WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–November 18, 2014 —The U.S. Forest Service today released a management plan that protects the vast majority of Virginia’s George Washington National Forest from oil and gas development.
While early news reports focused on the fact that the Forest Service will allow fracking in parts of the George Washington National Forest, it actually protects all of the national forest from oil and gas development with the exceptions of land currently leased (1 percent of land where the federal government owns the mineral rights) and land where the oil and gas rights are privately owned.
A statement follows from Amy Mall, senior fracking policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Fracking in this forest would put drinking water sources for millions of people, and beloved outdoor recreation areas, at risk. We have long called for the entire forest to be protected from fracking. While we would have liked to see a complete ban there, we are nonetheless very pleased that the Forest Service has gone beyond its original proposal and set the vast majority off limits to all oil and gas development.”
More than a million people visit the forest every year for outdoor sports and recreation.
More than 4 million—including nearly the entire nation’s capital—rely on this forest as the source of their drinking water.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/1BJRDhx.