Kevin Davis | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kevin Davis 
Member since Dec 23, 2006



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Re: “Into the Woods Today

Coming from a snowmobile family I have been enjoying snowmobiling with my family on the ANF since 1970. This makes me a firm believer in the saying a Family that Plays together, stays together. The days of families playing on the ANF are numbered if someone doesn’t do something about the Oil and Gas activity on the Allegheny National Forest. After seeing what’s been going on over the past few years, I now truly believe that the oil companies really do run this country. They have raped and pillaged the ANF so bad you can’t recognize it from one year to another, and yet no one will listen or do anything about it. If you don’t believe me then visit the ADP web site, they are not exaggerating it’s that bad, but again, no one will do anything about it. Not the USFS not the DEP, not Harrisburg or Washington, and I want to know why!!!! I understand that who ever owns the mineral rights has every right to extract there minerals, BUT they don’t have the right to totally destroy the surface of a National Forest in doing so. These people by destroying the surface are also destroying every recreation aspect the ANF has to offer…. Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Snowmobiling, Cross Country Skiing, Hiking and Biking and yet how is this allowed to happen??? And why won’t someone do something about it??? Just wait until the oil boom is over; all that will be left is a skeleton of what use to be a forest. Then where will the local economy be? So the local businesses and politicians better wake up. As for the Forest Plan, it’s a joke; I really don’t know any other way to put it. This process started to take place back in 1996 and then took a hiatus for a few years then picked back up in 2002 and now we are on the final stretch. It’s alarming to think that in this time we have been through 5 different Forest Supervisors. The process that was used (collaborative learning) was only to stifle the public, and keeping everyone from speaking out. It’s also fact that written public comments from the meetings held in 2005 that were supposed to be posted on the ANF web site, just happen to disappear with out a trace never to be seen. I my self along with numerous other snowmobilers have attended every phase of the Forest Plan process, trying to address the need to allow snowmobiles on more forest roads and pipelines along with the need to control the impact of the Oil and Gas companies on the Forest. And yet the forest plan draft was released stating only in one small paragraph pertaining to snowmobiles that nothing was going to change, even verbiage that was promised would be struck from the plan was still in there. As for the Oil and Gas…. Well that section of the draft is filled with terms like “should” “could” and “might”. So basically nothing was in the draft to control the OGM impact on the forest surface only recommendations. The Allegheny Federation of Snowmobile Clubs along with the ADP has sat in all these meetings with the USFS trying to get them to do something to curb the Oil impact on the forest and recreation. But they keep saying there is nothing they can do. They say they want balance... balance for who? It seems to me that the scales are weighted towards the Oil and Gas companies. I don’t know about anyone else, but wouldn’t it be a good idea that if they don’t have any policies in place to address the Oil and Gas impact on the forest, that maybe it would be a good idea to implement some. And my last statement is this; I wonder why it’s not ok for snowmobiles (which are low impact) to ride on National Recreation Areas and yet the Oil Companies can build a road and drop a well any where they please on the same NRA. Not to mention that even though I am not a proponent of more Wilderness, these same NRA’s now with Oil Wells are also proposed for Wilderness in the Forest Plan….. Like I said the Forest Plan is a Joke!!! Kevin Davis

Posted by Kevin Davis on 12/24/2006 at 10:37 AM

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