at Rimrock and created an extreme safety hazard with a tangled field of cut down trees for visitors who try to explore the boulder field below the rock face – a prime attractor for visitors to Rimrock. ADP provided scoping comments for the Project, and is currently working on a response to Bradford Ranger Scardina’s Decision. The Bradford Ranger District’s signage explaining “What’s Going on Here?” failed to clear up the reasoning behind the dramatic cut one hundred feet below the scenic overlook.  In the name of repairing the view, the Forest Service cut approximately fifty of the largest trees and left the debris scattered below. The Allegheny Defense Project is appalled by Rimrock’s makeover, and continues to be concerned with recreation or restoration projects that become paired with major Forest Service actions without sufficient or official public input or environmental analysis. Read More

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Forest Watch Team Members Review Maps of Drilling Areas

The Allegheny Defense Project is pleased to announce its newest campaign, Allegheny Forest and River Watch. We’d like to make our Forest Watch efforts more accessible to our supporters – more accurately, we need your help with our work. In this project, we will train supporters (you!) in our forest watch techniques. You will learn how to monitor drilling and logging projects, the environmental regulations that (should) guide the implementation of these projects, and how to participate in the formal commenting procedures to get the public interest into the official records.

Proposed Oil and Gas Drilling At Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Morrison Run

Your first step to get involved would be to join our Forest Watch Team by signing up HERE. This puts you into a network of dedicated forest activists.  Once a part of the team, you will be notified of workshops and trainings on forest watch techniques and public participation in management of public lands. After you have attended one of our trainings/workshops, you can adopt an area of the forest where you will focus your forest watch work. Together we will create a monitoring and action plan for that section of the forest, which you and other volunteers can implement.  The ADP will work as the coordinator of these efforts, compiling the data that is gathered and using it to generate public comments and other necessary actions. You will remain informed of the latest news on the ground in the forest, updated by ADP and members of the Forest Watch Team.  You will contribute directly to the ADP’s detailed documentation of conditions in the ANF.

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Photos by Maren Leyla Cooke http://marenslist.blogspot.com/

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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 mrulli@alleghenydefense.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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ADP Logo

On the weekend of September 18-20th 2009 the Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) celebrated its 16th year with our annual fall gathering at the Tracy Ridge camping area in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

Camping at "The Ridge"

Camping at "The Ridge"

Unfortunately private companies have plans to develop “The Ridge” into an oil and gas field with a grid of roads, tank batteries, generators, and well pads with pump jacks spaced every 450 feet across the entire northeastern portion of the ANF.

Our turnout for the gathering was the best in years …55 if you count the dogs (which of course we did–there were 11). The food was fantastic! Three days of Mary’s homemade soups, salads, and baked goods, all organic and much of it homegrown, kept us warm and happy. A warm meal was much welcomed following our Saturday hikes. John Stoneman led the first hike.

Image by Laurie Barr

Hiking Chestnut Ridge in the Proposed Sugar Run Wilderness.

We hiked on Chestnut Ridge, a proposed wilderness area, to Rock Shelters where people have camped for thousands of years. It was a long, beautiful hike.

Proposed Wilderness Area: Allegheny Wild!

Proposed Wilderness Area: Allegheny Wild!

The Saturday afternoon hike had fewer takers because we traveled down Forest Road 267 and into Kinzua Heights, the Snyder Brothers and Minard Run oil and gas destruction areas.

Snyder Brothers Oil and Gas Destruction Area in Proposed Chappel Fork Wilderness Area. Image by Laurie Barr

Snyder Brothers Oil and Gas Destruction Area in Proposed Chappel Fork Wilderness Area.

These devastated areas show the future currently planned for Tracy Ridge and other remnants of the Forest, including Rim Rock.

Guitars, a banjo, and harmonica filled our Saturday evening campfire after a final hike to view a spectacular star-filled sky. Sunday we explored the area around the campground to identify the wild foods and medicines growing there. We found chestnut trees everywhere.



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USFS (Warren, PA)—The Allegheny National Forest (ANF) has disclosed oil and gas development plans for the Tracy Ridge-Chestnut Ridge area which will, if allowed to proceed in their current configuration, obliterate this important recreation and habitat area on the ANF. Tracy Ridge and nearby Chestnut Ridge will be devastated by oil and gas development with almost 450 miles of new road construction, and the drilling of 1,707 wells (and all of the infrastructure associated with oil and gas development such as well pads, tank batteries, brine pits, generators and pipelines).

Tracy Ridge-Chestnut Ridge. Each Green Dot = 1 Well

Tracy Ridge-Chestnut Ridge. Each Green Dot = 1 Well

Recently, a lawsuit brought against the USFS by the Allegheny Defense Project (ADP), Sierra Club, and the Forest Service Employees For Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) resulted in the USFS following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for private oil and gas developments. The NEPA process, which the USFS is now following on the Allegheny National Forest, has brought to light for public scrutiny the oil and gas development at Tracy Ridge-Chestnut Ridge. Other important recreation areas such as Rim Rock will also be heavily impacted by oil and gas development. The public must become involved in commenting on the surface destruction planned for these areas.

Source: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/allegheny/projects/OGM_eis/step_1/index.php

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