Last year, the Forest Service made an important decision when it proposed keeping dangerous and dirty oil-and-gas horizontal drilling and fracking out of the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia.
This unique and beautiful forest supplies critical wildlife habitats, as well as recreation opportunities and clean drinking water, for millions of residents and visitors annually. The oil-and-gas industry is now pressuring the administration to allow fracking in this forest.
Send a message urging the Forest Service to stand firm in its plan to prohibit horizontal fracking in the George Washington National Forest and to protect this important forest’s water, wildlife, and recreational opportunities into the future for all to enjoy.
Currently there is no gas drilling in the George Washington and there never have been gas wells in the forest. It is an important recreational forest for visitors and local businesses alike–hosting more than one million visitors each year who enjoy hunting, trout fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, bird watching, and more. The George Washington’s forests and watersheds are perhaps more ecologically intact than any other national forest in the eastern U.S. which makes it particularly significant as a haven for fish and wildlife species. As a popular tourist destination, the George Washington also plays a significant economic role for the region. The George Washington is also a direct source of drinking water for over 262,000 people in nearby local communities and for some 4.5 million more people in the larger region.
The Forest Service should stand firm. The well-considered horizontal drilling ban, which is intended to limit or prevent fracking, was supported by the great majority (95%) of the more than 53,000 public comments the agency received, as well as by many local governments, businesses and landowners adjacent to the forest. The Sierra Club is urging the Forest Service to stick with its plan to prohibit horizontal drilling, and to strengthen it further by keeping sensitive areas off-limits to any drilling.
Our national forests belong to all Americans and should be managed and protected for the greatest good of our people and communities and the best long-term interests of our nation. The George Washington National Forest is a special place, a haven for wildlife and people alike, less than a day’s drive from our nation’s capital. This forest has never had oil and gas drilling and should not be subjected to the industrial development and habitat, air, and water degradation that drilling and fracking will create.
To send in your message to help protect this wonderful forest for its many wild and special ecological and social values, go to https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=11309&s_src=113FZZNC02&s_subsrc=link.