ACTION ALERT: The Forest Service is requesting comments on the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s revised application to conduct pipeline surveys in the Jefferson National Forest. Comment Deadline is April 2!
If the pipeline is built in Monroe County, it would have to cross the Jefferson National Forest.
The Forest Service has received a revised special use application from Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC to conduct surveys on two additional route locations, in addition to the original route previously proposed, across the Jefferson National Forest. The surveys would occur along a 5.3 mile segment for Alternative 110J and would occur along a 6.1 mile segment for Alternative 110R of National Forest System lands in Craig, Montgomery, and Roanoke counties, VA and in Monroe County, WV. We are extending the comment period for these new routes. All comments submitted in response to the January 20 letter will be evaluated, so there is no need to resubmit comments.
Do not miss this opportunity to let the Forest Service know that you oppose this pipeline being built through the forest lands adjacent to Monroe County. You must act by April 2, 2015, the Forest Service’s comment deadline.
Comments may be submitted by:
Email your own comment: firstname.lastname@example.org
The important message is a request for the Forest Service to deny the application for the special use permit to allow Mountain Valley Pipeline to survey across the JNF. A survey is not needed if the Forest Service chooses the No Action alternative.
Feel free to use or adapt any of the following sample comments to add to your message.
Reasons that have been cited for opposing interstate pipelines in the Jefferson National Forest include:
- In 1995, the US Forest Service chose a “No Action” alternative, denying a request for a 765kVpower line to cross a region of the JNF that closely followed the current MVP Alternate 110 routes. In that decision, the USFS designated a section of Peters Mountain within the JNF as having a high/medium degree of cultural attachment. The full cultural attachment study designated the adjacent private lands as having a high degree of cultural attachment. There is no mitigation for cultural attachment, which remains as strong as ever.
- This survey itself would destroy qualities intrinsic to areas that have been designated as high/medium cultural attachment areas by cutting down vegetation, digging holes for Indian artifacts, and defacing Peters Mountain with survey tape.
- The proposed MVP 110 routes cross close to the JNF’s Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory on Peters Mountain, one of the most popular viewing destinations for area residents and out-of-state visitors. (2,000 visitors from 36 states and 16 foreign countries signed the visitor log from mid-August through December 2013.) The 125-foot construction easement and 75-foot permanent easement would permanently impair what is now an unspoiled 360-degree view of West Virginia and Virginia. No “mitigation” efforts could erase the visible scar that would be left behind, stretching for miles to the north and south.
- Since 1952, Hanging Rock has been a monitoring point for hawk, eagle, falcon, and osprey migration along the birds’ eastern route. Construction and long-term operation of a pipeline of this scale could significantly disrupt migration patterns of at least 12 kinds of raptors currently being counted.
- The proposed 110 routes will disrupt the most important habitats for the Federally Endangered James spinymussel, found in both Monroe County and Craig County.
- The pipeline is prohibited by the JNF from crossing “Old Growth with Disturbance” and “Black Bear Habitat” Management Prescription Areas, both of which are within the proposed MVP 110 corridors. I oppose any future attempts by the JNF to amend the current Forest Plan to allow construction of the pipeline in these alternative routes.
- The proposed routes cross steep, unstable slopes and unstable karst geology and will affect the quality of both ground water and surface water. The proposed MVP 110 routes will remove forest cover that protects critical water resources on both public and private lands in Monroe County.