Do you know what the direct impact of fracking will be on your family’s health, your personal finances, the value of your real estate and your local community’s ability to deliver services in the future?  Hear the compelling story of what has happened to one family and their farm.

We’re quickly moving toward the endgame on fracking In New York State.  New Yorkers only have until December 12, 2011 to comment on the proposed regulations that will govern gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing In New York State.  After that, unless we act together, we can expect drilling permits to be issued in early 2012 and drilling to start soon thereafter.

While many of you have followed the fracking issue with interest and concern, we’re worried that you don’t have enough understanding of how the commencement of drilling will directly affect you.  So over the coming weeks we’ll be sending you information about exactly how drilling can impact you, your family and your community. We’ll also outline how to take action and tell the DEC what’s wrong with their plan.

Today we would like to offer you the opportunity to learn from the first person account of Libby Foust. Libby is a resident of the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There is no question that what happened at Libby’s farm in Bradford County PA is going to happen in the Finger Lakes, the Catskills and all over New York State. Here’s her story:

Libby Foust“Our family farm is in Bradford County, Pa.  Our farm was one of the first well sites chosen and is now one of hundreds, soon to be thousands.

When the folks in Pennsylvania first heard of the wells coming, they were excited. No one had ever experienced the drilling business, so there was nothing to fear. They had toiled their whole lives just to make ends meet, and maybe this was the road to a better life.

Then they came. Trucks by the hundreds, tankers, dump trucks, drilling rigs, fracking rigs. Five-acre drilling pads were bulldozed in the middle of farmers’ best fields, million-gallon ponds were installed, roads were built, woods and fields were trenched and bulldozed for tie lines. Drilling rigs went up at an unbelievable rate. From one spot on our farm, I counted eight rigs. Then the generators started. You could hear them a half-mile away. Then the pumping stations — small, industrial sites with buildings and pipes sticking up out of the ground.

They put one of these at the end of our little dirt road. Now the woods are gone and the dirt road is a main thoroughfare. One entire field is a pumping station. When I first saw this, I cried. This industry is like a swarm of locusts, leaving destruction and a lasting impact on the environment.

But it goes much deeper than this. It creates greed and pits neighbor against neighbor, even dividing families. Back home, all rental properties now house gas people, as the landlords raised the rents so high that longtime tenants were forced to move. Every parking area is lined with pipes and equipment associated with the gas business. Roads have been destroyed and are barely passable. Motorists are being forced off the road by a steady stream of big rigs and trucks. People who are used to a few cars going by their house now have to endure 100 tractor-trailers a day. I went up to our well site and counted 80 tankers lined up so closely that you couldn’t fit between them.

The gas companies do put on a good show. They have a nice booth at the fair. They buy bicycle helmets for the kids. They pay to have the walkways at the fairgrounds paved. They are always presenting a check for this and a check for that. Their pictures are always in the paper for doing good deeds. What a joke. That’s Bradford County.

The Finger Lakes area has been blessed with so much natural beauty — the gorges, the lakes, the vineyards. We have so much to protect. We want our fields to be green so our children can walk through them. We need our water to be clean, not only for ourselves but for our livestock and marine life. If they start drilling, what’s going to happen to the water in our lakes? What’s going to happen if there is a drilling accident and people’s homes start filling up with methane gas? Don’t think it can happen? In northern Pennsylvania, it already has. I urge you to protect this area, its residents, its natural beauty and our way of life from the ravages of the gas industry.”

Now is the time to act to protect your health, home and community.

The DEC is accepting comments to the regulations that they propose will govern gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing in New York State – – and there are many, many things wrong with these regulations including:

· No adequate assessment of the impact to local roads and bridges, the impact on rental prices or the impact on the environment

· No comprehensive, focused plan to analyze the cumulative impact of a full build out of gas wells

· Inadequate protection of drinking water

· No health assessment

Please take the following actions:

·  Click here to tell the DEC what’s wrong with their plan  by submitting written comments on the SDGEIS.

·  Click here for a more detailed analysis of the major flaws in the DEC’s plan.

· Plan to go to as many of the public hearings scheduled by the DEC as possible:
Dansville, NY  – November 16
Binghamton, NY, November 17
Loch Sheldrake, NY, November 29
New York City, November 30

A huge public presence is especially important at these meetings.  Click here for times and locations.

· Forward this message to your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to pass it on. 

· Use the Catskill Mountainkeeper website as a resource. Get educated, especially about the health issues and threats.

· Sign on to our petition;  Join over 3200 people who have already signed asking Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens to extend the comment period to 180 days so a thorough review can be done.  

· Help Catskill Mountainkeeper to continue to help you. Leading this fight is an expensive undertaking.  In addition to travel, research, staff time and public outreach, we are now gearing up for the legal fight, the next step. Please give as generously as you can.


Weather in my neck of the woods

WOW is it raining hard, looks like my fishing is over this season, it also looks like we might have a temp drop soon. Our trees still have not turned but may be soon. Just alittle update

Giving in to Fly Fishing


Posted: 14 Oct 2011 06:40 AM PDT

Cross-Posted from the Women in Fly Fishing blog:
Fly Fishing was never on my radar screen until I moved to Vermont and started working for Orvis in the mid 1990s. I worked for the company for four years and learned what an “angler” was (I really had no idea), that fishing poles were actually “rods,” and that “wading pant” was not the correct term for those funny water pants. They are just called “waders.”  And I was surprised to learn that an office discussion about “nymphs” was not even remotely suggestive.

