The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and a FONSI (“Finding of No Significant Impact”[!!]) and announced an online lease auction of 1600 acres of Wayne land for fracking, the first set of many acres planned to be auctioned. Leases can be sold for as little as $2/acre! Fracking the Wayne to get at oil and gas owned by the government will threaten drinking water supplies and climate, pollute water and air, turn our Forest into an industrial zone, and cause other significant environmental, public health, and economic impacts to our Forest and communities. , potentially significant impacts must be considered . This was not done.
If a Forest wants to undertake a significant action not considered by its Plan, it must evaluate potential impacts, including cumulative impacts, that may result on the Forest and surrounding human community, before irrevocably committing resources. Depending on the potential significance of the impacts, these evaluations may be through either an EA or the more rigorous Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Only the latter requires public input. The Wayne has refused to do an EIS, although activists have been pushing since 2011 for a supplemental EIS or a revision of the Plan (which results in a full EIS), already overdue since preparation can take 4-5 years. The FS and BLM claim that the Supplemental Information Report (SIR) produced by the Wayne in 2012 was in compliance with NEPA, which it explicitly is .
Every document produced to date by the FS and BLM on the matter has been extremely shoddy, laughably so if not for the dire consequences. None is in compliance with NEPA requirements to consider up-to-date science and to take a “hard look” at potential impacts. It is clear that those in charge of analysis and decision-making have had a complete disregard for science and the extensive evidence and information provided by the public over the past five years. Contrary to Mr. Scardina’s claims, there is no law or directive that requires USFS to make public minerals available to suit the wishes of private industry or landowners who think their supposed profits take precedence over the climate and the region’s air, water, economy, and environmental and social health.
Contrary to Ms. Atkinson’s staff’s claims, she CAN withdraw the parcels, even after she has given consent. Anne Carey, Wayne NF Supervisor in 2011, pulled the parcels, after . There is all the more reason to pull them in 2016! The consent is illegitimate and illegal (see pp. 30-31 of the CBD legal protest ).
What will we tell the children? Tell them we made the calls!
Call-a-thon to save the Wayne! (Click here to download a printable copy of the following Tips and Tactics sheet)
Tips and Tactics
· Be persistent. Be genuine. Be upset if that’s what you’re feeling. But be focused and on point. Give voice to your concerns, and make sure someone is listening on the other end.
· Atkinson’s office may try to unload you onto the BLM. You do not want or need to speak to the BLM. They cannot withdraw consent. Atkinson can withdraw consent. We know this. You want to talk to Kathleen Atkinson.
Call Kathleen Atkinson, Eastern Regional Forester: 414-297-3765
State your demand:
Demand Atkinson withdraw consent to allow fracking in the Wayne. Precedent for such a decision exists, as Anne Carey withdrew consent in 2011. Stop sacrificing our Wayne! Stop destroying Appalachia!! Stop the auction!!!
State the reasons for your demand:
Before allowing fracking, WNF is required by law to do one of the following two things:
1. Update its Forest Plan:
According to the Forest Service, “The forest plan revision process is grounded in science and public input, and seeks to deliver stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of our rural communities.” This is exactly why they should revise the Forest Plan.
2. Complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):
An EIS is a requirement specified in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This legislation states that actions “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment” warrant the creation of an EIS. The EIS is then used to inform decisions—what should or should not be allowed within public lands. Fracking public lands requires an EIS—by law!
Call Sherrod Brown: 202-224-2315
· Demand he represent all of his constituents, and call him out for defending oil and gas as environmentally safe and economically productive.
· Demand that he put pressure on Kathleen Atkinson to withdraw consent and all parcels.
· Make sure his office has Atkinson’s number.
VISIT acfan.org and ACFAN’s Wayne page for background information.