Friday, August 16, 2013 Supports Prohibition on Shale Gas Development letter to the U.S. Forest Service

August 6, 2013 
U.S. Forest Service
Ms. Agpaoa, Southern Regional Forester
Dear Ms. Agpaoa,
The local water preservation group Save the Water Table, located in Monroe County, WV would like to inform you that we strongly uphold the prohibition on shale gas development (horizontal fracturing) in the George Washington National Forest that was proposed in the 2011 draft Management Plan.

The section of Monroe County that is part of the GW National Forest is underlain by karst (see map) and therefore particularly susceptible to water contamination from exposure to chemical spills, methane migration, high levels of brine and radioactive isotopes. These substances are released into the ground, air and water throughout the successive phases of shale gas development including drilling and fracking operations, transportation of toxic materials to and from the site, pipelines and  toxic waste disposal whether it be through flaring and leaking, dumping, storing or the injection of  toxic flowback water.
At a time when the world's most precious resource, water, is becoming more and more polluted and the demand for fresh, clean water is greater than it ever was before, it would be criminal to endorse shale gas development in the heart of one of the most protected areas on the east coast of the United States which is a source of drinking water for over 260,000 people. 
We would like to invite you to spend some quality time touring with us a section of the 425 acres of national forest located in Monroe County where one of the headwaters for the James River, Cove Creek takes its source. This section is known as the Cove Creek Wildlife Management Area and is open to the public for camping, hunting and hiking. We would be happy to act as your guides and set up a comfortable camp where you would enjoy a delicious meal cooked over a camp fire built on the smooth rock banks of the creek and even spend the night and go for a swim, if you have a little extra time. It would be a memorable event for you to share with us what we are willing to volunteer our precious time to protect. We are ready and willing to accommodate whatever time would suit you best.
We thank you for your attention,
Save the Water Table
preserving the water in Monroe County, West Virginia
To set up a trip to the Cove Creek Wildlife Management area, please call Joe Chasnoff at 304 772 3580.