I also learned that the target audience of the typical fly-fisher was pretty much the polar opposite of me.

A few years later, I ended up marrying a fly-fishing addict—one who works at Orvis and has the sport so ingrained in his being that when he isn’t actually fishing, he thinks about it all day, and then comes home to write about how others can learn the sport at night and on weekends. Can you imagine? Before we were married, I was asked, “Are you sure you can live with this? This is just how I am.” so I knew what I was getting into before taking the next step.

But I still did not want to learn to fish. “Nah, not for me,” I said whenever I was asked if I wanted to try.  When my husband would fish, if I came along, I would read or hike. I never actually picked up a fly rod.  This fact seemed to stun most people I know, but I was actually secretly proud of my steadfast resistance over the last decade.

Recently, though, I had a change of heart.

Robin Kadet at the Orvis Fly-Fishing School 2

Robin receives casting tips from her instructor at the Orvis Manchester Fly-Fishing School.

photo by Tom Rosenbauer

Earlier this year, I felt I was in a rut. I needed to get out of my comfort zone and learn something new.  I set a goal for myself to try a few activities I have always assumed I would hate. These activities were primarily centered on fitness. But one day this spring, when my husband broached the subject of whether our son was ready to learn to fly-fish, the topic of me finally learning as well resurfaced.

Me?  Hmmm…

Instead of replying with my typical “Nah, not for me,” I actually thought about the learn-something-new goal I had set earlier in the year. I thought about the activities I didn’t think I would ever like, but which I now love, and realized this just might be the right time to give in to my stubbornness and give fly fishing a try.

A few months later, I took the next step. Because women always need a partner-in-crime, I enlisted my friend Kiernan to take the Orvis Manchester Fly-Fishing School with me for two full days last month.

The Verdict? I had a blast!

This was against my expectations, as you can imagine. I had many preconceived notions of what fly fishing would be like from watching from afar all these years. I had expected that the class would be filled with all men (aside from us), and that I would feel out of place. This was not so at all—the class was actually half women and half men.

I thought the instructors would be kind of boring and stuffy and serious, and that laughing, not-very-serious women might be judged as “not authentic enough” for the sport. Again, I found the opposite was true. Those people who teach the sport love it; they want you to do the same.

Robin Kadet at the Orvis Fly-Fishing School 3

Now that the vest is on, it’s time to talk less about casting and more about fishing.

photo by Tom Rosenbauer

I expected I would be terrible at casting. What I learned? It takes practice, and basically it doesn’t matter what your cast looks like. The fish do not care if your cast looks like it came out of “A River Runs Through It.” What is important is that you cast so you can get the fly where you want it to go.

I had expected that hanging out in the water waiting, waiting, waiting for the fish would be boring. Actually, I was incorrect there, too. Time went quickly as I was thinking of some key things: keeping myself from slipping and falling, not spooking fish, what fly I was using, if I had tied the right knot on the end of the line, not hooking trees. You may not look like you are doing anything out there, but I realized there is a lot of active brain power being used.

I really enjoyed learning to cast. There are a few rules for success, and once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to tell the difference between a bad cast and a good one.  I felt the same satisfaction when getting the line where I wanted it to go, as I would if I were aiming for any target, like a soccer ball in a net. For any competitive, driven person, it’s really cool to see the gradual improvement with every new cast.

There were other parts I liked, as well. I liked that we could look around by the stream and see what the fish were eating and try to mimic those insects with the flies. I enjoyed trying to look at the water and anticipate where a fish might be. I enjoyed wading in the water, taking in the scenery on a beautiful day. Most of all, I loved spending the day like this on the water with a great friend.

Robin Kadet at the Orvis Fly-Fishing School 4

Robin and her partner in crime, Kiernan, enjoy a pond-side laugh.

photo by Tom Rosenbauer

Did I think I would catch a fish? Never. Actually, catching a fish never even crossed my mind. I was having too much fun doing everything else.  I was told by the instructors that this will change after my first catch, but I’m not so sure.

So, what didn’t I really get into? Well, honestly, I didn’t really want to think about the nitty-gritty details. I know fly fishermen love to talk about which rod specifically they need to use, which reel, which leader and tippet, sizes, shapes, lengths….to me, I say, “Whatever.”  All the knots, and all the different flies?  I don’t think I have the patience to learn any more than two or three knots and do not really want to think about all the fly choices or learning all the names of each.

I would just want someone to give me the right rod, set it up for me, tell me which five flies might do the trick, and send me on my way. And from what I learned from this experience, that’s okay, too.

I came to realize we can embrace the details if we like, or we take the parts of the sport that are enjoyable to us and make it our own. I’m not sure what my next step is in the learning process, but I just ordered my waders and boots, borrowed a rod from the basement, and started casting practice in the yard. My new fishing license is only valid for a few more weeks—I have some work to do!

Robin Kadet is a former Orvis employee and is married to Tom Rosenbauer.

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