Across Pennsylvania, fishing and hunting resources are at risk. In recent years, Pennsylvania has become the epicenter for Marcellus Shale energy development in the East, as companies flock to the gas-rich area to drill for gas more than a mile below the earth’s surface. Much of the shale gas development is happening in the upland forested headwater areas—the very places where sportsmen and women hunt and fish. With increased industrial development comes potential new threats to Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams, including loss of forest cover and development on steep slopes, increased sedimentation from construction of new access roads, well pads and pipelines, and impacts to stream flows as a result of the significant water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing and drilling-related activities.
Trout Unlimited supports responsible energy development, as long as the right safeguards are in place and the development is occurring in the right places. Still, some places have such high resource value and are so special to anglers, that drilling should be limited or prohibited. Below are examples of these special places, why they are at risk, and how they can be protected.