Chad Shmukler's feature in Hatch magazine deftly articulates what it's like to see and experience Marcellus Shale development for the first time. An angler and self-described conservationist, Shmuckler writes about his impressions when faced with the scale of Marcellus Shale development in the Pine Creek Valley, home to Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon.
A longtime fly fisherman, Shmukler recently toured a number of Marcellus Shale sites in and around Pine Creek, just minutes away from Slate Run and Cedar Run, two popular fly fishing destinations in northcentral Pennsylvania. Known for its dense forests and a wilderness experience, the area is also home to heavy shale gas development.
Shmukler understands the inherent balance that needs to occur so that development is done responsibily, to protect the places we hold dear--places like Slate Run and Cedar Run, hours from any metropolitan area, where wild trout continue to challenge anglers as they have for centuries.
He puts the pressure on anglers to become aware of what is happening to their local waters: "As anglers, we are part of a very large, motivated and powerful demographic. And, as a result of the fact that what we love is dependent on the preservation and protection of wild places and clean, natural waters, we have an obligation -- at the very least to ourselves -- to watch over them. As such, we must understand the threats these places face by learning about them, by being voracious about the information readily available to us, by seeking out what isn’t and by sharing it with other anglers."
He's right. It's our responsibility, both as individuals and as a community of anglers, to make sure these places where we escape from the pressures of daily life, exist for future generations. TU is working to do just that, at the federal, state and local levels. We'll continue to take a measured approach, in order to protect the places where trout live.