Marcellus Drilling Helps Local Elk Population Flourish

One of the potential problems raised by those who oppose shale drilling is how it impacts wildlife. They maintain when you carve up forests with clear spots for drill pads, and carve up pathways for pipelines, and have trucks traveling in and out around the clock, it damages the wildlife (see USGS Study: Marcellus Drilling Fragmenting Forests in PA. Who’s not for being kind to the wild critters around us? At MDN HQ we faithfully maintain our bird feeder in the front yard and go out of our way to avoid hitting squirrels (just so you know our enviro creds). It certainly sounds reasonable that “fragmenting” forests may impact wild species. So let’s have a look at a real example. How about the wild elk that roam around Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in northcentral Pennsylvania? In 2008, at the dawn of the shale revolution in PA when there were no wells, there were about 500 wild elk roaming those three counties. Today, with more than 100 wells drilled in those three counties, the elk population has almost doubled. Say what? Yep–drilling has helped the local wildlife in northcentral PA…

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