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Why fracking America's forests could lead to complete devastation of biodiversity


(NaturalNews) America's national forests and parklands are historic treasures, and something we all cherish as publicly-owned and managed green spaces to be enjoyed by all. But they're under attack by the oil and gas industries, which would like nothing more than to exploit these pristine areas for private gain – and in some areas of the country, this is already starting to happen.

In Southeastern Ohio, for instance, Wayne National Forest is about to get "fracked" (hydraulic fracturing for natural gas), unless citizens stand up and stop the two people in charge of allowing it: Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson (414-297-3765) and Forest Supervisor Tony Scardina (740-753-0880). Citizens are rising up in protest because they recognize that the precious biodiversity of this beautiful forest is at risk.

Or how about the George Washington National Forest in Virginia? Forest management authorities there recently announced that they will allow a shocking 1.1 million acres of this pristine and historic green space to be fracked by private corporations – this, after a much-anticipated forest management plan was expected to include a ban, not an allowance.

The official blog of the American Forests had this to say about the decision, which puts more than 40 different species of trees and 2,000 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants at risk of extinction:

"The Forest Service's decision to allow fracking is counter to their mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. While American Forests agrees with the multi-use mandate for our national forests, not all activities are good for our nation's forests. Energy and mineral exploration does not sustain the health, diversity or the productivity of our forests. It threatens them."

A similar, if not more aggressive, sentiment is present all the way over in South Africa, where the one-of-a-kind Karoo Desert is at risk of exploitation and destruction by Shell Natural Gas. This particular region is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, replete with more unique varieties of succulent plants, reptiles, and insects than anywhere else on earth.

Shell wants to drill for gas using high-pressure, high-volume, heavy-industrial drilling and fracking methods like those being used in the U.S. that are contaminating drinking water supplies and polluting the natural environment, including pristine water supplies, with chemicals and methane gas. All of these things destroy plants and animals, and could, in the case of the Karoo Desert, result in their forever elimination and extinction – which is why petitioners are seeking to bar Shell Natural Gas from ever setting foot in the area.

"Individuals in the Karoo rely on [their pristine] water for daily household use, and to keep their small agricultural businesses going," writes Sara Stavile for ForceChange.com. "Water is the most precious resource in the area for plants and animals alike. Why should water resources be destroyed in order to fuel humanity's addiction for unsustainable energy?"

Obama to blame for allowing fracking in national forests and parklands

In case you're wondering why one of the most destructive industrial practices of the modern age is now being allowed in our most pristine forests and parklands, look no further than the Obama White House. The Obama-overseen federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has concluded through a supposed "Environmental Assessment" (EA) that the effects of fracking on the quality of the human environment "are not expected to be significant or controversial." So that's that, apparently.

So it's up to citizens and grassroots activism at this point to put a stop to the destruction of our natural environment, and especially our most precious collective resources: our national forests and parklands. Citizens also need to grab their own health and future by the bullhorns and take precautionary measures like filtering their own clean drinking water, using advanced water purification methods like those present in the Berkey gravity-fed water filtration system.

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