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Thursday, April 17, 2014

State forests becoming less wild with growth of gas drilling

State forests becoming less wild with growth of gas drilling

By Donald Gilliland | dgilliland@pennlive.com
Penn Live.com

Everyone knew it would happen, but a state report has quantified the extent to which natural gas drilling on state lands has diminished the wild character of Pennsylvania's state forests.

From 2008 to 2012, approximately 1,486 acres of state forest were "converted" for gas development, according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which oversees state forests and state parks.

The impact is actually more extensive.

Although 1,486 acres are no longer forest, their "conversion" has also changed the character of the forest around them. Well pads, access roads and pipelines are fragmenting the largest continuous block of forest in the northeastern United States.

It's all about the wild areas becoming less wild.

More than 9,000 acres can no longer be categorized as large-tract core forest. Read more...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you anti drillers ever mention the tens of 1000's of acres that are clear cut every year by the state? This is just one example of the state reaping our forests there are many more.

Anonymous said...

Why does the state need more of our tax dollars when they have all of this income coming in from the gas and lumber industry?

Anonymous said...

12:14- Clearcut=raped forest??? Please explain that to us all. You do know the trees grow back, right?

Anonymous said...

five minutes to cut down, hundred years to grow back

do a reality check !

i have seen quite a lot woods and forests in other states, none as in such poor health and the woods in pennshellvina !

know the history of Easter Island ?

Anonymous said...

I always thought the Pennsylvania forests were a natural treasure overlooked by most people. If you look at a map of the eastern u.s., or better yet, if you've ever taken time to explore them, you'd know what I mean.
For citizens to just allow drilling on this scale without questioning it more is a disgrace. We have lost our way.
I know the extractors and their supporters think they are right, that this is just a sign of progress, and there's no real damage done. But they are wrong, wrong, wrong.
The changes coming from all the drilling in our forests will be decades in the making. It will generate financial wealth and more money for the politicians to spend on us and themselves. Long term, it doesn't make up for what we lose. And to think we have jackasses like John Boehner writing in the Wall Street Journal that it's time we start exporting our gas to Ukraine and Europe. What we need to export is politicians who think this way, including our greedy, simple- minded governor and any other politician that gives his or her blessing to destroying our forests, water, clean air, and peaceful living.
You can log the forests without ruining them or sacrificing them to future generations. Not true for scraping them clear for pads, pipelines, and roads. There's a big difference.

Anonymous said...

The state has leased tens of thousands of acres and a small portion is impacted for natural gas exploration. This includes the pipelines that are nothing more than an area often times seeded with a wildlife mixture. I am sure there is significantly more to eat as a result of natural gas than there was in a largely forested area.

Way to focus on the small negative aspect Mr. Gilliland to get an article published.

Anonymous said...

To view the forests in terms of offering "more to eat" is to not understand them at all.

Anonymous said...

3:27 the people that cut timber build roads just like the gas people do. then they drive huge equipment to get the trees cut down and out of the woods. The big difference is the gas drillers don't clear tens of thousands of acres of forest. 4:57 is correct it takes hundreds of years for the trees to grow back. And actually it's Obama that wants to supply gas to Ukraine and Europe to hurt Russia!

Anonymous said...

Damnit 5:14, stop with your thinking.

This is no time to be responsible!

Our restaurants and gas stations depend on the pittance that is the scraps from our masters tables.

4:57, I know all about the history of easter island.

The reality is if they had proper defense funding and job creators, they could have built a navy and invaded the rest of the world where it's a fact infinite resources exist

besides, baby Jesus wants us to do all this stuff. why do you hate america? this world is ours to destroy as we see fit, god says so. and don't worry about the future, i have it on good authority jesus is returning any day now so it won't matter what we do.

BET ON IT, ITS IN THE GOOD BOOK. AIR-TIGHT-FACT

must be some obama lovers in here, judging by the comments

Anonymous said...

Very true, thousands of acres of forest are being clearcut each year by the state and it will take a hundred year to get back to that state. But do we really want all our state forests in old growth ?? If you enjoy wildlife viewing, hunting, or even the conservation of wildlife then you should support sustainable forest management. One that diversifies the age of the forest and the wildlife that live within it. There are countless wildlife species that rely on young forests to live, deer, grouse, woodcock, and a number of song bird's, and that's just scratching the surface. Young forests provide countless browse for deer, berries for nearly all wildlife species, nesting cover and protection from predators. Healthy habitats and healthy forests begin with good sustainable forest management. If done in the correct manner, we all can benefit from it....