Virginia Chapter Sierra Club

Frack Attack in the GW National Forest

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As the new Forest Plan nears release, the pressure from the gas industry to force horizontal fracking on the George Washington National Forest has intensified.  

Today, our Senators and Representatives need to hear from us. 

The Forest Service had originally included the proposal to ban dangerous horizontal fracking as the "preferred alternative" in its draft Forest Plan last year.  The Forest Service's ban is intended to limit or prevent the riskiest high-volume fracking on any future federal oil and gas leases on this Forest. We need your help to protect healthy forests and our drinking water in the Shenandoah Valley by keeping the proposed ban on natural gas fracking on the George Washington National Forest.

Local governments and water authorities across Virginia have contacted the Forest Service to express support for limits on fracking. Also, the great majority (95%) of more than 53,000 public comments on the new GW National Forest management plan supported the well-considered ban on horizontal drilling.   But this might not be enough.   

Tell Senators Warner and Kaine and Reps. Connolly, Moran, Scott and Wolf that we value the integrity of our national forest lands and the clean water they provide.

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Protect the George Washington National Forest from destructive drilling

Dear [Decision Maker],

Please act to ask the US Forest Service to retain its sensible proposal to protect forest resources and drinking water on the George Washington National Forest by prohibiting horizontal drilling on any future federal oil and gas leases in the new Forest Plan. The Forest Service originally included this proposal to limit horizontal fracking as the "preferred alternative" in its draft Forest Plan last year.

As the final Forest Plan nears release, there are signs that the Forest Service may abandon the sensible, cautious proposal, which has drawn tremendous support from local governments and residents. The well-considered ban, which is intended to limit or prevent high-volume hydraulic fracturing, was supported by the great majority (95 percent) of more than 53,000 public comments, as well as by many local governments adjacent to the Forest.



The proposed ban on horizontal drilling will protect the direct drinking water source for local residents and the James and Potomac Rivers which supply water to 4.5 million Virginians.
Fairfax County Water Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers Washington Viaduct (water supplier for D.C., Arlington, and City of Falls Church) endorsed the proposed limits on gas drilling. Ten cities and counties including Harrisonburg, Staunton, Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah also urged the Forest Service to limit horizontal drilling in order to preserve forest resources and drinking water supplies for more than 260,000 Shenandoah Valley area residents.

The prohibition on horizontal drilling also will safeguard fish and wildlife habitat and preserve the forest recreation experience for the more than one million people who visit the GW National Forest each year. Hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation generate significant economic benefits in Virginia. Please act to ensure that the U.S. Forest Service protects clean water and fish, wildlife and recreation in the George Washington National Forest for future generations of Virginians and all Americans.

Thank you for your support on this critical issue.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]