Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture
Goal: Prevent gas drilling in the George Washington National Forest to preserve habitats and the economy
The George Washington National Forest, situated in Virginia and West Virginia, has a rich history of environmental, economic, and recreational benefits to the region. However, the gas industry is pressuring the National Forest Service to allow horizontal gas drilling in this precious habitat. Prevent gas drilling in the largest national forest in the eastern United States to save this region from destruction.
With over a million acres of forest area and thousands of miles in trails, the George Washington National Forest provides residents and visitors the opportunity to camp, bike, hike, fish, and boat year round. The forest also provides water for over a quarter-million people in nearby communities. According to the Southern Environmental Law Center, this forest generates $13.6 billion every year and supplies over 130,000 people with jobs. Although local groups have petitioned to limit or prohibit horizontal drilling, especially around watersheds, the National Forest Service is still considering the gas industry’s proposition.
Sign the below petition to urge the National Forest Service to ban horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the George Washington National Forest. This fracking will inevitably contaminate the recreational and drinking waters of the region, disrupt wildlife habitats, and cause major economic damage to the states of Virginia and West Virginia.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
Since you oversee the National Forest Service, you are well aware of the environmental impacts of drilling and fracking in our national’s most pristine natural environments. Not only is the George Washington National Forest an essential part of life for many residents of Virginia and West Virginia, but it is also a historic area that must be preserved for future generations.
This regional treasure offers major economic benefits from the recreational opportunities that this national forest provides, and these profits will vanish once drilling and fracking destroys the land. Since the George Washington National Forest covers millions of acres of land, countless wildlife habitats depend upon this region to survive as well. I am urging you to please stand up to the pressures of the gas and oil industries and protect this beautiful, irreplaceable natural resource.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Adrian Kinloch via Flickr