The proliferation of Marcellus Shale development will result in an industrialization of the landscape of portions of upstate New York. In the Catskill Mountains, the Beaverkill, Neversink, Esopus and Delaware Rivers as well as the Willowemoc Creek, are vital trout producing waters, which produce consistently-flowing, cold, clear water year-round to enable its trout populations to thrive. TGF continues to play an active leading role in addressing natural gas development in New York State as a member of The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation (Sportsmen Alliance). The Sportsmen Alliance is a coalition of more than 265,000 sportsmen and women and conservation groups working to reduce the impacts caused by gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale on hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor sporting activities.
In January 2012, the Sportsman Alliance, with TGF’s participation, submitted written comments for submission to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding the Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (rDSGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program: Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs, dated September 7, 2011. While the coalition supports responsible energy development, the Sportsmen Alliance is concerned that New York’s environmental review and proposed regulations do not adequately protect valuable and irreplaceable natural resources, including clean water and critical habitat for fish and wildlife, from drilling activities. As part of its comments, the Sportsmen Alliance recommends that the DEC prohibit both surface and sub-surface drilling on state-owned lands. In addition, the Sportsmen Alliance strongly urges the DEC to protect areas that have high ecological value, as well as lands that were set aside for recreational and watershed purposes. Toward that end, the Sportsman Alliance recommends that no surface or sub-surface drilling be permitted in the following areas: the New York portion of the Delaware River basin; Catskill park and state lands within close proximity; all state-owned lands identified by the DEC in the rDSGEIS; Allegany State Park; watersheds that been granted filtration Avoidance Determinations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; primary and principal aquifers; and watersheds where wild or native brook trout populations exist and that have high habitat integrity. The Sportsmen Alliance further recommends increasing setbacks from waterways to assure protection of water resources, including around the Finger Lakes and shore of Lake Erie (buffers should consider the slope of shoreline and upland areas and the thickness and attenuation capacity of the soils) and perennial and intermittent streams, ponds, lakes and rivers.
TGF continues to work with several not-for-profit organizations in addressing concerns regarding natural gas development of the Marcellus Shale.
For more information regarding natural gas development of the Marcellus Shale please see the following websites: